The Spanish National Health System (SNS), despite being one of the best health systems in Europe, does not cover all the medical expenses that a person may incur (for example, certain treatments, certain medications, etc.) and, therefore, in many cases it may be worthwhile to take out private health insurance. But is this a mandatory requirement for the many students who decide to come to Spain for Erasmus?


In 2013 the Law governing the Spanish Health System was reformed and, from then on, many were excluded from the services offered free of charge. For this reason, a large part of the visas and permits in Spain require the contracting of a private health insurance. To give some examples, we can mention:

  • Obtaining a community residence card.
  • As a general rule, registrations in Spain (for EU citizens).
  • Family regrouping
  • Students with visa (non-EU citizens)
  • Obtaining non-profit residency
  • Acquisition of investor visa


As a general rule, European citizens in Spain are covered by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) within the first 90 days of their stay in our country.

Additionally, the Spanish Law guarantees the same coverage to irregular foreigners in Spain (including students who want to take an Erasmus course in Spain), although within the aforementioned 90 days.


European students who want to do an Erasmus are covered by the EHIC. However, if their stay is longer than 3 months (as well as in the case of non-European students) it is highly recommended to take out a private health insurance policy which should be quite comprehensive and should at least comply with the following aspects:

  • No co-payments
  • No waiting periods
  • Provide the maximum possible coverage throughout the national territory.
  • Offer hospitalization and travel
  • Include different surgical interventions
  • Other


In conclusion, before the temporary transfer to Spain, it is necessary for the student to make all the necessary arrangements to be covered in terms of health care in our country and, therefore, it is advisable to take out a good medical insurance, keeping in mind that the cheapest rate is not always the ideal one and that it is always important to look at the «fine print».


Do you want to know when it is mandatory to take out private health insurance when doing an Erasmus?

At FeliuN&I, thanks to our experts in the field, we will advise you and show you the best alternatives to avoid any problems on your trip or Erasmus and what laws and obligations you must comply with to have everything in order. Do not hesitate, contact us.


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