Health Insurance
for Spanish
Non-lucrative visa

Below you will find detailed information about health insurance for a non lucrative visa in Spain. If you are just looking for a summary then visit the page health insurance for Spanish non-lucrative visa.

Why you need private health insurance in Spain for a non lucrative visa

As part of the non lucrative visa application from a third country nationals (now including UK nationals) there is a requirement to have a suitable health insurance policy in place to cover everyone applying, including children. The requirement for private health insurance comes from the fact that you are not contributing to the state health system and therefore have no right to free access to it. For that reason, the Spanish authorities want to make sure that you have appropriate health cover to protect you and your family whilst you are living in Spain.

The criteria the private health insurance policy must meet to be accepted

1. The policy must not have co-payments. It must be, what is known in Spain as “sin copago”. That means after having paid the agreed premium there is no additional fees to pay to visit a doctor or to have treatment. If a policy does have a co-payment your application for s Spanish non lucrative visa will be declined.
2. The policy must not have a grace period or moratorium. The full cover of the policy you are buying must be available to you from the day the policy starts. Many providers have a grace period at the beginning which, for example, precludes you from treatment requiring hospitalization. Policies with a grace period / moratorium do not meet the criteria set out by the Spanish authorities.
3. The policy must run for the full time of your non lucrative visa in Spain. You need to be careful with the start date of your policy. If you start it too soon then the policy will not run for a full 12 months from your date of entry into Spain.
4. The policy must provide a comprehensive coverage of your health. It should put you in a similar position to someone who is entitled to use the state system. Some popular Spanish health insurance products among expatriates do not have the depth of coverage that will satisfy the Spanish authorities.
5. The policy should include repatriation cover or if the health policy does not include it then this should be purchased separately. Repatriation cover is provided as a feature of the health policy or in a separate policy and means all the costs, legal aspects and paperwork of transporting a deceased person back to their home country are covered.

This is the criteria as laid out by the Spanish authorities. We are aware that in certain cases policies that do not strictly meet all the criteria are accepted by some Spanish consulates. If you apply with a Spanish health policy that does not meet the above criteria then you are taking the risk that your application may be refused. Your documents may expire and you could incur significant expense and delay.

What information do I need to give to get a quote?

The basic information required to get a quotation is:

1. The dates of birth of all the parties to the health insurance policy
2. The genders of each of those applicants
3. In some cases, the town and province (and post code if you know it) are required as some companies have different premiums for different locations
4. It is also useful to know which consulate or Embassy you are applying to. In the case of people from the UK then whether it is London, Manchester or Edinburgh. This is because although the criteria are the same for everyone the individual consulates often interpret these differently meaning that some companies are accepted in one place but not another.
5. A contact phone number and email so that we can explain how health insurance for a Spanish non lucrative visa works, the timescale for applying which will also depend on your medical history.

Can I spread the premium by paying in instalments?

No. The Spanish authorities want you to show them that a full annual premium is paid and the cover runs for the full time permitted by your visa (12-months). You cannot pay by instalments.

Can I cancel the policy once I have my visa?

No. You need to maintain the cover the health insurance for your Spanish non lucrative visa for the full duration of the visa. If you renew your non lucrative visa in Spain again you will need to show that you maintain a qualifying Spanish health insurance policy and it is paid up to date.

Do I need to take a medical examination?

No. There is no requirement for any of the applicants for the health insurance policy in Spain to take a medical examination.

You will need to complete and application form and complete and sign a health declaration. The health declaration varies from company to company. Common questions that are included in these questionnaires are:

• Height and weight.
• Whether you have undergone an operation or been hospitalised. The reason, what the treatment was and what is the current situation.
• Are you currently on any medication? You should give the name and dosage of the medication and the reason for taking the medication.
• Are you currently suffering from any illness, what it is, any ongoing treatment or medication etcetera?

The companies use this information when considering whether they will underwrite the policy. See the section on pre-existing conditions.

