Health insurance in Spain

In Spain, healthcare is free for citizens and residents affiliated to the country's social security system. However, it is necessary to follow a specific care pathway within the public health sector. Outside the public sector, the insured bears the cost of the medical expenses, unless they have private health insurance.

Get a quote according to the length of your stay:

Health insurance for expats in Spain

The health insurance system in Spain
 

Spanish health insurance is managed by the Sistema Nacional de Salud (SNS). Residents (and their dependants) can join the system if they:

  • work in Spain as either an employee or self-employed;
  • register as jobseekers with the Instituto Nacional de Empleo (National Employment Institute);
  • are retirees receiving pensions from a Spanish organisation.

Registration at a Social Security General Treasury office is requested after three months in the country.

Under this public coverage, healthcare is totally free and no advance payment is required, as long as the care is provided within the public system and follows a specific care pathway. The Spanish health system assigns each insured person a general practitioner and a health centre of reference. These local health centres, known as “centro de salud”, generally bring together GPs, specialists, and nurses. If needed, the GP can refer the patient to their referral hospital (depending on where the patient lives) or to a specialised hospital; in this case, hospitalisation is also fully covered.

How to choose health insurance in Spain: local or international?
 

Patients wishing to seek treatment in the private sector have to pay the full cost of their healthcare, unless they have private health insurance that covers all or part of the costs. 
 
In addition, dental care is rarely covered by public health insurance, and optical aids are only partially covered. It is therefore common to opt for supplementary insurance which covers at least these types of expenses.

Local insurance companies usually cover treatment in a number of affiliated hospitals and health facilities. International health insurance can, however, provide access to a wider range of care.
 
> Good to know: Having health insurance is required to obtain Spanish residency for foreign citizens who are not (yet) working in the country.

The cost of healthcare in Spain: some examples in the private sector

Liste exemple remboursements

SPECIALIST CONSULTATION

A visit to a specialist will cost you about €100

APRIL International up to 100 €*

Out-of-pocket expenses 0€**

DENTAL SCALING

A scaling at the dentist will cost an average of €250

APRIL International up to 250 €*

Out-of-pocket expenses 0€**

HOSPITALISATION - MATERNITY

A natural deliverywithout complications will cost €3,000

APRIL International up to 3000 €*

Out-of-pocket expenses 0€**

Disclaimer

Reasonable procedure costs, APRIL International Care 01/2022

 

* Example of reimbursement with MyHealth International - Comfort

** Example of the amount to be paid by the insured after reimbursement

Care in Spain

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Care in Spain
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Choosing hospitals
 

If you want your hospitalisation to be covered by the Social Security system, you will not be able to choose the establishment. The health centre and hospital of reference covered by the local health insurance depends on where you live.

In general, the Spanish health system conforms to very high standards, both in the public and private sectors. It is, however, more difficult to find single rooms in the public sector, which sometimes has relatively long waiting times for specialist consultations or scheduled treatment. 

To find a hospital, public or private, you can consult the Spanish Ministry of Health website, which lists them by location and specifies their size and specialities.

Titre phone establishment list
Health facilities

Phone establishment list

Titre phone display
Emergency numbers in Spain

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General emergencies
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Fire department
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Police
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A broad care network in Europe

APRIL International has an extensive network of hospitals, clinics, and healthcare providers where you can benefit from direct billing services and high quality care in Europe and across the world.
 
To find your nearest health professional or partner establishment in just a few clicks, go to your Easy Claim application.

 

Services group
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Title
FLEXIBLE COVERAGE
Description
Reimbursement of health expenses from the first euro/dollar, including in private hospitals
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Title
TRAVEL WITH PEACE OF MIND
Description
Coverage in Spain, or even in other countries
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Title
OPTICAL & DENTAL
Description
Reimbursement of optical and dental care
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Title
UNLIMITED TELEMEDICINE SERVICES
Description
A free medical telemedicine service available 24/7 anywhere in the world
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Title
MEDICAL TRANSPORT
Description
Repatriation assistance included in your benefits
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Title
NO ADVANCE PAYMENT
Description
In the event of hospitalisation, you pay nothing out of pocket

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