health care

Hi everyone!  My husband and I will be arriving in Barcelona in 4.5 weeks and we're super excited.  We currently have travel insurance to cover any medical emergencies, but we've been actively trying to get more comprehensive health insurance.  Unfortunately, we have been denied coverage by every company we have applied with.  My question is would we still be able to see doctors and get prescriptions filled as long as we cover the out of pocket costs up front?  I know this is an option in the U.S., but wasn't sure if we could in Spain.  Thanks for any advice!


You should be able to get coverage once you are in Spain.   You can pay out of pocket for prescriptions and we have found they are reasonably priced in Spain, unlike the USA.  Actually we find over the counter stuff like aspirin, ibuprofen etc expensive.

I'm curious to know why you think we will be able to get coverage once we're in Spain?  We've already been turned down by Sanitas as well as a few other Spanish companies.  I'm figuring no one will cover us based on our medical history.

Good to know about the over-the-counter medicines.  We'll see about stocking up on them before we head over.


Oh, well then maybe not.  We didn't have to provide any previous medical with our insurance for DKV.  Maybe we just lucked out.

I found this comment in another chat thread here.  perhaps it will help you? … 62#3306480

13 posts Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

This issue annoys me since it appears to be a well kept secret. Although I am not against private health insurance, there is a lot of money involved in premiums and commissions paid to banks, furniture stores etc to promote specific insurance brands, when a cheaper and probably more appropriate alternative is available from the Spanish NHS, which is superior in many respects. Have a look at this:

Purchasing public health insurance
If you are not covered for state-run healthcare through any other means, the Spanish regional health authorities offer a special pay-in scheme (convenio especial). This is a public health insurance scheme available nation-wide where you pay a monthly fee to access state-run healthcare. The scheme is managed by each autonomous region.
Policy holders pay on an individual basis for access to public healthcare, regardless of pre-existing conditions, anywhere in Spain. Children do not have to join the Convenio Especial as they are protected under Spanish law and can access state healthcare for free.
The basic monthly fee is 60€ for the under 65s and 157€ for those aged 65 and above. However, prescriptions are not subsidised at this rate so you would pay 100% of prescription costs. This form of cover doesn’t give holders the right to an EHIC at this time, so if you wish to travel, you will need to take out private travel insurance. The scheme is now available in:
    •    Andalucía (No link available yet.Please enquire directly at your nearest local health centre).
    •    Baleares (No link available yet. Please enquire directly at the following Points of contact in Baleares (PDF, 181KB, 1 page) .
    •    Canarias
    •    Castilla y León
    •    Galicia
    •    Madrid
    •    Murcia
    •    Valencia
Updates for the other regions will be provided as and when the schemes are launched.

Anyway, I hope this helps.

Whilst this is an option, it does mean that you will have had to been a registered resident in Spain for at least one year.

In order to apply, you must have been registered at the local Town Hall on the ‘padrón’ (or Certificado de Empadronamiento) in Spain for at least 1 year and you must not be in receipt of any healthcare cover from the UK. More information can be found on this link.

Kind regards,

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