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Health insurance options for non-employee with pre-existing conditions

Health insurance options for non-employee with pre-existing conditions

Old Apr 12th 2021, 9:41 am
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Default Health insurance options for non-employee with pre-existing conditions

Hello,

I'm British, my wife is a Portuguese citizen, we live in the UK and would like to move to Spain asap (bad timing, I know), most likely Catalonia (but flexible if it would help us get residency). I work for a UK company and plan to continue working for them remotely, while my wife doesn't work.

We would like to take the 'spouse of EU citizen' route i.e. my wife gets residency as an EU citizen (with enough savings to support herself), then I apply for residency as her spouse. But to get the required health insurance seems challenging as she has several pre-existing conditions, and I understand that there can be no exclusions in the policy and that this is now often verified on registration. I also understand Convenio Especial isn't available until 1 year of residency has been reached, meaning private is the only option. Is this always the case, or are there any regional exceptions?

An insurance broker we contacted said the Spanish firms they work with wouldn't quote us given my wife's conditions, and recommended Cigna Global instead, but a Cigna rep we spoke to said they would normally put in place exclusions (although we haven't formally applied yet to confirm what comes back).

So with the combination of the non-employed status and preexisting conditions we seem to be in awkward spot. Is it impossible for people of independent means to obtain residency if they have preexisting health conditions?

We thought about getting her a private policy without mentioning the preexisting conditions, then change over to public after a year, but we might be in trouble if she had a serious health problem in that first year; aside from having to pay for it ourselves, if she was dropped from the policy she'd no longer be a legal resident.

We don't want to wait in the UK for a visa, but would health insurance be made any easier by my applying for a non-lucrative visa instead? Or are there any other considerations we've missed?

Any help much appreciated!
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 4:13 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance options for non-employee with pre-existing conditions

Originally Posted by xande View Post
Hello,

I'm British, my wife is a Portuguese citizen, we live in the UK and would like to move to Spain asap (bad timing, I know), most likely Catalonia (but flexible if it would help us get residency). I work for a UK company and plan to continue working for them remotely, while my wife doesn't work.

We would like to take the 'spouse of EU citizen' route i.e. my wife gets residency as an EU citizen (with enough savings to support herself), then I apply for residency as her spouse. But to get the required health insurance seems challenging as she has several pre-existing conditions, and I understand that there can be no exclusions in the policy and that this is now often verified on registration. I also understand Convenio Especial isn't available until 1 year of residency has been reached, meaning private is the only option. Is this always the case, or are there any regional exceptions?

An insurance broker we contacted said the Spanish firms they work with wouldn't quote us given my wife's conditions, and recommended Cigna Global instead, but a Cigna rep we spoke to said they would normally put in place exclusions (although we haven't formally applied yet to confirm what comes back).

So with the combination of the non-employed status and preexisting conditions we seem to be in awkward spot. Is it impossible for people of independent means to obtain residency if they have preexisting health conditions?

We thought about getting her a private policy without mentioning the preexisting conditions, then change over to public after a year, but we might be in trouble if she had a serious health problem in that first year; aside from having to pay for it ourselves, if she was dropped from the policy she'd no longer be a legal resident.

We don't want to wait in the UK for a visa, but would health insurance be made any easier by my applying for a non-lucrative visa instead? Or are there any other considerations we've missed?

Any help much appreciated!

Hi welcome to the forum.

Reading your post, would it not make more sense to head to Portugal?

Anyway. With regard to the healthcare issue, NO without a policy with zero co-pay or exclusions I doubt you would get very far (and when we applied last year, Alicante wanted the certificates and full policy for the healthcare) I am assuming that now the Spanish Consulate will go over everything a lot closer.
The healthcare company we are with also asked if they could contact our UK Doctors if and when needed. Which I assume will happen if we make a claim (there was something in the policy document that mentions this). Should it then come to light it was a previous condition you would get the bill.
I would expect the visa process now would require the healthcare company confirming your medical records (or it would if I was in charge)...

If you move with your wife (she not you has to show an income and must also have enough to support you) * don't quote me on his though.* And as she is not working, how would she provide a P60 or proof?

There are no regional variations on the Convenio, to satisfy the residency it has to be private healthcare or if an OAP an S1.
Its not a quick process to get on the convenio either, a friend of mine has been waiting for over 3 months after applying.

