The alternative to private health insurance in Spain

The alternative to private health insurance in Spain Credit: Pixabay

At my law firm I act for a number of clients seeking residency here in Spain, usually when they are buying a property in Spain. To have residency, you need a visa if you are not an EU citizen. Usually, this is the non-lucrative visa sometimes abbreviated to the NLV. To obtain any visa or residency as an EU citizen in Spain you also need private health insurance.

Suppose you been a Resident in Spain for more than 1 year you may be entitled to apply for “Convenio Especial” which translates as special agreement. In that case, it is an agreement that you can have with the Spanish health system if you are already legally resident in Spain, and you are not covered by the health system of your own country. (E.g if you are a UK pensioner you may be covered under the S1 agreement) You can pay the Spanish health system a fee and be covered by the health system here.

This applies to anyone in the world, and it allows them to have access to the health system with almost the same service as a Spanish citizen in your particular region, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, physiotherapy and emergency transfers are covered. You have to pay for your prescriptions in full at the Chemists, orthopaedics & prosthetics and non-emergency transport. If you visit another region on a temporary basis, you are also covered.

What are the requirements?

You need to be a legal resident for a year before making the application, to be registered on the padron in your town hall in the same region and to not have any other public health coverage. So if you are not resident here in Spain you will need to have private health care insurance for at least the first year of your residency.

The health “Convenio Especial” cost is around 60 euros a month for people under 65 and 157 euros a month for those over 65 (2022 prices). Of course, check your private health insurance as it may be cheaper. Ask ways take advice from a Spanish lawyer like myself and always get their bar registration number.

Marisa Moreno Castillo senior lawyer at Just Law Solicitors and Consul for Denmark.

Website: www.justlawsolicitors.com

Email: [email protected]icitors.com

Malaga – Fuengirola – Marbella & online.


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