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Healthcare access & the Convenio Especial

Healthcare access & the Convenio Especial

Old Nov 5th 2021, 4:21 pm
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Default Healthcare access & the Convenio Especial

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Healthcare access & the Convenio Especial
Some of you have been asking about the Convenio Especial recently, so here’s some further information. The scheme has a monthly fee and will give you access to state healthcare in Spain, as a resident. It may be a good option for those who have been living in Spain for a year or longer but don’t have an automatic right to state healthcare (e.g. as a worker or state pensioner). It’s operated at a regional level, so for further information about how to apply and who is eligible, please contact your regional health authority. Here are some of the direct links:
Andalucia: https://www.sspa.juntadeandalucia.es/.../convenios...
Balearics: https://www.ibsalut.es/.../2355-convenio-especial-de...
Catalunya: https://web.gencat.cat/.../20131_-_Formalitzacio_conveni...
Canaries: https://sede.gobcan.es/sede/tramites/3699
Madrid: http://www.madrid.org/cs/Satellite?c=CM_ConvocaPrestac_FA...
Murcia: http://tramites.administracion.gob.es/.../ae79b615-3250...
Valencia: https://www.gva.es/es/inicio/procedimientos?id_proc=17044
For more information about the different ways of accessing healthcare in Spain, including the S1 scheme, please visit our guide on
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-spain#healthcare

Last edited by spainrico; Nov 5th 2021 at 4:25 pm.
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Old Nov 5th 2021, 6:12 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare access & the Convenio Especial

The only benefit of the system is that there are no exclusions for existing medical conditions, unlike health insurance. If over 65 the cost is higher generally than private insurance and with either scheme prescriptions have to be paid for.

If you have pre existing conditions you probably won’t get insurance so you won’t get residency so you will not be able to be resident for a year to qualify. A bit of a catch 22 situation. If they didn’t have the one year rule it would be a good deal for would be residents. At the moment it isn’t.
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Old Nov 6th 2021, 9:04 am
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Default Re: Healthcare access & the Convenio Especial

I think Fred has summed it up perfectly.
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Old Nov 9th 2021, 1:06 pm
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Smile Re: Healthcare access & the Convenio Especial

Originally Posted by spainrico View Post
I think Fred has summed it up perfectly.
Definitely +1!
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Old Nov 9th 2021, 3:27 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare access & the Convenio Especial

I think i am slowly getting to grips with the health doc's requirements to gain residentia. The way i think it would work for me & our lass , aged currently 52 & 56, who plan to move out to Spain into her mums house is
1 - get FULL private medical cover - problems i see is the older we get, the more probs our bodies get. I have free prescriptions at the moment because i have under active thyroid so my thyroid tablets, blood pressure tabs, accid reflux tabs & inhalers are all free. I could not list the other halfs tabs etc for fear of filling the server hard drive. - SO i see the private medical being a problem

2 - Should we get private cover - i believe that after serving a year of private we could then apply to go onto the state health care. Not sure if we then have to pay towards that...

3 - i read something about the S1 which i think is for pension age - again , not sure if we have to pay for that..

arghhh damed brexit !
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Old Nov 9th 2021, 3:54 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare access & the Convenio Especial

Originally Posted by Flyingbanana View Post
I think i am slowly getting to grips with the health doc's requirements to gain residentia. The way i think it would work for me & our lass , aged currently 52 & 56, who plan to move out to Spain into her mums house is
1 - get FULL private medical cover - problems i see is the older we get, the more probs our bodies get. I have free prescriptions at the moment because i have under active thyroid so my thyroid tablets, blood pressure tabs, accid reflux tabs & inhalers are all free. I could not list the other halfs tabs etc for fear of filling the server hard drive. - SO i see the private medical being a problem

2 - Should we get private cover - i believe that after serving a year of private we could then apply to go onto the state health care. Not sure if we then have to pay towards that...

3 - i read something about the S1 which i think is for pension age - again , not sure if we have to pay for that..

arghhh damed brexit !
1. If you are UK citizens you would need to apply for a visa to be able to live in Spain, and one of the conditions of the visa is that you have private medical insurance without any exclusions or co-payments. You are right, people who have pre-existing conditions often find it difficult to get cover which includes those conditions, and even if companies are prepared to cover them they normally charge much higher premiums.