As to you getting a visa. You cannot get the NLV as this does not allow you to work. We have had a few conversations on here about this. Even working remotely in the UK is still classed as working here as you would be here. (if that makes sense)
Once resident you would pay tax here and what do you think will happen when you put your tax return in with your income on, only for the government to find you have a NLV?

The visa also states income (not savings) and for you would be €2000 odd a month and then some more for your wife. Again before Brexit this was slightly fluid and depending on area you applied, you could have savings.(you now have to do this in the UK so everyone should be in the same boat)
A Canadian friend had cash but he was advised to place it into a bond that paid regular income. i.e. an investment.
This visa is renewable at the end of the first year, then its for 2 years and then again at the end of the 3rd year (and each time you have to show income and healthcare (can be convenio)

This here will give more details. Not recommended just for info.

https://www.abogadoextranjeriamadrid...AaAkYpEALw_wcB

However in any case, you both will need healthcare, no matter which route you choose, so this maybe your stumbling block. And this would also have been try before Brexit.
Sorry if the above seems negative, its not.



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Old Apr 12th 2021, 5:18 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance options for non-employee with pre-existing conditions

Hi Barriej, thanks very much for your reply and all the helpful info.

The health insurance situation sounds really difficult.
Initially she just needs to get private health insurance to apply for residency, so I can then apply through her, before moving to Convenio long term.
She can probably avoid using the private health insurance for a year, but obviously if there's an emergency or accident we'd get a major bill and presumably lose her coverage which she would need to maintain residency. Has anyone here done anything like this I wonder?

Immigration-wise, ideally we were hoping to skip the visa process entirely. As my wife is an EU citizen we thought we were allowed to fly into Spain together without a visa then (assuming she can get health insurance) she could apply for residency under EU freedom of movement. For this purpose, I think her savings are sufficient to prove that she won't be a burden on the state - I guess maybe that's different from a visa application for a third country national. Once she has residency I believe I can apply for residency directly under the "family reunification under general regulation" law i.e. the equivalent of a "Spouse of EU Citizen" visa, but done from within Spain, skipping the visa part.
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 7:34 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance options for non-employee with pre-existing conditions

Originally Posted by xande View Post
Hi Barriej, thanks very much for your reply and all the helpful info.

The health insurance situation sounds really difficult.
Initially she just needs to get private health insurance to apply for residency, so I can then apply through her, before moving to Convenio long term.
She can probably avoid using the private health insurance for a year, but obviously if there's an emergency or accident we'd get a major bill and presumably lose her coverage which she would need to maintain residency. Has anyone here done anything like this I wonder?

Immigration-wise, ideally we were hoping to skip the visa process entirely. As my wife is an EU citizen we thought we were allowed to fly into Spain together without a visa then (assuming she can get health insurance) she could apply for residency under EU freedom of movement. For this purpose, I think her savings are sufficient to prove that she won't be a burden on the state - I guess maybe that's different from a visa application for a third country national. Once she has residency I believe I can apply for residency directly under the "family reunification under general regulation" law i.e. the equivalent of a "Spouse of EU Citizen" visa, but done from within Spain, skipping the visa part.
Its up to you how you apply, going with you wife being the EU citizen is easier, as the financial requirements are lower. And what she tells the healthcare company again is up to you.
This link will give you some info, it should be in date because its been updated since jan.
You still have to prove a level of income but its lower (we had to show ours in a Spanish bank, but others showed savings) which depends what part of Spain you will be moving to.

https://lifestylegroup.es/spanish-re...y-certificate/

Last point (for now) where were your driving licences issued (if you drive). If they are Uk will have to take a Spanish driving test.
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 7:38 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance options for non-employee with pre-existing conditions

I believe someone once suggested joining Bupa in the UK and then transferring the policy to its Spanish partner as a feasible solution.
I’m in the same position,being an Irish citizen (with pre existing conditions) and an American spouse.
Please keep me informed as to your progress,and good luck.
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 7:56 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance options for non-employee with pre-existing conditions

Originally Posted by Xisle View Post
I believe someone once suggested joining Bupa in the UK and then transferring the policy to its Spanish partner as a feasible solution.
I’m in the same position,being an Irish citizen (with pre existing conditions) and an American spouse.
Please keep me informed as to your progress,and good luck.
Wont work. My sister has BUPA through work and it wont cover her knee issue. We looked at doing this before we moved last year as I could get BUPA through my previous employer.

