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Five common questions about health insurance for a non-lucrative visa

We organise several hundred health policies every year for clients looking for appropriate cover as part of their Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa Application. Here are five common questions about health insurance for a non-lucrative visa.

If I have pre-existing medical conditions will my health insurance be accepted for a Spanish non-lucrative visa?

Firstly, not all health insurance policies in Spain meet the criteria for acceptance as part of a Spanish non-lucrative visa application. It is important to know what your health policy covers. That also goes for those health policies that meet the visa criteria. Read the general terms and conditions. These will detail the cover and any standard exclusions within the policy. Furthermore, make sure you understand any additional exclusions that the insurer wants to include in your particular policy.

A health insurance company will review your health questionnaire when you apply for the insurance policy. They will use this to decide whether it is necessary to include an exclusion not in the general terms and conditions because of something in your medical history. This is quite common, especially as we get older. You need to be aware of the implications of any exclusions. If you suffer a medical condition not covered by the policy, you organise and pay for the treatment out of your pocket. However, it does not mean your health insurance will be refused when presented with your visa application. You normally only have to provide a certificate from the health insurance company, which summarises the coverage and proof of payment.  

It is not possible to give a cast iron guarantee that a particular Official in a distinct Spanish Consulate will not ask for more documentation in respect of health insurance although it has not happened to any of our clients over the years and we help source hundreds of health insurance policies for Spanish non-lucrative visas every year.

If I have pre-existing medical conditions, will I be able to get repeat prescriptions?

If you declared your pre-existing conditions and any medication you are taking on the insurance company’s health questionnaire, the insurance company is aware of them. They use that information to decide if they issue a health policy to you. Spanish Health Policies exclude all pre-existing conditions. There is no cover for treatment of a pre-existing condition. However, should you need a repeat prescription to obtain a medicine you can organise an appointment with a doctor approved by the health insurance provider to get the prescription. The policy covers the consultation. The cost of the prescription medicine is always the responsibility of the client. This is the same for medicine related to pre-existing conditions, as well as for new medical conditions.

Does Private Health Insurance in Spain cover the same as the social security system?

No, it does not. Private health insurance companies do provide an extensive range of services but it is not the same as inclusion in the State System. There are many benefits to private health insurance including shorter waiting times, private rooms, and modern procedures, as a few examples. However, the State System covers pre-existing conditions, participation in dangerous sports, and events caused by war invasion, hostilities, terrorism and uprisings. Some private health insurance may not cover these. Despite the previous sentence, the policies are accepted as part of a non-lucrative visa application.

So all health insurance policies that meet the visa criteria have the same level of coverage, right?

The Spanish Authorities insist Spanish health policies meet a certain level of cover for acceptance but the policies are not all the same. It is important to know what is and what is not included. Some features that may or may not be are, an element of dental cover, road traffic accidents (some have you rely on the car insurance policy), a limited number of days covered in an Intensive Care Unit, gynaecological checks, mammograms or prostate checks, and repatriation cover. These are just a few examples. Read the terms and conditions of the policy you are buying.

Is dental cover included?

Your health policy in Spain does not need to include dental coverage to meet the non-lucrative visa criteria. Some Spanish health policies have dental cover included as standard. Others have it as an optional add-on for an additional premium. If dental coverage is included or you purchase it as an add-on, the level of coverage provided will vary from provider to provider. Some offer a range of dental products at different prices. Dental cover is not expensive and you can always purchase it separately if desired. The annual premium includes coverage for some treatments whilst many will have a deductible or excess to pay.