Advances in medicine, longer life expectancy, overburdened state health services and the rapidly rising cost of healthcare, mean that more and more people are turning to private health insurance.
Indeed if you are applying for residency in Spain and do not come from a EU country, then you will need to have private health insurance.
Whilst the state healthcare and hospital system in Spain is one of the best in Europe, most people prefer the peace of mind, speed and ease of access, as well as the overall "patient experience", offered by private health insurance.
A wide variety of options are available in Spain, to suit all lifestyles and budgets, and underwritten by leading international insurers.
Health insurance policies in Spain come in two main categories;
- In exchange for an agreed premium, an insurer provides the client with an extensive network of doctors, specialists, medical centres and hospitals throughout Spain - the client simply visits one of the centres, shows their membership card, and the centre will invoice the insurer directly. The client does not have to pay anything directly to the centre.
- Clients have access to the above-mentioned network of doctors etc in Spain, but can also use a doctor, specialist etc of their own choice, either in Spain and anywhere in the world - upon presentation of the invoice, the client is reimbursed for up to 90% of the cost.
Be aware that health insurance policies do not normally cover pre-existing conditions, whether you're contracting a new policy, or switching health insurance provider if you have previous medical history.