This from BUPA.Many insurance companies will not insure you for any pre-existing conditions. BUPA has a particularly strict policy that excludes any condition for which you have had advice, treatment or medication during the previous seven years, or that has produced symptoms. This applies whether or not you have had a medical diagnosis.

If it's thought that the condition could need treatment in the future, BUPA will exclude it from your cover absolutely.
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 8:00 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance options for non-employee with pre-existing conditions

Thanks for clarifying that.The search continues...
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Old Apr 12th 2021, 8:28 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance options for non-employee with pre-existing conditions

I really doubt that the Spanish insurance companies can get details of your UK medical records. This level of interaction may apply to the tax authorities but not to private companies.

The only way I can think of getting out of this Catch 22 situation is to apply for a private policy and “forget” to declare your pre-existing conditions. After you have achieved your residency application and waited a year for your Convenio application to be accepted, you cancel the policy.

If you make no claims on the policy there is no question of fraud.

Its not a perfect solution, but it might work and I do not consider that it is illegal.
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Old Apr 13th 2021, 6:42 am
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Default Re: Health insurance options for non-employee with pre-existing conditions

I suspect even a mediocre lawyer would laugh all the way to the bank if they heard Fred’s pseudo ‘legal opinion’. Any documents of this nature would have a long legal statement to which a signature would need to be affixed which would tie you up in legal knots should you fail to declare something you knew to be true. That would be fraud or at least making a false declaration.
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Old Apr 13th 2021, 7:27 am
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Default Re: Health insurance options for non-employee with pre-existing conditions

If you used the policy, I would agree with you, but if tthere is no loss by the insurer and they had had a few thousand Euros for doing nothing, they have had a pretty good deal!

Anyway, if you have a better solution, let's hear it.
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Old Apr 13th 2021, 9:58 am
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Default Re: Health insurance options for non-employee with pre-existing conditions

Thanks all for the advice
Fred - we are actually quite forgetful :-)
Xisle - let us know if you come up with anything else.
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Old Apr 13th 2021, 12:04 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance options for non-employee with pre-existing conditions

Originally Posted by Fred James View Post
I really doubt that the Spanish insurance companies can get details of your UK medical records. This level of interaction may apply to the tax authorities but not to private companies.

The only way I can think of getting out of this Catch 22 situation is to apply for a private policy and “forget” to declare your pre-existing conditions. After you have achieved your residency application and waited a year for your Convenio application to be accepted, you cancel the policy.

If you make no claims on the policy there is no question of fraud.

Its not a perfect solution, but it might work and I do not consider that it is illegal.
When you sign up for a healthcare policy, you give the company the right to ask for your medical record.
You are giving false information if you choose not to disclose any health issues. Doing this now while applying for a Visa would I assume get you into some serious trouble.
Its fraud after all.

This is direct from the BUPA paperwork. (can't find the Spanish in my one as I only have the hard copy)

Full medical underwriting –

available to all customers

Full medical underwriting means that we use information about your medical history to decide what cover we can offer you before your policy starts. Medical conditions that you, or anyone on your policy, had before you take out insurance with us aren’t usually covered.

When you choose full medical underwriting, we’ll ask you some questions about your medical history on the phone or send you a form to complete. It’s really important that you give us all the information we ask for about you and anyone else covered, even if some symptoms haven’t been diagnosed. If you don’t, we may be unable to pay claims. If you’re unsure whether to mention something to us,

you should always do so. We’ll use the information you give us to con rm what cover we can o er you for your medical conditions. We may need to ask your doctor for more information to help us do this.

Why customers choose full medical underwriting

Full medical underwriting means:

you can be certain about what is and isn’t covered from the start

any new medical conditions after your policy starts will be covered in line with the policy terms and conditions

medical conditions you and anyone else on the policy already have (including any related conditions) when you take out the policy aren’t covered.

About medical conditions you had before your policy starts

If you had a medical condition before your policy starts that may need treatment in the future, we won’t usually cover it or any conditions connected to it. We’ll list any medical conditions which aren’t covered on your membership certi cate. The same applies to anyone else on your policy.

If we’re unable to cover a medical condition you had before your policy starts, we can sometimes review this in future if you’ve had a period of time with no symptoms or treatment for it. Please call us for more information.

When you claim

If you need to claim or have symptoms when your policy rst begins, we may need to take a few extra steps to check your claim isn’t connected to any medical conditions you had before your policy started. For example, we may need to ask your GP for some information.
We’ll also need to check when you claim for things like mental health conditions after your rst policy year.
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