1. List of physicians and contracted clinics: Health insurances in Spain are usually subject to a list of contracted physicians. Check whether your trusted clinics and specialists in the area are associated. You can also check the physician list in another province should you move, and even the travel assistance guarantee.
2. Coverages: Although at first sight all coverages appear to be the same (visits to doctors, hospitalization, diagnostic tests), it’s important to pay attention to the coverages and especially to the exclusions. Many companies exclude, for example, work accidents and traffic accidents. Also, some coverages are limited (for example, internal prostheses).
3. Exclusive guarantees: Some policies offer very attractive guarantees which are worth considering, such as being able to visit a doctor or a clinic which are not included in the list, even worldwide, or having access to psychology treatments, osteopathy, assisted reproduction, dental coverage extension, etc. Sometimes, for a little more money, you can get a much broader coverage.
4. Advice: Both when contracting an insurance and during the validity of your policy, it is important to have an expert you can ask any questions regarding your health insurance, as health insurance matters can often be complex, and having someone you can trust is a plus.
5. Co-payment: Some policies include a cost for using your insurance card, i.e. every time you use the insurance (visit to a doctor, diagnostic test, rehabilitation session, etc.), the company charges a fee. We recommend checking this point. It is only advisable if it implies important savings on your monthly premium, and if you do not plan on going to the doctor often. Unfortunately, however, this is something one cannot plan.
6. Policy duration: Some policies available in the market must be renewed by common consent every year, which means that, per contract, the company can decide whether the policy is renewed for the following year or not. In certain health conditions, this is a serious inconvenience. Unfortunately, this is the case of most policies available in the market. For this reason, we recommend you to find a policy which expressly includes a life insurance clause, i.e., that only the insurance holder can cancel the policy (not the insurance company).
7. Solvent company: Choosing a company of recognized solvency is a long-term guarantee.
8. Subscription conditions: Companies usually request new insurance holders to answer a health questionnaire prior to contracting, as we must not forget we are talking about private insurances. Mistrust companies that ask no questions about your health condition, as they most probably have a clause according to which any pre-existing conditions and their consequences will not be covered. This can lead to unpleasant arguments in the future.
9. Deferment periods: Some guarantees in a policy are usually subject to a deferment period, which may vary between 6 and 12 months, before they can come into effect. It is important to know about them in order to prevent unpleasant surprises. These deferment periods are usually cancelled in case of changing from one insurance company to another, except for the one regarding pregnancy. It is important to clarify this aspect when contracting an insurance.
10. Price: Although the price is obviously important, it is a common mistake to look exclusively at the price. We recommend that once you have the price, you check the list above and see which insurance offers you the best value for money. Also, ask about discounts for payment method and number of persons insured.
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