International Student Health Insurance in Spain

Studying abroad is an exciting and transformative experience, offering students the opportunity to explore new cultures, broaden their horizons, and gain a world-class education. At Schellhammer Business School, we understand that safety and health is also of primordial priority when coming to study in Spain. Among the many considerations when planning an international study journey, health insurance stands as a crucial aspect that should not be overlooked. In Spain international students must navigate the intricacies of the country’s health insurance system to ensure their well-being throughout their stay. The international student must also ensure compliant health insurance for visa purposes.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the requirements and benefits of international student health insurance in Spain, empowering students with knowledge needed to make informed decisions about their health and well-being during throughout their studies.

Understanding the Spanish Healthcare System

As an international student in Spain, having the right health insurance coverage is not just a recommendation; it´s a legal requirement and paramount for students that require a student visa. While the Spanish healthcare system is renowned for its universal coverage, it generally only extends to citizens and legal residents and is funded through social security contributions and taxes. International students must therefore obtain private health insurance to ensure they have access to necessary medical services and support during their studies, even if they are from countries with bilateral agreements with Spain.

Private health insurance for international students in Spain offers a wide range of coverage, including:

  1. Basic Medical Care. Consultations with general practitioners and specialists, diagnostic tests, and essential medical treatments.
  2. Emergency Services. Immediate medical attention in case of accidents, injuries, or sudden illnesses.
  3. Hospitalisation. Coverage for inpatient care, surgeries, and hospital stays.
  4. Prescription Medications. Provision of necessary medications prescribed by healthcare professionals.
  5. Repatriation. Arrangements for returning to the home country in case of severe illness or injury.

Eligibility and Requirements

Here are the key requirements to obtain health insurance coverage as an international student in Spain:

  1. Valid Student Visa. To study in Spain, international students must have a valid student visa. When applying for a student visa, one of the essential documents to submit is proof of adequate health insurance coverage.
  2. Proof of Enrollment. Alongside your student visa application, you will need proof of enrolment from your educational institution. This document confirms your status as a student and is crucial in establishing your eligibility for health insurance coverage.
  3. Passport and Identification. Valid passport and identification documents.
  4. Comprehensive Coverage. The health insurance coverage you obtain must be comprehensive and meet the standards set by Spanish authorities. It should cover a wide range of medical services, including consultations, treatments, hospitalisation, emergency care, and prescription medicines. Your health insurance must cover you for the duration of your studies in Spain. Whether you are pursuing a short-term program or multi-year degree, your insurance policy must provide continuous coverage throughout your academic journey.

Securing Health Insurance

The process of acquiring health insurance as an international student in Spain involves several steps:

  1. Choose an appropriate plan. Select a health insurance plan that aligns with your healthcare needs and meets student visa requirements. Consider factors such as coverage for pre-existing conditions and the extent of medical services covered.
  2. Application. This will involve submitting personal details, identification documents, proof of enrollment, and payment.
  3. Approval and Documentation. Upon approval, you will receive a health insurance policy, which outlines the terms and conditions of your coverage. Keep this document and any related correspondence in a safe and accessible place.
  4. Utilizing Healthcare Services. In case of medical needs, familiarize yourself with the healthcare facilities and providers covered by your insurance plan. When seeking medical attention, present your health insurance details for seamless service.

Maintaining Coverage and Compliance

To ensure continuous coverage and compliance with Spanish regulations, international students should:

  1. Renew Coverage. Keep track of your insurance coverage period and renew it as required. Failing to renew in a timely manner may lead to a lapse in coverage.
  2. Stay Informed. Stay updated on any changes in your insurance policy, coverage benefits, and provider networks.
  3. Emergency Assistance. Familiarise yourself with the emergency assistance services provided by your insurer. These services can be invaluable during urgent situations.


Embarking on a journey as an international student in Spain is an exciting endeavor that opens doors to education, cultural enrichment, and personal growth. Navigating the complexities of health insurance is an essential aspect of this adventure, ensuring that students have access to the right medical care and support whenever needed. By understanding the Spanish healthcare system, understanding your options, and securing comprehensive coverage, international students can enjoy a worry-free experience, focusing on their studies and making the most of their time in Spain. Health insurance is not just a requirement; it is a vital investment in a student’s well-being and success on their academic journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is health insurance in Spain for international students?

The cost of health insurance for international students in Spain can vary based on several factors, including the duration of stay, age, coverage preferences, and the insurance provider chosen. On average, international students can expect to pay between €400 to €1,200 per year for private health insurance coverage. This range ensures access to a comprehensive array of medical services, including consultations, emergency care, hospitalization, and prescription medications. While this expense may seem significant, it pales in comparison to the potential financial burden of uncovered medical treatments. It’s important for students to consider their individual healthcare needs, assess the coverage offered by different plans, and make an informed decision that prioritizes both their well-being and their budget.

What insurance is required for a student visa in Spain?

Obtaining the appropriate health insurance is a key requirement for obtaining a student visa in Spain. International students are generally required to have comprehensive health insurance coverage that meets Spanish regulations throughout their stay in the country. This insurance is intended to ensure that students have access to necessary medical care and services during their studies. While some countries may have bilateral agreements with Spain that provide certain healthcare benefits, most students are advised to acquire private health insurance. This coverage typically includes essential medical services, emergency care, hospitalization, and repatriation in case of severe illness or injury. Providing proof of valid health insurance is a crucial step in the student visa application process, demonstrating the student’s ability to maintain their health and well-being while studying in Spain.

What is the best medical insurance for students in Spain?

When it comes to selecting the best medical insurance for students in Spain, several factors should be carefully considered to ensure comprehensive coverage and peace of mind. The ideal insurance plan should offer a balance between affordability and a wide range of benefits. Look for a policy that covers basic medical care, emergency services, hospitalization, prescription medications, and repatriation. Additionally, consider plans that provide coverage for pre-existing conditions, as well as dental and optical services. A robust network of healthcare providers and facilities across Spain is also crucial for easy access to medical attention. The best insurance should align with the specific needs of international students, offering flexibility, ease of use, and transparent terms. By thoroughly researching and comparing various insurance options, students can confidently choose a plan that safeguards their health and well-being throughout their educational journey in Spain.

Is healthcare free in Spain for international students?

While Spain’s healthcare system is renowned for its universality and accessibility, it’s important to note that healthcare is not typically free for international students. Spanish citizens and legal residents benefit from the public healthcare system, funded through social security contributions and taxes. However, international students often need to secure private health insurance to cover their medical expenses during their stay. Some autonomous regions might extend limited public healthcare access to students, but private health insurance is the recommended and more comprehensive option. This ensures that international students have reliable access to medical services, emergency care, hospitalisation, and other essential treatments without facing substantial financial burdens. Choosing the right health insurance plan is an essential step to guarantee a smooth and worry-free experience while studying in Spain.

Talk to one of our Student Advisors to request a quote for Spanish Health Insurance


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