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CHANGING HEALTH INSURANCE

CHANGING HEALTH INSURANCE

You may decide to change your private health insurance in Spain for many reasons. For example, for financial reasons: its price for the new year has increased significantly or you suddenly realize that your friends are paying significantly less for the same package of services. Or maybe, on the contrary, your financial possibilities have increased and you have the opportunity to switch to a better policy with wider coverage?

Or it may be the case that are not satisfied at all with the quality of service provided by the insurance company (e.g. long authorization procedures, etc.) or with the intermediary who issued your policy.

So, you are thinking about changing the insurance company. Many questions arise immediately. In what cases it is impossible to change the insurance? How can you change insurance in time and correctly (getting a better price without losing the quality)? Which companies in the market provide the top service?
In our post, we will tell you about the peculiarities of changing an insurance company in Spain. So, what do you need to pay attention to when reissuing your policy? 

Timeline

Usually, health insurance policy implies automatic annual renewal. The date of renewal can be linked to a calendar year (the policy is reissued on 1 January) or to the original effect date (the policy is updated on the same day it was issued).
In order to change to a new insurance company, you need to notify the current insurance company that you do not want to continue the contact at least one month before the date of renewal, otherwise the policy will be extended, and you will have an obligation to pay for it the following year. The notice must be sent in writing accompanied by a copy of ID of the policyholder. 

Thus, if your policy is to be renewed on 1 January, now it is just the time to check the alternatives. It is in October-December that most companies have special promotions, offering extremely favourable conditions for the re-issuance of health insurance.

Pre-existing conditions.

The procedure involves completing a health questionnaire (either in paper form or by phone by an insurance company employee). On the basis of the information provided, the insurance company will decide whether the client is accepted for full service or the pathologies that have appeared before the policy was issued will be subject to exclusion (complete exclusion from coverage or waiting periods may be applied).

If your health condition does not raise any questions, you may change your health insurance even every year. However, if the client has serious, chronic or life-threatening illnesses, the insurance companies may reject the policy issuance. If you have certain pathologies, in some case it is advisable not to change your insurance company.

Therefore, it is very important that you make sure that the new policy provides you with the necessary coverage before you cancel your existing insurance. As a rule, insurance companies are not inclined to treat illnesses that occurred before the policy was issued, but this does not mean that any pathology will fall under the exception. Companies evaluate each case individually, so it is necessary to fill in the questionnaire correctly. What happens if the pathology is known to the client, but not stated in the questionnaire? If it is discovered later that the pathology was diagnosed before the contract was taken out but was concealed when the insurance was issued, the insurance company has the right to exclude it from the coverage or (in the case of hiding some serious pathology) even terminate the contract without refund of the insurance fee paid in advance.

Waiting periods.

When taking out private health insurance in Spain, certain services (such as hospitalization and surgery in case of non-life-threatening conditions) are subject to waiting periods. A waiting period is a fixed period from the day the contract comes into effect, during which the insurance does not cover the costs of these services.

If you have already had a health insurance policy with similar coverage that has been in force for at least a year, most waiting periods can be cancelled. In order to cancel them, you will need to provide a copy of the valid policy as well as the latest confirmation of payment of the respective insurance fee.
Important! The waiting period for child delivery always remains and is usually 8 months. This means that if someone who is currently insured is waiting for a baby and your current policy covers childbirth, it is better to wait with changing of the insurance company. 

Cover.

When comparing different health insurance options, you need to take into account not only the price, but the coverage included. If you need comprehensive insurance, make sure that the policy does not impose restrictions on hospitalization. Check also whether there are any extra co-payments for medical assistance, or the policy implies that services are provided without any extra charges. In case you need the policy to extend your residence permit, it is important to make sure that the coverage complies with Extranjería requirements.

Please note that  your policy may provide for cover only in the hospitals collaborating with the insurance company or give a possibility to apply to any clinic in Spain or abroad with reimbursement of 80-90% of your medical expenses.

We are always happy to advise you on all the issues related to taking out a top-quality policy that meets your personal preferences and budget. We do not charge any extra fees for the selection of the best insurance policy, nor for its issuance. Get a quote online, call us at 677 455 883 or write info@justinsurance.es

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