British Couple, Currently living in Canada ~ Healthcare options in Spain ??

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23 Nov 2013 04:09 by GoldenLight Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

We are a British couple in our 50's who for the past 24 years have lived & worked in Canada. We want to move to Spain but are concerned about 'affordable' access to healthcare. We are reluctant to take out expensive private policies and would prefer to somehow get onto the Spanish system. We are not 'freeloaders' and do expect to pay, here in Canada we have what is called MSP (Medical Services Premium) where each month $120 is taken by direct debit from our bank account..

My husband is fit and healthy however he has had a couple of bouts of illness in the past, including idiopathic DVT and Pulmonary Embolisms so his 'pre-existing' conditions would make private insurance unaffordable for us.

Initially I considered applying to be 'Self Employed' and paying the automatic Euros 250 a month which I understand would allow access to healthcare.

We also considered 're-patriating' ourselves to the UK first. We have considered spending 2 blocks of 3 months in Spain and continue to pay into the Medical Services Plan in Canada, taking out 'Travel insurance' when in Spain.. Ultimately we would like to reside Full Time in Spain and hope that someone on this forum has the best solution for our circumstances.

I noticed that there is a thread titled  "New Healthcare Option for Those Without Cover"  where it mentions that the Spanish government recently announced Healthcare Reform measures, a public health insurance scheme through which those who don‘t have access to state-provided healthcare can pay a monthly fee to get cover. . The announced basic monthly fee will be 60€ for the under 65s and 157€ for those aged 65 or over.

Would this be for just EU or also for those that move to Spain from countries outside the EU ?

Thanks for your help


This message was last edited by GoldenLight on 23/11/2013.

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23 Nov 2013 08:53 by nigel188 Star rating in Estepona. 625 posts Send private message


Welcome to the EOS Forum

I have enclosed some information for you both. Hope you find it helpful.Two PDF Files in Dropbox my Google Chrome has translated from Spanish to English for you.Other Forum Users may have other information for you as well.


Good Luck






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23 Nov 2013 09:00 by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

There is also the official site at Healthcare for Foreigners.

However, if you stick it through the Google translate, it states that you have to be resident in Spain for at least a year before applying and have residencia and be on the padron (local equivalent of the electoral register) and you need to show proof of medical cover to get those.  It would be pointless going to UK first as the S1 issued to allow health cover is based on National Insurance contributions made recently in the UK.  

It would seem your only option would be to take out private medical insurance for the first year, get residency and padron and then apply for the Convenio Especial.


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23 Nov 2013 13:39 by OMARELL Star rating in Baldock Hertfordshir.... 48 posts Send private message

What is the attraction for Spain? My Canadian relatives prefer to have a holiday home in Florida


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23 Nov 2013 16:54 by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

Property is cheaper.  No 5 grand a year property taxes.  Very low imputed rental tax in comparison. You're not expected to tip an arm and a leg when someone passes you a can of $5 beer from the fridge.  . The population of Florida is around 19 million with 1,009 murders in 2012 compared with Spain that has a population of some 46 million with 205 murders (mainly domestic).  

And, finally, there are probably less Spanish in Spain than in Florida.

Oh, and for the majority it is a 2 hour flight home for about $50 (off peak) rather than 9 hours and $500.

Just saying, like.


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23 Nov 2013 22:07 by GoldenLight Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

Thank you Bobaol & Nigel for your very useful contributions..

Omarell, what can I say.... I think that bobaol sums it up quite nicely!!

The North American tipping culture IS out of control, based on expectation NOT service, but that is a topic for a different thread !!

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18 Oct 2014 16:21 by Barca2014 Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

We are from BC  and visiting Spain for 6 months and have found very reasonable health insurance. We will continue to pay our MSP while away. We will be moving to Spain full time in the near future.

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