Health insurance for foreigners - Fatima Coeg


Health insurance for foreigners

 In - order to access Public Health, you must be contributing to Social Security. Depending on the employment situation, Immigration may oblige some users to provide the possession of a private health insurance that provides health coverage equivalent to those of the National Health System

Spain is one of the countries that has received the most immigrants in the last 20 years. In 1998 only 1.6% of those registered were foreigners, however, today the figure reaches 10%, which translates into 4.5 million people. Of these, Moroccans continue to be the most numerous (755,459), followed by Romanians (717,462) and English (256,501), according to data provided by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

When these immigrants arrive in Spain and begin to carry out the necessary bureaucratic procedures to settle in the country, one of the first issues they have to deal with is Health. Although in principle it seems simple, the process can be complicated in those cases in which Immigration forces the user to provide the possession of a private health insurance that provides health coverage equivalent to those of the National Health System. Well, at this point we will have to follow some concrete steps and be clear about the possible scenarios depending on whether they are students, workers, citizens of the European Union (EU), etc.

Who is entitled to free healthcare in Spain?

As regulated by Royal Decree 1192/2012, of August 3, all those who meet the following requirements hold the status of insured :

Being an employed or self-employed worker , affiliated with Social Security and in a situation of registration or assimilated to registration.

Hold the status of pensioner of the Social Security system .

Be a recipient of any other periodic Social Security benefit, such as unemployment benefit and subsidy or others of a similar nature.

Having exhausted the unemployment benefit or subsidy or other benefits of a similar nature and being unemployed, not proving the condition of insured by any other title.

Likewise, the following are beneficiaries of an insured:

The spouse of the insured person or who lives with her in an emotional relationship analogous to the conjugal one, constituting a de facto couple .

The ex-spouse, or judicially separated ex-partner, who, in either of the two cases, is receiving a compensatory pension from the insured.

Being a descendant of the insured person and under 26 years of age or, in case of being over that age, having a recognized disability equal to or greater than 65%.

Who is required to provide private health insurance?

The employment situation has a lot of weight in the decision of the administrations on whether or not to grant a citizen access to Public Health since to be able to access it, he must be contributing to Social Security. Although depending on the situation of each person this can change.


When a non-EU foreign student arrives in Spain, they must have health insurance that includes Healthcare coverage. Currently, Spanish universities do not admit students if they have not previously contracted one of these policies.

Non-profit Residence Permit Applicants

When an immigrant requests the Non-Profit Residence Permit, that is, the authorization necessary to be able to carry out work activities in Spain, one of the requirements to be able to do so is to have a public or private health insurance  arranged with an insurance entity authorized to operate in Spain.

In addition to this, you will also have to comply with other obligations such as, for example, not being found irregularly in Spanish territory, lacking a criminal record, having the necessary financial means to cover the expenses of stay and return  and, where appropriate, the of their relatives.

European Union Citizen Registration Certificate

The EU Schengen agreement says that people residing in some of the member states are practically exempt from carrying out procedures that legalize their stay in Spain, as long as it does not exceed 90 days. However, if the individual is going to be in Spanish territory for a period of time greater than three months and does not have a work contract, they will have to have medical insurance.

The countries that belong to this agreement are: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Countries Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland.

Essential coverage

The Spanish authorities require all foreigners to have a specific type of medical insurance that meets a series of fundamental requirements. Thus, it must be a policy that covers the same benefits as Social Security. That is to say, it is not worth hiring the cheapest version of the medical table without hospitalization since it must be just the opposite.

The required insurance must be free of copayments and deficiencies . In addition, it has to guarantee the user access to diagnostic tests, hospitalization, medical consultations, clinical analyzes, surgical interventions and other services.

What coverage do the main insurers offer in health insurance for foreigners?

Most companies have a series of basic coverage for this type of policy, such as primary and specialist medical care, as well as repatriation or hospitalization. Even so, it is important to compare what each insurer offers, since there are also differences in the conditions and in the guarantees they include.

Medical insurance for foreign students in Spain

Foreign students who come for a period of time to study in Spain must have health insurance, either through public health , with the European Health Card, or through a private medical policy . In the event that the student does not come from any European Union country, he or she must take out a private medical policy to have health care.

What health insurance can a foreign student take out in Spain?

Like any other insured, foreign students can take out any of the health policies for foreigners offered by Spanish insurers. However, some companies have health insurance designed exclusively for students.  

Health insurance for foreigners from Sanitas

One of the insurances with the best coverage for foreign students is that of Sanitas International Students. This policy is aimed at young people between the ages of 14 and 35 who can prove their studies in Spain and who have a residence card or passport. Sanitas medical insurance stands out for having no copays or deficiencies and for the free visits of Sanitas Dental 21, as well as other extra coverage offered by the company.

Over 65 years

Foreigners over 65 years of age encounter a double problem in this case. And it is that from that age it is more complicated for Spanish insurers to allow them to contract a medical product. However, it is not an impossible task since some companies have policies for people over 60 years old .

It is an insurance specially designed for those who have entered the third age and cannot find a company willing to insure them. The main characteristic of these products is the  amount of the premium , which is much higher than that of other insurances.

Finding the Right Health Insurance

As we have seen, in the case of health insurance for foreigners, not just anyone works, but they must have very complete policies. Therefore, when it comes time to look for the right product, which has the same guarantees as Social Security and is not too expensive, we must not forget that the easiest way to do it is to use the Rastreator health insurance comparer .com . In a very fast way, the user will obtain the results of the insurers that have the policy, as well as the coverage and prices.

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