With the uncertainty of Brexit looming it is only natural that British citizens living in Spain are making the positive decision to get their Spanish affairs in order. After all when D day arrives it is surely sensible to be an approved resident as to not be may leave you facing a more difficult process.
Who knows what regulations and costs will be levied on British Citizens who are still here without residency approval, once the UK has completed its Brexit formalities and it is this uknown that has seen the majority of us in recent months apply for Residency .
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 improved appointment system to deal with the increasing queues of applicants looking to obtain “Residencia” with each month the wait gets longer
The decision to which medical insurance to have is straight forward as the Spanish Authorities are telling us we must take a Private Health Insurance Policy that has No Copago (policy excess) and is near as close possible to the Spanish State Healthcare.
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 this part payment is known as Copago.
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 too many 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 provinces in Spain stressed and confused as to what to do next. We have therefore provided a few suggestions that will result in happy solutions
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 you must 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 seldom the case and regulations are stringently adhered to and we are seeing some very strange anomalies where some police officers get a bee in their bonnets.
Keep in mind that not everyone who is applying for residency seeks a new health insurance there are many people who have lived here for years and have always opted to have Private Medical Insurance so it is a myth that you need to attend with a new 12 month policy. The policy simply has to be contractually renewable.
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 guaranteed renewal . 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.
Private Medical Insurance works well in Spain. The premiums are anything between 40% to 60% cheaper than a UK policy. The Spanish Costas have many Private Medical Centres and Hospitals that accept Medical Insurance customers. We often see when advertising in the Social Media comments such as ‘Why go private State Medical is great in Spain’
Seems to me that many people have acclimatised 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. The EHIC may last a year or some issued are 2 years but again they are for 90 days away at any one time after that you pay. The same with a travel insurance, the minute that you are fit for travel they suggest you return home to Britain to finish your treatment at your expense. Many people have come here for 6 months with a travel policy and get ill are treated for 2 weeks then told that is it you are fit enough to go home treatment is at an end. So there you are in Spain still needing urgent treatment or rehabilitation and another 5 months left on your planned visit
You may have been pressured into Medical Insurance because of Spain’s regulations but once you have it in place make sure you 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
Categories: Information to assist Residency / Visa Application Spain