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Healthcare in Spain – how it works

Helping you access care when you need it

Choosing healthcare in Spain

If you’re moving to Spain to live or work, you’ll have plenty of things to sort out both before and after you move. So when it comes to your health, it’s worth knowing that you have two main options – the public health service (SNS) or private health insurance. Many expats qualify for SNS healthcare, but for those who don’t, there are also private healthcare options available.

Accessing healthcare in Spain: your options

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SNS healthcare system

If you qualify for the public health service, you’ll be able to access free treatment whenever you need it. But you will need to pay part of the cost of prescriptions and any dental treatment you have.

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State insurance

If you don’t qualify for SNS healthcare – for example if you retired early and don’t make social security contributions – you can access SNS facilities by paying monthly for basic state-provided insurance called Convenio Especial.

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Local health insurance

Many expats buy health insurance from a Spanish health insurance provider such as AXA Seguros. This allows you to choose a level of cover that’s right for you.

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Paying for treatment yourself

If you don’t have any insurance and don’t qualify for the SNS, you will have to pay for your treatment. This can get very expensive very quickly.

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International health insurance

If you travel regularly and need access to international-standard healthcare both in Spain and in other countries, an international health plan can give you cover around the world.

Is travel insurance different to international health insurance?

Travel insurance is designed to cover you for short periods of time such as holidays. It may not cover you if you don’t have a plan to go home again.

Find out more

Is international health insurance the right choice for you?

International health insurance from AXA gives you the confidence that you’re covered in Spain and around the world. So no matter how often you travel, and no matter how long you stay in each country, we’ll be there to help you whenever you need us. 

If you’re moving to live in Spain permanently and don’t plan on travelling to other countries often, international health insurance may be more cover than you need.

Wherever you are, we’re at your side

Our plans are designed with people who want international-standard healthcare cover in mind. Our global reach means you can access treatment in almost 150 countries, and if you ever need help to arrange your treatment or have questions about your claim, just give our multilingual team a call, day or night.

Getting you to emergency treatment – no matter how remote

We include evacuation and repatriation on all our international healthcare plans. So if you fall ill or are injured, and there’s no treatment available nearby, we’ll get you to the nearest medical facility – and back again once you’re feeling better.

Interested in AXA’s International Health Plan?

See if it ticks your boxes: 

  • Globally recognised cover from one of the world’s leading insurers
  • Fast access to healthcare no matter where you happen to be
  • The option of worldwide cover
  • Emergency cover all around the world
  • An experienced multi-lingual team available day and night to help you arrange care or help you with a health query.
  • We’ll evacuate you in an emergency if you can’t get the care you need locally

If that sounds like the kind of reassurance you’d like, take a look at our international health insurance plan.

Short term cover

AXA also provides a short term International Health Plan that gives you all the benefits of our International Health Plan, but for a shorter time. It’s ideal if you’re living or working internationally for less than a year.

Get a quote today

Give us a call on +44 (0)1892 596418*.

*Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm(UK time).

Calls may recorded and/or monitored for quality assurance, training and as a record of the conversation.