The majority of Brits in the Spanish coastal resorts are accepting the need to comply and Spain has in the last 18 months introduced an appointment system to deal with the increasing queues of applicants looking to obtain "Residencia"
In Spain your medical insurance offers you the option to contribute a small or large percentage of your medical treatment cost and by doing so your premium is reduced. The higher the part payment percentage you contribute the lower the premium becomes.
So for most British the decision is straight forward and we obtain a Policy with No Copago to support our Residency Application. The purpose of this blog is to bring awareness about some of the situations that can and do arise when making an application for residency.
Here are a few of the situations that we have dealt with experienced by existing clients.
- Application refused because you cannot produce proof of payment
- Application refused because your policy shows pre-existing conditions
- Application refused because you have a Copago shown
- Application refused because you have produced a policy that expires in a month
- Application refused because the policy you have is restricted to your Province
The items listed 1 to 5 are fairly common and we often get calls from clients from all parts of Spain stressed and confused as to what to do next.
Here are some answers
- In Spain you receive a Policy and it usually arrives with a Terms of Insurance contract which must be signed and returned, only when the contract is returned will the insurer take funds from the bank. So take with you proof of payment by way of a copy bank statement
- If you have a policy and it shows a page with pre-existing conditions some pedantic officers may say its not good enough as it doesn't match state health. We are aware of a number of clients who have re-applied and presented the Policy without the exclusions page
- Some clients have taken out a Policy not explaining to the agent its for residency and then presented the Authorities with a Policy that does show Copago. Sometimes a low Copago will not get noticed and they will get residency. Others have to make another appointment and upgrade the Insurance. We see many people in remoter inland towns apply and get accepted with Copago. However on the Costas of Spain this is rare
- If your policy expires within a month or two the Authorities may raise an eyebrow (not usually) However to be sure we as an Agency produce a certificate of contractual guarantee. It simply says to the Authorities that the policy is contractually renewable . This is also good to have if you are applying for a VISA .
- There are Medical Insurance Policies that only insure you for treatment in the Province you reside in. We have seen a steady stream of people who get refused because of this restriction and ask us to provide a policy insuring them for all of Spain. Avoid Localised Medical Insurance.
Have we acclimatised ourselves to believing a 6 to 8 week wait is acceptable?
The fact is there is nothing great about having to wait for an appointment when you are ill or are concerned about a lump or pain that you cannot explain. What is good about wanting to see a specialist and waiting 6 to 8 weeks. What is good about waiting 9 months for a Hip operation then being told the appointment is cancelled because there are no beds or that the surgeon is no longer available. Private Medical Insurance means that if you are in need of a specialist you simply ring and obtain an appointment. If you are told nothing available at a certain clinic or hospital for 6 days then ring several others and find the specialist you need sooner. Its as simple as that.
There are too many people in Spain thinking they can get away with Medical Treatment on a 90 day EHIC card or by renewing an annual travel insurance. These are options designed for first instance treatment. Under these options there is no long term cancer treatment or ongoing Diabetes care or 12 months of rehabiltation after a serious accident.
You may have been pressured into Medical Insurance because of Spain's regulations but once you have it then take full advantage. With the right policy go and get regularly screened. Book your preventative check ups and treatments at your convenience so Living the Spanish dream for you and your family really does become a happy reality.
For medical insurance in Spain it is often a good idea to go through an Agency who will be there to assist you with ongoing support . Most insurers have Call Centres that we all find frustrating so often better to call a good agent and speak with them first.
Also be aware that Medical Insurance through your Spanish Bank is often not like for like as Banks tend to offer a modality policy issued by the same insurer but where cover has been restricted.
For instance a DKV Insurance Policy through a broker or agent or Direct with DKV is usually more comprehensive than the slimmed down version sold by a Spanish Bank. Your Bank will claim that its a similar policy and time and time again we speak to people who have the Bank Policy that have been refused a certain treatment or have been capped on expenditure
Please feel free to contact Tailor Made Healthcare to talk through your situation. We assist 100's of Expats from all areas of Spain every month and our support to our Policy holders continues beyond the point of sale.
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Article Written by
Tailor Made Healthcare Solutions Spain
tel. 0034 956 777 905