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Private Health Insurance

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:26pm
33 replies1170 views6 members subscribed
Dawn1004

Posts: 5

Location: Castalla

Joined: 21 Nov 2019

Hi  We are moving over to Spain in April.  Both not retirement age and wanting to become residents.  We are aware we will need private health insurance.  We would be grateful to hear your experiences and recommendations. Thanks

Kimmy11

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:16pm

Kimmy11

Legendary helpful member

Posts: 6842

12525 helpful points

Joined: 8 Aug 2017

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:16pm

Hi Dawn,

In order to obtain comparable quotes, you'll need to do a fair bit of legwork.  Insurance agents in Spain are tied to one insurer, so they don't act as the brokers that we're used to in the UK, who will search the whole of the market to get you the most competitive quote and product.

My husband and I are with ASSSA, aged 62 and 59 respectively, with no pre-existing conditions, and our annual premium for Standard Plus cover is Eu 1,870.  Prescription costs are not included.  I obtained quotes from 6 companies - ASSSA wasn't the cheapest, but it provided the level of cover we needed.  Our cover also includes dental check-ups.

If purchasing PHI is in support of your residency application, please note that you will have to pay the first year in full and obtain a certificate from your insurers confirming this.  Please also note that Basic cover and cover with co-payments are not sufficient for residency applications.  Once you have been resident for 1 year, you can choose to continue with your PHI cover, or apply to join the Convenio Especial, which current costs Eu 60 per person, per month, increasing to Eu 157 per person, per month at age 65.  Prescription costs are not included under the C.E., but unlike PHI, it does have the advantage of covering pre-existing conditions.

Kind regards,

Kim

Dawn1004

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:06pm

Dawn1004

Original Poster

Posts: 5

Location: Castalla

Joined: 21 Nov 2019

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:06pm

Thank you very much for the information. Pretty much how i understood it myself.  The joys. 👍

Kimmy11

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:32pm

Kimmy11

Legendary helpful member

Posts: 6842

12525 helpful points

Joined: 8 Aug 2017

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:32pm

Hi Grahame,

No, we haven't joined the Convenio Especial.  

Following our first year of residency, there was an announcement from the new PSOE government of "free healthcare for all".  I spent considerable time investigating it, but found that it's mean-tested - by virtue of being able to afford private health insurance, we don't qualify!

Then I looked at the Convenio Especial.  The annual cost for my husband and me would be Eu 1,440 (Eu 720 each), as opposed to Eu 1,870 (Eu 935 each) for our PHI.  We have no pre-existing conditions, so that they are covered by the C.E. is of no advantage to us.  Assuming the S1 system is still valid for us after the Brexit transition period, I calculated the cost for PHI and the C.E. until we both reach State retirement age:  

My husband qualifies for his UK State pension at age 66 (in 5 years' time), but I have to wait until age 67 (another 8 years).  If we continue with PHI until retirement age, the total cost will be Eu 12,155 (5 years x Eu 935 + 8 years x Eu 935).  At age 65, the cost of the C.E. increases from EU 720 per annum, to Eu 1,884 per annum, so the total cost for our situation would be Eu 11,156 (hubby: 4 years x 720 + 1 year x Eu 1,884 = Eu 4,764) + (me: 6 years x 720 + 2 years x Eu 1,884 = Eu 6,392).  For anyone who has pre-existing conditions, I'm sure they would think it's a no-brainer to apply for the C.E., because the cost differential is likely to be much greater, even assuming people with pre-existing conditions could obtain PHI cover.

However, what was a concern for us (and continues to be) is the uncertainty around Brexit.  Our PHI provider, ASSSA, guarantees no age-related increases in premium from the year of joining, i.e. the cost for our first year (at ages 56 and 59) is maintained for subsequent years.  If we cancelled our PHI in favour of joining the C.E., but then had to reinstate it for any reason, it would cost much more to obtain PHI, because the premiums are banded by age and we would both be over 60 by then.  Of course, I'm not saying this will happen, we just decided that the extra Eu 1,001 over the period until we retire is neither here nor there and worth maintaining until we know how Brexit is going to shake out.  Another big plus for PHI is that, as good as the Spanish state healthcare system is suggested to be, the waiting times are still longer than those with private healthcare.

Apologies for that lengthy explanation, but perhaps me talking through the rationale for our decision may help others inform their own.

Kind regards,

Kim

Kimmy11

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:24pm

Kimmy11

Legendary helpful member

Posts: 6842

12525 helpful points

Joined: 8 Aug 2017

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:24pm

Hi Ray,

Prescription charges aren't covered by either the Convenio Especial or PHI.

Kind regards,

Kim

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Dawn1004

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:45am

Dawn1004

Original Poster

Posts: 5

Location: Castalla

Joined: 21 Nov 2019

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:45am

Thanks for the explanation although i had to read it a few times before I got my brain round it haha. 

Lancelot

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:17pm

Lancelot

Very helpful member

Posts: 687

768 helpful points

Location: La Finca

Joined: 24 Jun 2019

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:17pm

Kimmy11 wrote on Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:24pm:

Hi Ray,

Prescription charges aren't covered by either the Convenio Especial or PHI.

Kind regards,

Kim

Hi Kim, in terms of the service how does the proposition from ASSSA compare to seeing a GP/ Dentist in the UK? We are looking at a few quotes primarily to support our residency application but it strikes me that we would also want a good service level. As an example, if you were struck down with a cold which leads to a chest infection is it easy to see a GP through the health insurance? Also what are Co-Op payments? 

