How does the private health system work in Spain?
In Spain, there are two health systems: public and private. In addition to social security, both Spanish citizens and expatriates can access healthcare more quickly thanks to the private health system. Presentation of private insurance and how it works by Julia Jannin, General Director of Inov Expat.
What are the differences between the public and the private health system?
Private insurance is different from the public health system. When you take out private insurance, you have the choice of several doctors and you have the freedom to go to hospitals that are part of the private sector, unlike the public health system. Each person affiliated to social security, named CatSalut in Catalonia, depends on the health center in his district of residence and is assigned a referral doctor.
Generally, the wait times for consulting general practitioners or specialists are quite long in the public health system. Private insurance makes it possible to obtain an appointment much more quickly, and they offer direct access to all specialists.
What are the covers?
Private insurance provides direct access to hospitalization and treatment from general practitioners and specialists. In addition, some insurance entitles you to other complementary services such as acupuncture, podiatry or dental benefits.
For people who do not speak Castilian well, insurance companies can also send a list of English-speaking doctors. As with social security, the insurance company provides a health card. By presenting it, the consultations are free.
What are the different formulas that exist?
Private insurance offers different types of contracts to adapt to the needs and demand of patients. It is essential to ask the right questions before choosing a formula, depending on your trips, for example. They can be divided into three broad categories.
Medical network represents the most common modality. It gives access to general and specialized medicine, hospital assistance and travel assistance abroad.
Medical Network with participation (“copagos”)
In order to reduce your monthly premium, you can take out insurance with deductibles. In Spanish, it is called copago. In this case you will have to pay the corresponding part directly to the center. For example, from 3 to €7 for a general medical consultation.
Medical Network and free choice of doctors
By opting for this formula, patients also have access to general and specialized medicine, hospital assistance and travel assistance abroad. They can also benefit from reimbursement of care up to 80% in Spain (outside the company's network of doctors) and abroad. Affiliates have the freedom to choose their doctor in Spain or abroad depenand to access natural medicines.
How can I subscribe a health insurance?
Only 24 hours are enough to purchase insurance. After considering your needs and consulting the quotes offered, you will need to complete a medical questionnaire (paper or by phone). The elements to be provided to be able to subscribe will be: passport or NIE, a postal address and a Spanish bank account. There ars some particular health insurances without medical questionnaire, if you want to know more about it please read our article.
You should also know that there are waiting periods when taking out a health insurance contract in Spain:
-from 6 to 8 months in case of surgery and hospitalization
-8 months for childbirth
These deadlines will not apply in the event of urgencies or a vital emergency.
However, these waiting periods can be deleted (except for childbirth) with most companies, if you had health insurance in the past. You must send the copy of the contract and the proof of the last payment (it must not be more than 30 days between the termination of your current insurance and the subscription to health insurance in Spain).
Inov Expat : Who are we?
INOV Expat is an insurance brokerage firm aimed at expatriates in Spain and Portugal
INOV Expat is right there to help you: giving you the best advice on insurance, in English!
In fact, after 14 years, INOV Expat, an insurance brokerage firm, specialises in insurance for French and English-speaking expatriates in Spain and Portugal, at their destinations. As insurance professionals, we’ve signed partnership agreements with the best insurance companies in the market. All INOV Expat consultants are expatriates who will be able to advise you best in the language of your choice (English, French, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese…)
Ask you free quote online : car, health, home, life, travel, others. Look at our website inovexpat.com or contact us by e-mail at [email protected], by telephone at +34.93.268.87.42 or whatsApp +34.627.627.880