Going off to study in a foreign country is a big and exciting step. The anticipation of new experiences can sometimes result in important details being overlooked. Health insurance is typically one of those details, as getting sick is not necessarily on the forefront of young people´s mind. Nevertheless, even a healthy, young person can be affected by health challenges that befall students like cold & flu, difficulties to sleep, stress, stomach flu, conjunctivitis (pink eye) and allergies.
Several of these sicknesses can become contagious and may be difficult to avoid in a university setting. Living in the dorms close to others, sleeping less to study and exploring the nightlife can easily lead to a weaker immune system if not properly balanced with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Gastrointestinal problems and allergies may also be due to the fact that your body may have to adjust to new types of food in your new environment.
And then there can always be that infected tooth that is causing severe headaches. Arranging health insurance protects a student from the financial consequences of having to see a doctor and also takes away the unhealthy incentive to decide not seeing a doctor because there is no insurance.
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Health insurance for EU citizens
Students coming from the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland who are covered under the social security system must acquire a European Health Insurance Card from the public health authorities of their country before departing for Spain. This card will provide you with the necessary health coverage during their stay in Europe.
Health insurance for non-EU citizens
For those students arriving from non-European Union countries a health insurance in the amount of €30,000 is a mandatory prerequisite for being granted a student visa in Spain. There are some countries with a mutual health provision agreement between their healthcare systems and the health care in Spain. If you are an international student arriving from a non-EU Country or State, we recommend that you check if such an agreement exists in your home country. If it does, you should obtain a document from the relevant authorities in your country granting you free medical care in Spain.
If there is no such agreement your best option is to find a private student health insurance in Spain. The cost of such an insurance depends of course on the risks you want to insure, but in general you will find that the premiums are very affordable.
Healthcare system in Spain
The Spanish health system offers a variety of services, amongst which students can choose from:
- Primary healthcare & hospitalization cover (incl. general medicine, nursing services, emergencies);
- Access to all medical and surgical specialties;
- Dental treatment;
- Diagnostic tests and therapies;
- Surgery (inpatient & outpatient);
- High tech therapies (Including rehab, cancer treatments, respiratory, radiotherapy, speech therapy etc.);
- Psychology services;
- Repatriation to your home country in case of death.
Health insurance providers in Spain
The most popular health insurance providers in Spain are
- Expatriate Healthcare
- AXA PPP.