Health Insurance in Spain for Students

This article is a step-by-step guide explaining how an International Student can obtain their health insurance in Spain. This is very important since most universities and student visa applications require international students to have Health insurance. The trend is that each year there are more and more students, from all different parts of the world, enrolling in private and public Higher education in Spain. Whether it is because of the globally renowned universities & programs, the lifestyle or cities, Spain is a very attractive country for international students. At StudiesIn we help you focus on the things that make studying in Spain so amazing, by helping you solve the more monotonous tasks, like Health Insurance. 

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Spanish Healthcare System

The Spanish healthcare system has a very high quality level and in case of emergency is available for every person in Spain, regardless of background or purchasing power. This means that you will never truly be in grave danger, in that sense. It is also important to note that the public Spanish National Healthcare System (¨Sistema Nacional de Salud¨ or ¨SNS¨), does not cover every health expense. Expenses such ambulances, pharmacy prescriptions or dentists are not covered and will have to be paid by you.

However, apart from Spanish citizens that have access to free health care, international students, studying in Spain, will have to buy some type of health insurance. This is a Spanish government requirement that international students obtain private health insurance that meets certain minimum standards, which will be discussed further in this Article. It can also be important for you to check with your university or the Spanish embassy in your home country for what is expected and necessary regarding health insurance. Regardless of the Health insurance you obtain, the Spanish government requires you to have coverage for the whole time you are in Spain. Nevertheless, this StudiesIn article will aim to clarify your most pending queries concerning health insurance in Spain. 

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Do International Students Have Health Insurance?

International students do not automatically have health insurance in Spain. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain their own health insurance. Without health insurance, international students may have to pay for medical expenses out of pocket, which can be very expensive.

EU Citizens Health Insurance (EHIC Card)

Citizens from the European Economic Area, European Union, and Switzerland that are insured by the social security system of their country must obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from their original country’s public health authorities, prior to travelling to Spain. By having this card you can have the required health coverage while living in Europe. However the European Health Insurance Card is usually intended for short trips and may not cover longer periods of time in Spain or for large treatments. In general, always make sure to communicate and check with your home country health insurance provider to know the specifics of what and for how long you will be covered.

Non-EU Citizens Health Insurance

Citizens from non-EU countries have to purchase a private health insurance plan, prior to travelling to Spain. It is not an option for non-EU international students to get public health insurance. There are a few countries that have health provision agreements with Spain. However this is important to find out for yourself if this applies to your specific home country. If that is not the case, then as a non-EU international student, it is necessary for you to choose and get a private health insurance plan that works for you. A governmental requirement in Spain is that the plan you acquire includes a minimum coverage of €30,000 (which includes evacuation and repatriation). Therefore make sure the insurance you pick meets this necessary coverage. An important detail is that for students in Spain for less than 90 days (3 months), you should contract a private health insurance plan that is named ¨travel insurance plan¨.

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What is International Student Insurance (ISI) in Spain?

International Student Insurance (ISI) is a specific health insurance in Spain that is made for international students that study in Spain. International Student Insurance (ISI) covers medical expenses, hospitalisation, and emergency care, and depending on the plan, higher or lower expenses. These different types of plans for students and for different purposes include travelling, studying and visiting Spain. Therefore it is important to pick the one that best suits your needs and budget. 

Sanitas International Student Insurance Spain

Sanitas is a private health insurance company in Spain that offers international student insurance plans. Sanitas international student insurance plans provide coverage for medical expenses, hospitalisation, and emergency care. Sanitas also offers additional benefits such as dental care and travel assistance.

This health insurance offers comprehensive coverage with no co-payments or waiting periods, along with repatriation services. It provides flexible short and long-term contracts tailored to your stay in Spain and Europe. You'll receive personal assistance in English or Spanish, and documentation is available in multiple languages. The policy meets visa application requirements and covers general and specialist consultations, diagnostic tests, outpatient and inpatient surgery, hospitalisation, dental coverage, and travel assistance. It includes a 24-hour helpline and access to various healthcare services. Plans are flexible and can be extended, with a refund option for COVID-19-related cancellations, delays, or visa denials. Prices range from 34€ to 45€ per month

Best Private Health Insurance in Spain 

We have compiled a few of the most popular Private Health Insurances in Spain and of the greatest quality. These insurance providers have plans for international students and you can also request and obtain non-binding quotes, making it easier to then pick the one that best fits you.


Sanitas is a leading healthcare insurance provider in Spain, with over 60 years of industry experience. They collaborate with Bupa, a renowned international insurance group, to offer comprehensive insurance plans. These plans, which include dental coverage, make Sanitas an exceptional choice for international students.

ASISA boasts an extensive network of hospitals and services throughout Spain, making it ideal for students, visa applicants, foreign residents, and long-term stays. They provide English-language customer support, legal documents, a medical smartphone app, and a 24-hour emergency hotline, making them an excellent option for stays exceeding 3 months. Their coverage also includes worldwide travel insurance at no extra cost.

Other notable private health insurance companies in Spain include Adeslas, known for its extensive coverage and large medical team; Axa, a reputable company with global operations; Allianz, the world's largest insurance provider; and Cigna Global, offering a wide range of services and popular among expats and young intern

Spain International Student Fees

The cost of international student insurance in Spain varies depending on the insurance company and the level of coverage. On average, international student insurance in Spain can cost between €300 and €600 per year. It is important to shop around and compare insurance plans to find the best coverage at the best price.


International student health insurance in Spain is important for international students studying in Spain. By obtaining health insurance, international students can have peace of mind knowing that they are protected in case of unexpected medical expenses. It is important to choose the insurance plan that best suits your needs and budget. If this kind of bureaucratic work that has to be done as an international student preparing to study abroad in Spain (Visas, University applications, etc..) is something that you would like help with do not hesitate to contact us at StudiesIn. We would be more than happy to do so, and we are wishing you good luck with these stressful affairs.

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Written by

Lourenço Almeida

Postgraduate, 2023

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