Take care of your health in Spain
22 Jul 2015
When you make the exciting decision to move to Spain, there are so many things to put on your To Do list. Packing, moving the furniture and personal belongings, moving your family and pets, opening a bank account, getting a NIE number, and getting satellite TV, wifi or a phone installed are big priorities. So it’s no wonder that making sure you have adequate health care or are entitled to public health care in Spain takes a back seat.
Health tends to be something we think about when we fall ill or need a repeat prescription. By then, it could be too late to see if you are covered. Although you are moving to one of the healthiest places to live on the planet, according to the World Health Organisation, and the Mediterranean diet is also hailed as a healthy choice, you still need check-ups to see if everything is working properly. Luckily you are moving to a country with one of the best public health services in Europe. Many expats are entitled to public health care in Spain but how do you know if you are covered?
If you are registered as self-employed (autonomo) or have a contract of employment and are paying social security in Spain, you are entitled. Pensioners also get free health care as the UK will transfer medical assistance to Spain. You need to fill in a S1 form from your home country and then register with your local clinic. If you are not in the above groups, you need to check if you are covered but what happens if you cannot access the Spanish public health service?
Private insurance can be cheaper than you think – and may be more affordable than opting-in to the state system. In fact many people who are in the public system also top it up with additional private insurance. Many private doctors speak English, which is a major plus when trying to discuss medical issues. Sometimes it is tricky enough trying to explain your symptoms in your native tongue, let alone in Spanish.
Also the convenience of picking appointment times to suit you is a bonus too. We’re sure you would rather spend your time enjoying the Spanish sunshine not standing in a queue.
Do you want further information about private health insurance in Spain? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org/glexpat or fill in the contact form so that someone can contact you as soon as possible.