Your Step by Step guide to health insurance

choosing health insurance

Congratulations! You’re now living in a country that offers some of the best medical services in the world.

In addition to enjoying the breathtaking sights and lovely culture, you have access to healthcare any expat would dream of.

But there’s one hitch: you’ve no idea how to obtain it.

Choosing your health insurance in Spain is tricky alone; that’s why we’ve created an easy guide that walks expats through choosing health insurance in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

Why Private Insurance Is Best

Spanish healthcare is different than the plans offered in many other countries. First of all, Spain offers universal coverage.

But universal healthcare comes with many issues. The most notable problem is long wait times.

The average wait for a total hip replacement, for instance, is 86 days. Simply going for a doctor’s visit may mean weeks of waiting due to the high number of patients per doctors in the country.

In addition to long waiting times, universal coverage doesn’t pay for the entire costs of prescriptions. That means it isn’t helpful for individuals suffering from chronic illnesses or ongoing issues.

Finally, individuals who require English-speaking doctors may find it difficult to explain issues through the nation’s universal system because most doctors speak Spanish.

Luckily, there is an easy answer to these problems: private health insurance.

Is Private Insurance Right for Me?

Due to consistent issues associated with universal healthcare, more Spanish citizens are turning to private healthcare.

Consider private health insurance if:

  • You suffer from a chronic illness or other serious illness
  • You prefer faster service
  • You prefer doctors with stronger English-speaking skills
  • You require surgery or frequent care
  • You require the assistance of specialists
  • You’d like a plan anyone can qualify for

Private companies offer specialized services to fit your needs, shorter waits and quicker results.

Finding Private Healthcare

For those interested in private healthcare, it’s important to know what to look for.

As with any other country, the best way to start is to research. Look at company plans and request quotes through businesses. As you do, follow these steps.

1. Find a Reputable Company

The first order of business is to ensure you have a company who serves your interests. But you don’t have to waste hours searching for the right company.

At Turner Insurance Specialist S.L., we place your needs first. We offer a plethora of plans through Liberty Seguros and DKV Seguros, two of the best healthcare providers in Spain.

By speaking with expats and individuals in need of healthcare, we find a plan that is perfect for you.

2. Understand First and Second Categories

You may run into something called first and second category coverage.

First category coverage allows policyholders to go to any institution or doctor within the insurer’s network for treatment.

Second category coverage is more extensive; policyholders can go to any institution within the insurance’s network as well as any professional outside of the list.

Always take the time to see what (and who) is included in an insurer’s network and where services are located. Make sure institutions are located in areas where you plan to travel and reside, as well as throughout the country.

3. Local Versus International

Consider carefully whether you’d like local or international coverage.

If you don’t plan to travel far from the area, local insurance is best. These plans can be personalized but generally, individuals must choose doctors from within a specific network, similar to insurance plans in the US.

In addition, many local plans offer emergency coverage beyond the country for short durations (usually about 90 days), meaning they are suitable for most expats.

International plans offer more extensive coverage that is available globally.

Choose whichever is adequate, but keep in mind that medical coverage and travel coverage are two separate services. To help avoid confusion, we offer several plans that include free travel insurance.

4. Contemplate Deductibles and Copayments

Prices range and depend on age, gender, and pre-existing conditions. It’s important to compare prices.

Currently, 1 in 5 households utilizes private insurance. On average, the insurance amounts to €1,186 per year.

Many contracts will require deductibles and copayments, the latter of which might vary with services. Always carefully check prices to find a plan that fits you now and into the future.

5. Dental Insurance

One clear advantage of private insurance is the additional types of insurance offered through the plans, usually at discounted prices. Many of our plans, for instance, offer dental insurance—which is not covered through universal healthcare.

In Spain, dental insurance is inexpensive and oftentimes included in private plans. In fact, some of our plans offer free dental insurance to children under 14 if the plan is taken out at the same time as an adult’s policy.

Therefore, take dental work and other types of insurance into consideration when choosing a plan.

6. Pre-Existing Conditions

Like health insurance companies globally, it’s important to ask about pre-existing conditions when choosing health insurance, especially if this applies to your situation.

Unfortunately, the response within private companies varies. Some will outright exclude any services related to the condition. Others may refuse to provide coverage altogether.

Always ask to understand the particulars. Our representatives will work to find the best plan suited for you.

7. Discounted Prices

It’s less expensive to opt for contracts that are bi-annual or quarterly. Many times, it’s also cheaper to pay half the contract’s cost upfront and the rest in monthly installments.

Always ask representatives about this to save money.

8. Language

Now it’s time to ask for specifics.

To make this easier for expats, our company offers contracts in multiple languages. If you don’t speak fluent Spanish, we will provide a contract in English or in another language.

Doing so lets you double check all requirements are met and gives you the opportunity to ask any questions about the contract. You can decide with confidence.

Healthy Hearts and Happy Smiles

Spaniards live longer than many other citizens across the globe. In fact, they soon will rival Japan.

Much of the reason for the long, happy lives is Spain’s healthcare. Even so, choosing health insurance is daunting.

That’s why we specialize in helping individuals just like you find the plan they need. Are you ready to work with a reputable private insurance company? If so, use our online form to get a personalized quote.

Healthy hearts. Happy smiles. It’s the Spanish way.