2 Yes, there is a cost involved in accessing public healthcare via the Convenio Especial. Currently it is €60 per month for those aged under 65, increasing to €157 per month for those aged 65 and over - but the cost of medications are not included in the cover so you would have to pay 100% of the cost of those, which if you take quite a few could add substantially to your costs. However, private health insurance does not generally cover medications either (although you can get reimbursement up to a certain level with some companies (not very high) if you pay higher premiums.

3. Yes, the S1 is for people who are in receipt of a UK state pension. Their spouse, if below state retirement age, can also get an S1 as their dependant until they start to receive their own state pension, at which time they need to get an S1 in their own right. This entitles them to Spanish public healthcare paid for by the UK, and they need to pay 10% of the cost of medications (capped at just over €8 per month for those whose incomes are below €18k per year or just over €18 per month for those with incomes between €18-100k. I believe in the Valencia region prescriptions are free for pensioners.
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Old Nov 10th 2021, 8:52 am
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Default Re: Healthcare access & the Convenio Especial

Originally Posted by Lynn R View Post
1. If you are UK citizens you would need to apply for a visa to be able to live in Spain, and one of the conditions of the visa is that you have private medical insurance without any exclusions or co-payments. You are right, people who have pre-existing conditions often find it difficult to get cover which includes those conditions, and even if companies are prepared to cover them they normally charge much higher premiums.

2 Yes, there is a cost involved in accessing public healthcare via the Convenio Especial. Currently it is €60 per month for those aged under 65, increasing to €157 per month for those aged 65 and over - but the cost of medications are not included in the cover so you would have to pay 100% of the cost of those, which if you take quite a few could add substantially to your costs. However, private health insurance does not generally cover medications either (although you can get reimbursement up to a certain level with some companies (not very high) if you pay higher premiums.

3. Yes, the S1 is for people who are in receipt of a UK state pension. Their spouse, if below state retirement age, can also get an S1 as their dependant until they start to receive their own state pension, at which time they need to get an S1 in their own right. This entitles them to Spanish public healthcare paid for by the UK, and they need to pay 10% of the cost of medications (capped at just over €8 per month for those whose incomes are below €18k per year or just over €18 per month for those with incomes between €18-100k. I believe in the Valencia region prescriptions are free for pensioners.

Hi Lynn, thanks for this. It really does help clear things up. i did say ouch a few times whilst reading this but thanks any way
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Old Nov 10th 2021, 12:11 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare access & the Convenio Especial

Originally Posted by Flyingbanana View Post
I think i am slowly getting to grips with the health doc's requirements to gain residentia. The way i think it would work for me & our lass , aged currently 52 & 56, who plan to move out to Spain into her mums house is
1 - get FULL private medical cover - problems i see is the older we get, the more probs our bodies get. I have free prescriptions at the moment because i have under active thyroid so my thyroid tablets, blood pressure tabs, accid reflux tabs & inhalers are all free. I could not list the other halfs tabs etc for fear of filling the server hard drive. - SO i see the private medical being a problem

2 - Should we get private cover - i believe that after serving a year of private we could then apply to go onto the state health care. Not sure if we then have to pay towards that...

3 - i read something about the S1 which i think is for pension age - again , not sure if we have to pay for that..

arghhh damed brexit !
None of the above actually has anything to do with brexit.
For residency healthcare is even required for EU citizens.

You may struggle to get full healthcare if you have existing conditions or will have to pay a large premium for them to be covered.
My wife has mild asthma and high blood pressure but she was on the lowest dose so the policy provider said they would cover her (her premium the first year was €120 dearer than mine), last year and again this year she is still covered but our costs are now the same.
As to medicines, you have to pay no matter which system you are in, however Spanish pharmacies are usually good at finding OTC versions of stuff, my wife's BP pills and her inhalers are available fairly cheaply.

And as to getting older and needing more treatment, if you have private and need hospital treatment as long as its not linked to existing conditions they will treat you (might find the premium goes up but hey ho).

Convenio especial is available after the first FULL year of residence for under 65 its €60 a month €157 a month over this age.
The 'NHS' here varies as to your location, the local clinic to us is understaffed and the receptionist hates foreigners, even if you speak the language, one of the doctors has been denounced twice (they moved him from another area), so we stick with private, which at the moment is costing around the same as the convenio.
In the next town over there is a waiting list as most of the staff are scandinavian.