I have some pre-existing conditions

All private health insurance companies will exclude pre-existing conditions. That means that should you have a medical issue that relates to a conditions you had at the time of applying for the policy then it will not be covered by the policy. The cost of any treatment for the pre-existing condition would have to be met by the individual and is not covered or paid for by the insurance company.

When you complete your medical questionnaire (see the section “Do I need to take a medical examination?”) the insurance company may want to contact you either by email or phone to clarify your answers, request a more detailed questionnaire or ask for a medical report from your doctor about something you have entered on the questionnaire. They will use this information to decide if they can issue the policy.

The completion of the medical questionnaire and your pre-existing conditions will influence whether the insurance company will provide a health insurance policy or not. There are three possible outcomes. 1) you are accepted without any exclusions in the policy, 2) The company agrees to provide you with a health insurance in Spain but with exclusions. These will be listed and they will ask whether you accept them or not, 3) Your application is declined. Something in your medical history is outside what the insurance company feels is a comfortable risk to accept. The insurance company decides not to offer anytime of health insurance at all.

Please remember that the health insurance companies in Spain are profit making businesses and are answerable to their shareholders or stakeholders. They are not obliged to give anyone health insurance cover and in some circumstances will feel that a person’s current or previous health issues mean that they do not think it makes commercial sense to issue the policy.

How do I use my health policy in Spain?

Most of the Spanish health insurance companies have mobile phone applications and web access for their clients. Once you are registered you will be able to access a client area. Depending on the company you will be able to:

1. See your policy details
2. Request authorisations for treatment
3. See requests for treatment that have been authorised
4. See the emergency contact numbers
5. Search the directory for affiliated doctors, clinics, hospitals and specialists

Not all treatments need authorisation and if they do most companies make a commitment to respond within 48 hours.

You do not have to go through an ordinary doctor first to get a referral to a specialist. If you know you have a skin problem, then you can search the health insurance companies list of dermatology specialists and get seen by them directly.

You do not have to wait for an emergency to use the policy. You use your health insurance policy in Spain for general check-ups too. For example, men over fifty can ask to have their prostate gland checked. You could ask for an annual well-being revision including a blood test, for example. Women are entitled to have regular smear tests and breast screening.

If you have difficulties, you can contact the company or your broker for assistance.

What happens if my health application is declined?

Private health insurance companies in Spain will have developed their own underwriting criteria. It is inevitable that some people will be declined due to their medical history. This is clearly disappointing but the final decision is with the insurance company.

These companies are profit making business and are not obliged to issue a policy. They are not funded by the government but by premiums from all their customers.

If your application is declined then this is may be because of a serious pre-existing condition, or a number of smaller conditions that combined make the insurance company feel unable to grant you a private health insurance policy.

There is nothing stopping you applying to another provider of private health insurance in Spain. We work with a number of companies so can try and help find an alternative. Some medical conditions will mean that it is not possible to obtain cover from any of the insurers we work with.

Our fee

Our service to you includes researching the companies and products available on an ongoing basis and looking for the most appropriate product for your circumstances. In addition, we will:
• guide you through the application process,
• collect your paperwork that you need to submit your application for the health insurance
• Liaise with the insurer on your behalf
• Explain to you how the product works
• Make sure the insurance company sends you the paperwork you need to submit as part of your non-lucrative visa application or your Spanish golden visa application.
• Re-submit your documents to an alternative provider if the first application is declined.

Our fee for this service is a one-off 25.00 euro service fee at the point of making the first application. The fee is non-refundable. If we are successful in placing your insurance business and you accept the terms offered by the insurer then the insurance company will pay us a commission. Even with over 30 years experience we cannot influence the insurance underwriters medical evaluation criteria, which is adjusted from time to time. Some medical history will mean we are unable to obtain a policy for you, despite our best efforts. In these cases the cost to you is only the 25.00 euro service fee. If you take an insurer product through us then that does not have to be the end of our relationship. We can show you how to obtain authorisations for treatment and liaise between you and the health insurance company if you are having difficulties.

Please check the FAQs to find the answers to the main questions about medical insurance in Spain. You can also contact us for more information.

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