Health insurance - pre-existing conditions

Hi everyone!

My husband and I just had our visas approved and will be moving to Spain on Sept. 17.  We currently have travel insurance to satisfy our visa requirements, but we would like to find more comprehensive coverage.  Can anyone recommend insurance companies that will cover someone with pre-existing conditions?  We've already applied to Sanitas and Caser and were turned down by both.  Also, if we cannot find coverage, does anyone know how much it costs for doctor visits and prescriptions if you don't have health insurance?



Another option would be to exclude preexisting conditions from your policy.
No company will take you on if they know they'll have to pay out immediately, that or the premiums will kill you.

Wouldn't not mentioning potential pre-existing conditions be considered having provided incomplete information (misrepresentation, at best or lying by omission at worst) invalidate the contract if the issues were to come to light after?


Mczwz :

Wouldn't not mentioning potential pre-existing conditions be considered having provided incomplete information (misrepresentation, at best or lying by omission at worst) invalidate the contract if the issues were to come to light after?


It would be a fraud, so can't be done.
I'm not suggesting that, I'm suggesting excluding them from the policy.

Many companies will accept medical insurance policies to cover everything else, but exclude preexisting or related conditions from that cover.

Try a few.

Oh, I am well aware of how pre-existing conditions work, having been injured at 25 years of age, resulting in a handicap . . .!

I have had no difficulty, thank the Good Lord I have never been denied coverage on a job, only reduced coverage for the first 1-2 years (depending on the policy) for issues directly related to those pre-existing conditions.

Expensive, hard to cover, but there may be other options, I believe.


Can't think of any. I get free health care via Valencia and via the uk gov.  I have 3 prolapsed discs.   There would be no way an insurance co would cover me but Valencia health care would.

My partner has had to take out private health insurance and as a policeman was injured in the miners strike. There would be no way an insurance co would cover him for anything to do with his injuries.  In spain grand parents usually pay health and dental care for their grandchildren.

Once this brexit comes into action what will happen to expats?  Rahoy isn't bothered about expats but don't think we are talking to a uk resident. Maybe an American if you have had to get a visa.

To me these are troubling times both in spain the USA and uk.

I know it's been awhile but did you get coverage for your pre-existing conditions?  If so, can you offer any insights into how you obtained coverage.

Thank you,


We're still using travel insurance until we find something else. Insurance is not as easy as I'd hoped.

Are you or will you become eligible for the convenio especial?  Does your travel insurance cover pre-existing?  If so, who is it from?   I ask because my spouse has type 1 diabetes.  I understand the requirement for a visa is proof of coverage that includes pre existing.  Health insurance seems to be our biggest issue with moving.


I'm not sure if the convenio especial is available in Barcelona. Our travel insurance only covers health issues that result from an accident incurred while traveling abroad. For our visas, it only stated that we needed to have minimum coverage of $50,000 with no co-pay.

Mike, just wondered whereabouts you are in Spain but my partner and I are not married although we have been together for 20 odd years

When  we came here permanently he went down to the valencian health offices and there was a curt no he couldn't get a sip this is although we know one or two couples not married who had managed to one.  So we lay the 25O € a month.

As you probably know moving to Spain means you must register on EU Citizens Register, or as a non EU citizens must apply for Residencia. 

Travel insurance is not sufficient for either application.

Residencia conditions can be complex.

EU citizens  need to prove they have work or the offer of work, if not, then income of at least 366.90 pm for a single person or 623.73 pm for a couple.

EU and non EU citizens  must also have 100% medical cover so no limitations. That might be private cover or for UK citizens cover provided by DWP with a SIP form.  In that case the DWP pays around £3,000 pa for each person so covered. (Thus not free  the UK tax payer pays)

Just in passing: ( if Brexit means DWP will no longer cover UK citizens)  those who were legally living in Spain on 24th April 2007, who have no other medical cover and less than 100,000 euros pa income are entitled to automatic free medical cover by the Spanish health system,  That is not reliant on one’s nationality. I have an American friend who that cover,

Johncar - I'm unsure of most of the information in your post, but I do know that the travel insurance we purchased was sufficient for our non-lucrative visa.  Else, they wouldn't have approved our visa.  I suggest to anyone wanting to move to Spain to contact the embassy responsible for their state.  We used the Miami embassy and had them on speed dial to answer all of the questions we had, including health insurance.

Cooley  I did say,    "As you probably know moving to Spain means you must,  as a non EU citizens apply for Residencia."  You cannot just expect to move to Spain as a right. That right applies only to EU nationals.

The insurance you have is for a holiday visit, as you said   "travel insurance." 

What I said is that such travel insurance would not apply if you are MOVING to Spain, and in your case,  applying for RESIDENCIA status.

Johncar, I'm not here to argue with anyone, but Spain is allowing us to live here (we have our NIEs and everything) using the travel insurance.  I'll keep you posted when we renew our visas next month using the same insurance.

