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Healthcare in Spain.

For those of us resident in Spain there are two possibilities when it come to health provision, Public & Private Healthcare. 

Accessing the excellent public healthcare system in Spain can be achieved in one of a number of ways;

  • As a permanent resident.

  • By virtue of your employment or self employment (autónomo) in Spain.

  • Voluntary payments into the "convenio especiale" scheme, this isn't available to everyone and there are some conditions. The monthly cost is 60€ for those aged under 65 and 157€ for those 65 and above.

  • Registering an S1 form with the social security office in Spain. S1 is available to individuals in receipt of the state pension, other exportable benefits and frontier (or cross border) workers.

If you are unable to access the public healthcare system, then private healthcare is a surprisingly affordable option. It is also very often the case that private insurance is cheaper than paying into the Convenio Especiale scheme.


13.5% of Spanish residents opt to have private insurance even though they have access to the public system.

Public Healthcare 

Shortly after my arrival in Spain I had reason to visit my doctor (it was a same day appointment as all visits generally were), it was immediately apparent I had a hernia (umbilical), I was seen by a consultant the next day and within 3 days I'd been operated on. 

So there are significant benefits to having private health care, even if you have access to public healthcare.

However there  are many people that don't have access to public healthcare, one group that immediately springs to mind are those people from 3rd countries looking to obtain a VISA and residency in Spain.



Since Brexit the vast majority of UK passport holders wanting to move to Spain require a VISA of one description or another. One of the conditions laid out when applying for a VISA is that the applicant is required to have private medical insurance for 1 year AND that the insurance should be on the same terms (or better) as public healthcare.

In summary the insurance needs to cover all eventualities, no exclusions, no waiting times (for certain treatments), no co-payments and it must be  paid in full for the whole year.

Who Do GOSPAIN Recommend?

We have over the the last two years recommended various providers amongst them ASSSA, DKV and MAPRFE. All that their good points and and dare I say it even their bad points.

HOWEVER post 31 December we recommend ASSSA

and there is a very good reason for this ONLY company that we know of that that DOES NOT have waiting times for treatments.

All other providers have a waiting period of between 3 and 12 months on certain treatments, and if you are applying for a VISA having a policy that does not include waiting times could be the difference between being accepted or not.

Even if you are not applying for a VISA having no waiting times could potentially be crucial, cancer treatments always come with a waiting period of between  3 and 12 months. 

Waiting times aren't the only reason that we are recommending them. ASSSA are contractually obliged not to cancel your policy (it does seem odd but plenty of providers can and do cancel policies) if you become too old or expensive, ASSSA promises not to increase your premiums due to age, they give you access to English speaking doctors, their customer service is in English and they will even book appointments for you if necessary.

The cheapest isn't always the best and taking out the right Private Health Insurance is important not only for VISA purposes but also for peace of mind.


If you need a quote a copy of ASSSA's brochures please do not hesitate to contact me, you can do so by completing the enquiry form <HERE> or by emailing us

Health Insurance And VISAS  

Private Healthcare

Private healthcare in Spain is very affordable, in my case I pay 55€ a month, that gives me access to a doctor of my choice, I can get any number of second opinions and reduced waiting times.