Like me you wont get the offer of an S1 until you are 67 that will then give you 'free' healthcare but you will still have to pay for medicine.

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Old Nov 10th 2021, 1:25 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare access & the Convenio Especial

Thanks Barriej.
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Old Nov 10th 2021, 1:57 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare access & the Convenio Especial

Originally Posted by Barriej View Post
Like me you wont get the offer of an S1 until you are 67 that will then give you 'free' healthcare but you will still have to pay for medicine.
Pensioner gets the prescription cost capped at 10%, at 8€ per month for lower income earner below 18,000€ and 18€ for higher income from 18,000€ up to 100,000€. Some autonomous communities used to have free prescriptions for pensioners but I am not sure if they still do it.
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Old Nov 10th 2021, 3:09 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare access & the Convenio Especial

Flyingbanana - you might find this useful

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/healthca...canary-islands
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Old Nov 10th 2021, 4:35 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare access & the Convenio Especial

Wow, getting to grips slowly on this complex subject but we have one main question and scenario that's not been asked so here goes. We are a UK based couple aged 58 and own a property in Spain and desperately want to live their permanently but firmly believe we would be turned down for the required private health insurance to obtain a Non Lucrative Visa (NLV) due to pre existing conditions.
So could we simply get the private health insurance by not mentioning the conditions we have (we wouldn't think about applying for any treatment as we know it wouldn't be covered) but at least we'd get the NLV. Then after 12 months, we know we'd need to pay for private health insurance again to get years 2 and 3 of the NLV, BUT as we would have been signed on the padron 12 months by then couldn't we simply take out and pay 60 euros a month each for the Convenio Especial state health cover which would cover our pre existing conditions? Any comments would be greatly appreciated as we heard this could be a loophole to follow
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Old Nov 11th 2021, 5:51 am
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Default Re: Healthcare access & the Convenio Especial

Originally Posted by bonesey333 View Post
Wow, getting to grips slowly on this complex subject but we have one main question and scenario that's not been asked so here goes. We are a UK based couple aged 58 and own a property in Spain and desperately want to live their permanently but firmly believe we would be turned down for the required private health insurance to obtain a Non Lucrative Visa (NLV) due to pre existing conditions.
So could we simply get the private health insurance by not mentioning the conditions we have (we wouldn't think about applying for any treatment as we know it wouldn't be covered) but at least we'd get the NLV. Then after 12 months, we know we'd need to pay for private health insurance again to get years 2 and 3 of the NLV, BUT as we would have been signed on the padron 12 months by then couldn't we simply take out and pay 60 euros a month each for the Convenio Especial state health cover which would cover our pre existing conditions? Any comments would be greatly appreciated as we heard this could be a loophole to follow
It isnt a loophole- it's illegal. You are suggesting that healthcare is simply a choice- you simply take a cheap policy to cover very basic care and agree to not use healthcare for more serious care. That is effectively treating cover as something that is simply for your benefit- its is not. It is to protect the state from having to eventually fund persons whose health deteriorates.
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Old Nov 11th 2021, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare access & the Convenio Especial

Originally Posted by bonesey333 View Post
Wow, getting to grips slowly on this complex subject but we have one main question and scenario that's not been asked so here goes. We are a UK based couple aged 58 and own a property in Spain and desperately want to live their permanently but firmly believe we would be turned down for the required private health insurance to obtain a Non Lucrative Visa (NLV) due to pre existing conditions.
So could we simply get the private health insurance by not mentioning the conditions we have (we wouldn't think about applying for any treatment as we know it wouldn't be covered) but at least we'd get the NLV. Then after 12 months, we know we'd need to pay for private health insurance again to get years 2 and 3 of the NLV, BUT as we would have been signed on the padron 12 months by then couldn't we simply take out and pay 60 euros a month each for the Convenio Especial state health cover which would cover our pre existing conditions? Any comments would be greatly appreciated as we heard this could be a loophole to follow
I doubt you'd be the first but do be aware that you sign a legal contract with the health provider and this would allow them to refuse all medical bills and cancel your insurance if they found out. This could leave you with a huge medical bill but if you have the finances to self insure your health care it may be a risk that you're willing to take.

I've heard in certain areas that people have signed on the padron well before their residency application and used their padron date to apply for the Convenio Especial early.

Good luck

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