Have a great day!

An NIE does not confer any benefits of residence.

It is a tax ID number only and one does not need any proof of income nor health insurance cover.  The only requiremeny is to prove your ID with your passport..

If you had been granted residence status here, as opposed to being allowed to stay for the period permited by your visitors visa,  you would have been issued with a Residencia Card.  You do not say you have that permit, which as I said is altogether different from an NIE (tax ID number).

My son who lives in UK has just obtained an NIE as he wants to open a bank acount here.

Why do I post as I do ?    Answer:  I have been working here in Spain with the National Police for 20 years assisting people making applications for NIE, residencia etc.

Sadly, as I mentioned having our NIE I undervalued its significance.  Our NIE card states Permiso de Residencia.  Therefore, we do have our residency cards.  I believe that the insurance requirement is so that we do not burden the Spanish system by not having any.  By having travel insurance, it covers us for any accident that occurs while we are living here (as we are traveling outside of the United States).

Miket2937, I hope you and your spouse are able to find insurance coverage to allow you to move to Spain.  It has been a great experience for us so far and we look forward to many more years of living here.

There is confusion here.

You first said you had NIE,  now you say you have residencia.

To obtain residencia one must have full medical cover, not travel insurance.

At the National Police station where I work, I am frequently called to the documentation office to explain in English that full medical cover is required.  If you did get Residence status without that cover the person who dealt  with you at the documentation office made an error.  I would keep quiet about it in case they find out.

We may be discussing two separate issues.  The original topic was about needing insurance coverage for a non-lucrative visa which allows for residency, but only for a year.  Maybe you are referring to permanent residency which I am not privy to the requirements of.

Don't know, if you got an answer on this, but I believe that all autonomous regions are running the medical program for legal residents called "convenio especial", which is basically allowing you to use Spanish National HealthSystem for a fee (60 EUR per person under 65, 150+ EUR for 65+).
No pre-existing conditions. One catch - you need to live in Spain legaly for 12 months before applying.


We were just approved for health insurance through DKV!  It was a lengthy application to list all of our pre-existing conditions, but they did approve us.  You should look into the company if you haven't already.  Good luck.


Hi, after having been diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the liver some months ago, Saga Whom I had been with for many years, refused to renew my 'multi-trip' annual insurance. I finally found 'Aviva' who were able to offer the same sort of a policy - but at a cost. Age concern were of no help (I am now 70)



Hello randomgreg. I thought the 'convention especial ' was only in Melilla and Cuts.  Good to know is not.  Can you share where you found the information regarding convenio especial? I am in Spain on a non-lucrative visa,  retired,  and coming up to the 12 month renewal.  I am now using insurance from United Health care in USA for travelers that covers one year at a time and does cover preexisting conditions under control.  However is close to 3,000$ a year. 


I have, probably, a very unique situation and question.  I am from the United States and have moved to Spain recently.  I was assured I could receive insurance here since I am also a Spanish citizen by virtue of my mother.  I have both a passport and a DNI card but I have never applied for Spanish Social Security and have always used insurance thru U.S. companies.  I am finding that it is impossible to obtain private insurance for myself and my spouse in Spain due to pre-existing clauses (we are both (controlled) type-2 diabetes with medication (non-insulin)). I am aware that I can get Spanish health coverage but because our marriage was never recognized by Spain when it occurred and because this is the first year my spouse has lived in Spain, he can not gain Spanish citizenship for 1 year.  Does anyone know how we can obtain private insurance with pre-existing conditions (or public health insurance for my spouse)?  I have been running in circles with this issue for weeks with no luck.  Both of us are otherwise very healthy, but that type-2 diabetes diagnosis is wrecking havoc. Thanks for any help that any one can provide.

Can you tell me what kind of travel insurance is sufficient for a visa??how much is it? My husband and I are also trying to find one but so far we only got a quote of 3000€/year each, yikes!!anybody knows??Inge

I was told my insurance had to cover everything the 'seguridad social' covers. It does not have to cover medications. It must cover doctors, tests and hospitals. I used insurance from United Healthcare in USA and that was sufficient. It covered preexisting as long as was under control for six months prior to the exacerbation. I paid 2800USD.

Josebig :

I was told my insurance had to cover everything the 'seguridad social' covers..

Jose      That is the requirement when one is appplying for resident status.

Inge Kol,

As Americans, we purchased Patriot Travel Medical Insurance thru the agency my employer uses.  It cost $1,500 per year (2 year limit) for both of us with a maximum coverage of $50,000 (the minimum coverage required for visa) and no deductible (also a visa requirement).  As I'm sure you've discovered in your research, travel insurance only covers accidents that happen while away from home, so this did not cover us for any routine visits or medications.  Hope this helps.


Thank you John. In found the doc after my post and have an appointment to subscribe to it. Thank you for the help.

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