Are you planning to relocate to Spain? You are not alone – in fact, Spain is ranked # 1 in the world for the number of immigrants. In 2008, Spain had an influx immigration population of 800,000 – this accounted for 11.4% of the population. As you become one of the many individuals relocating to Spain, one of the most important considerations is proper health and medical insurance as an expatriate in Spain.
The healthcare system in Spain is universal and is called Instituto Nacional de la Salud (or in English, National Health Institution). In order to be eligible for the national healthcare system, you will need a social security number. The easiest way to do this is to either be employed or self-employed. Another way to be covered under the health and medical system is if your home country has a reciprocity agreement that will allow you to be insured under the universal system. Tourists from the European Union can receive free treatment up to three months, however, if you need additional coverage beyond this period you will need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). For non-residents and tourists from other countries, while you can never be denied treatment you should be prepared to pay for any costs.
Because of this, you will want to secure a health insurance policy that will cover you as an expatriate in Spain. In many cases, Spanish citizens have a private health insurance policy even though they can seek treatment under the public system. Many opt to do this in order to avoid long waiting periods patients are often faced with.
Many expatriates find that the Global Medical plan is well designed as a health and medical insurance for Spain. The plan features worldwide coverage and is available in 4 levels to provide you with the type of coverage you are looking for. Securing a private insurance plan will allow you to choose your doctor or hospital – including private facilities – and can be annually renewed to give you the protection you need year after year.