Guide to the health insurance options in Spain

Guide to the health insurance options in Spain

2021-09-15 18:42:29

As shown in the 2019 healthiest country index published by Bloomberg, Spain was ranked as the healthiest country in the world. Spain scored 92.8 out of 100 due to outstanding statistic data got on the eating habits, life expectancy, smoking and obesity rates, environmental factors as well as the health care system. According to a report published by World Economic Forum, Spanish healthcare system is leading the world´s ranking.


As an expat in Spain, it’s possible to choose from public health insurance, private insurance under certain conditions. In this article, we will explain the health insurance system in Spain and the options for expats.


1. I need to have medical insurance as an expat?


In general, the answer is yes. Whether it’s public or private insurance, you need to have medical insurance. Expats usually come to Spain using visas which assume that they already have insurance coverage:


  • If you travel to Spain as a tourist and hold a tourist visa valid for less than 90 days, you need to have travel insurance to apply for the visa.
  • If you want to apply for a long-term visa such as a student visa, non-lucrative visa, or investment visa, you need a fully covered medical insurance to apply for the visa. If you need to renew your residence, you are also required to renew your medical insurance that can cover your renewed stay.
  • If you are working in Spain for a company or as a self-employed person, and are making contributions to social security, then you can enjoy public insurance.
  • Partners or dependent children of the visa holders mentioned also need to have valid health insurance.


2. Who is covered by public insurance?


In general, public insurance covers the following expats:


  • Legally employed and self-employed expat workers and business owners in Spain: Since they make contributions to the Spanish social security, they are entitled to public health insurance.
  • Spouses and children of the legal workers mentioned above: If the spouse and children also reside in Spain, they are entitled to public medical insurance.
  • EU/EEA/Swiss nationals: Due to multilateral agreements, they can receive Spanish public insurance during their stay in Spain after applying for their European health insurance card.
  • Some non-EU nationals: Some non-EU countries also have bilateral agreements with Spain. And their nationals can have basic or limited access to Spanish public healthcare. You need to check with your consulate about it.


If you don’t fulfill the requirements above, then you need to apply for private medical insurance. Otherwise, you might not only need to pay for the high treatment costs but also have problems applying for visas or renewing residence.



3. The advantages of getting private insurance in Spain


Although Spanish people and working expats are entitled to the public health insurance system, some residents opt for private insurance. Also, private medical insurance is one of the most important bonuses considered by employees working in Spain. The main advantages of Spanish private insurance are the following:


  • Private insurance can help patients avoid the lengthy waiting time often found in the state system. If you need to see the doctor regularly, then private insurance might be of great importance for you.
  • Private insurance can offer more personalized and detailed treatments and physical examinations.
  • Private insurance has a better connection with more private clinics and hospitals, which often implement better technologies and advanced treatments.
  • You can generally encounter more English-speaking doctors in private clinics.
  • Private insurance usually covers more items than public insurance does and acts more rapidly than public insurance.
  • When faced with a pandemic or sanitary crisis, private insurance has more resources and to react rapidly and maintain the normal consolations.


 4. Distinctions of Adeslas/Innoinsure


As the official website of the international office of Adeslas, Innoinsure secures you all the benefits of Adeslas together with English-speaking services.


  • Our expat insurance, also called visa insurance, fulfills all the requirements of visa and NIE/TIE application
  • We operate online with quick and automatic purchasing processes.
  • We offer timely customer support with several languages available. Especially, we have an English-speaking team that also understands perfectly Spanish, aiming to assist you with any doubts and concerns regarding the insurance
  • Adeslas is the No.1 insurance in Spain. Becoming our client, you will enjoy the largest healthcare network nationwide with over 43000 doctors and 1200 medical centers.
  • Our service is trusted and loved by customers, with 27 million+ consultations realized in 2019.
  • We offer 24-hour emergency room support and phone consultation support.




European Health Insurance Card. (2021). Retrieved 16 September 2021, from 


Our contents will be updated according to the most recent legislation. Last update: 15/09/2021

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