The term "pre-existing" also seems to cover something you might have been treated for many years ago having been discharged long in the distant past. I wonder what options would be open for someone unfortunate enough to suffer a re-occurrence of an excluded issue prior to being able to pay into the CE. I would assume self funding might be the only option in Spain or a return to the mother country if it's a/ serious b/costly or c/ both. Yikes!

TIA.

Kimmy11

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:49pm

Kimmy11

Legendary helpful member

Posts: 6842

12525 helpful points

Joined: 8 Aug 2017

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:49pm

Hi Lancelot,

I've only needed to see my GP twice: the first time, I called in the morning and received an appointment the same day; the second time, I called in the afternoon and had an appointment the following day - this, despite choosing a highly recommended and popular GP.  The first time he referred me to a specialist at Quiron hospital, who I saw within a week.  The second time, was for 'Well Woman' type tests, where he referred me to the surgery's visiting gynaecologist and the radiography department at Quiron private hospital.  In all cases, the treatment has been fast and thorough, and I'm pleased with the service.  Annual blood tests are carried out by the surgery's visiting phlebotomist.

My ASSSA cover provides for a dental check-up and clean once a year, but other work would need to be paid for, although I haven't needed any.  I had a private dentist when I was living in the UK and I would say that the private service in Spain is comparable with my experience in the UK, but cheaper.

The best way to think of co-payments is like an excess on your insurance policies - if you make a claim, you contribute to payment of  the costs.  It's a way of reducing the cost of your premiums, but you need to be aware that cover with co-payments is not sufficient for residency applications; similarly, Basic level cover is not acceptable either.

My husband and I don't have any pre-existing conditions, so this wasn't an issue for us.  When we completed the application forms, our insurance agent guided us through.  For example, tearing my knee cartilage when I was running and slipped on sodden ground wasn't considered a pre-existing condition: it happened at least 10 years ago, I rested, it healed, no further problems.  In terms of returning to your home country for any treatment which is excluded by your PHI cover, the only way this would be possible for UK citizens is to move back permanently, as the NHS is a residence-based service and only available to citizens who live outside of the UK on an emergency basis when, for example, they may be visiting the UK for a holiday or short-term trip.

Of course, my response is based solely on my personal experience of ASSSA and I have no complaints.

Kind regards,

Kim

Lancelot

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:20pm

Lancelot

Very helpful member

Posts: 687

768 helpful points

Location: La Finca

Joined: 24 Jun 2019

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:20pm

Thanks Kimmy. Asssa was recommended along with a particular contact by a relocation person we've engaged with who was in turn recommended by Abaco. All of the policies I've been quoted are suitable for residency applications. I've asked Alfonso to provide quotes as well. He seems to come recommended too.

Mags03169

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 4:36pm

Mags03169

Helpful member

Posts: 292

210 helpful points

Location: Algorfa

Joined: 7 Feb 2020

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 4:36pm

Kimmy11 wrote on Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:32pm:

Hi Grahame,

No, we haven't joined the Convenio Especial.  

Following our first year of residency, there was an announcement from the new PSOE government of "free healthcare for all".  I spent considerable time investigating it, but found that it's mean-tested - by virtue of being able to afford private health insurance, we don't qualify!

Then I looked at the Convenio Especial.  The annual cost for my husband and me would be Eu 1,440 (Eu 720 each), as opposed to Eu 1,870 (Eu 935 each) for our PHI.  We have no pre-existing conditions, so that they are covered by the C.E. is of no advantage to us.  Assuming the S1 system is still valid for us after the Brexit transition period, I calculated the cost for PHI and the C.E. until we both reach State retirement age:  

My husband qualifies for his UK State pension at age 66 (in 5 years' time), but I have to wait until age 67 (another 8 years).  If we continue with PHI until retirement age, the total cost will be Eu 12,155 (5 years x Eu 935 + 8 years x Eu 935).  At age 65, the cost of the C.E. increases from EU 720 per annum, to Eu 1,884 per annum, so the total cost for our situation would be Eu 11,156 (hubby: 4 years x 720 + 1 year x Eu 1,884 = Eu 4,764) + (me: 6 years x 720 + 2 years x Eu 1,884 = Eu 6,392).  For anyone who has pre-existing conditions, I'm sure they would think it's a no-brainer to apply for the C.E., because the cost differential is likely to be much greater, even assuming people with pre-existing conditions could obtain PHI cover.

However, what was a concern for us (and continues to be) is the uncertainty around Brexit.  Our PHI provider, ASSSA, guarantees no age-related increases in premium from the year of joining, i.e. the cost for our first year (at ages 56 and 59) is maintained for subsequent years.  If we cancelled our PHI in favour of joining the C.E., but then had to reinstate it for any reason, it would cost much more to obtain PHI, because the premiums are banded by age and we would both be over 60 by then.  Of course, I'm not saying this will happen, we just decided that the extra Eu 1,001 over the period until we retire is neither here nor there and worth maintaining until we know how Brexit is going to shake out.  Another big plus for PHI is that, as good as the Spanish state healthcare system is suggested to be, the waiting times are still longer than those with private healthcare.

Apologies for that lengthy explanation, but perhaps me talking through the rationale for our decision may help others inform their own.

Kind regards,

Kim

Hi Kim , I thought possibly incorrectly, that after 5 years of being a resident in Spain that you would then have full Spanish citizenship and come under their free healthcare? 

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Costa Blanca Building Specialists
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Jennifer Cunningham Insurances SL
Car Key Solutions
James Spanish School
Thy Will Be Done
AA Free English TV
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