! Spanish News Today – Healthcare in Spain for expatriate residents: how to apply for state health coverage

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Date of publication: 09/11/2021

Resident expats who are not working or claiming a Spanish pension can still access public hospitals through the Convenio Especial

Foreigners who have resided in Spain for at least 12 months can access public health care through the “Convenio Especial de Prestación de Asistencia Sanitaria” program. Those who do not automatically have the right to state health care through their status as worker or pensioner registered with Spanish social security (‘Social Security‘) can use this option instead to have health care covered in Spain.

The program is paid monthly and provides access to public health care in Spain for those who have been empadronado for at least the last 12 consecutive months. It is not available to those who are eligible to receive health care through other means, such as through the S1 scheme of another EU country.

This “Special Agreement” costs 60 euros per month for those under 65 and 157 euros per month for those over 65. This means that in some cases it may actually be more expensive than private health insurance, but it should be noted that medical history does not affect eligibility for the plan, nor the monthly price.

Information on how to apply for the Convenio Especial is available from your nearest health center (‘center of salvation‘), or online. Each Autonomous Community in Spain manages this health care scheme regionally, so you will need to find the information on the appropriate regional website, some of which may only be available in Spanish or regional dialects:

It is also possible to get private health insurance and have access to doctors and hospital care in Spain, which can be a cheaper and more reliable solution for some foreign residents.

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