Health Insurance in Spain

Health Insurance in Spain

  • Tailor-made benefits

  • Paperless claims

  • Free telemedicine services

In Spain, healthcare is free for citizens and residents affiliated to the country's social security system. However, it is necessary to follow a specific care pathway within the public health sector. Outside the public sector, the insured bears the cost of the medical expenses, unless they have private health insurance.

Health insurance for expats in Spain

The health insurance system in Spain

Spanish health insurance is managed by the Sistema Nacional de Salud (SNS). Residents (and their dependants) can join the system if they:

  • work in Spain as either an employee or self-employed;

  • register as jobseekers with the Instituto Nacional de Empleo (National Employment Institute);

  • are retirees receiving pensions from a Spanish organisation.

Registration at a Social Security General Treasury office is requested after three months in the country.

Under this public coverage, healthcare is totally free and no advance payment is required, as long as the care is provided within the public system and follows a specific care pathway. The Spanish health system assigns each insured person a general practitioner and a health centre of reference. These local health centres, known as “centro de salud”, generally bring together GPs, specialists, and nurses. If needed, the GP can refer the patient to their referral hospital (depending on where the patient lives) or to a specialised hospital; in this case, hospitalisation is also fully covered.

How to choose health insurance in Spain: local or international?

Patients wishing to seek treatment in the private sector have to pay the full cost of their healthcare, unless they have private health insurance that covers all or part of the costs.

In addition, dental care is rarely covered by public health insurance, and optical aids are only partially covered. It is therefore common to opt for supplementary insurance which covers at least these types of expenses.

Local insurance companies usually cover treatment in a number of affiliated hospitals and health facilities. International health insurance can, however, provide access to a wider range of care

> Good to know: Having health insurance is required to obtain Spanish residency for foreign citizens who are not (yet) working in the country.

The cost of healthcare in Spain

Examples of reimbursements with MyHealth International COMFORT in relation to the cost of care in Spain in the private sector*.

  • GP consultation
    • €0.00
    • €50.00
  • Specialist consultation
    • €0.00
    • €100.00
  • Dental scaling
    • €0.00
    • €250.00
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • APRIL International

Care in Spain

Choosing hospitals

If you want your hospitalisation to be covered by the Social Security system, you will not be able to choose the establishment. The health centre and hospital of reference covered by the local health insurance depends on where you live.

In general, the Spanish health system conforms to very high standards, both in the public and private sectors. It is, however, more difficult to find single rooms in the public sector, which sometimes has relatively long waiting times for specialist consultations or scheduled treatment. 

To find a hospital, public or private, you can consult the Spanish Ministry of Health website, which lists them by location and specifies their size and specialities.

Health facilities


Vithas Madrid La Milagrosa Hospital

+34 914 47 21 00

Local call rates apply


Ruber Juan Bravo Hospital Complex

+34 910 68 77 77

Local call rates apply


Corachan Clinic

+34 937 37 86 49

Local call rates apply

Emergency Numbers in Spain

  • 112
    General emergencies
  • 091
  • 080
    Fire department

Why choose APRIL International

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