What is basic health cover?
Private health insurance comes in variety of shapes and sizes, to ensure it can be used by anyone and everyone. Depending on the type of coverage you need, you can find something that fits your budget.
Types of health insurance based on coverage:
- Fully comprehensive insurance: This covers hospitalization, surgery and usually covers you for medical treatment abroad. This also has all the basic coverages and sometimes has the option of adding a reimbursement coverage to cover visits to medical facilities or doctors outside the contracted doctors list in Spain and abroad. This is the most expensive type of cover and is also the cover required by Extranjeria for residency/TIE applications as it gives you the same level of coverage as the public health service, but with private facilities and doctors. Added extras onto this type of coverage include dental, reimbursement cover, opticians and digital consults.
- Fully comprehensive cover with co-payments: This type of policy has all the previous covers, but with additional payments. Monthly/yearly premiums will be much lower, but some of the covers require a set excess payment when used. The co-payment costs and requirements vary between companies, so this would be something you would need to look at closely when choosing which company to take insurance out with.
- Basic cover insurance: This is exactly what it says on the tin. It covers basic medical needs, such as GP appointments, blood tests and in most cases, dental as well. This cover is usually used alongside a SIP card or S1, whether you are working in Spain or retired, so you still have access to hospitals and surgery, but with this additional cover, you can access private GPs.
What are the benefits of using basic health cover alongside public health care services?
The basic cover has its benefits not only in the price, but also in the amount of coverage you get. Most basic covers include GP, geriatric consultant, other specialities that vary between companies, physiotherapy and rehabilitation and blood tests. Some will also include dental and discounted pharmacy services.
Additionally, because it is a private cover, you will have access to private doctors. This also means that you have access to English speaking doctors, English speaking dentists and English speaking services for the other additional covers a policy may provide. Having the advantage of being able to speak with a doctor in your language is very important.
Who can take out basic health insurance?
Anyone can take out basic health insurance, even those with previous health conditions. Some policies are designed to suit older people, with more specific coverages and benefits for that age group, such as, personal support for pets or home in case you are hospitalised. Basic health cover usually has higher age limits as well, so it is ideal for those using their S1 here in Spain, as you would get the hospital care through the S1 and the private care for GP in English.
How does the process work?
Unlike fully comprehensive health insurance, this does not normally require a health questionnaire. Even if there is a health questionnaire involved, it is not dependant on your past or currant health whether you are eligible for the insurance or not. In nearly all companies, an application form is required, either digitally or written, with your name(s), DOB, address, contact details and bank details. It usually takes around 2-3 days for the company to set it up and start direct debit payments. Once it is in place, you will get a health insurance card to be used whenever you visit a facility within the company’s doctors list, which can be found online. Every time you go, you must present the health card and the company will take care of the rest.
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