Convenio Especial, or access to state health care system in Valencia
There has been a lot of confusion surrounding access to public health care in Spain. With the passing of the new Health Care law in summer of 2018, many people are reading that just about everyone who resides in Spain SHOULD be able to get coverage and for free but don't know how or if they qualify. Some regions of Spain embraced the new law and implemented it in full, and others have not. Valencia did not jump on that train and does not offer free health care for all its residents. We will be keeping updates on local progress and let you know if this changes.
So, when living in Valencia you have several options for health cover:
1. Private health insurance. With copayments or not, depending on your budget and health issues. For residency purposes it must be without copayments.
2. Access to national heath care system. Available to people who are officially employed and their families, registered as self employed (autonom@s) and pensioners.
3. Convenio especial. Access to the national health system with a monthly payment, minus medication.
First, lets cover who can access the convenio?
To be eligible you have to be able to prove living in Valencia region* for at least one year. Being on the Padron is the legal way to prove this. You can try to show you had a lease for longer, but we can’t promise it will be accepted.
There is no other criteria. If you’re in an irregular situation and don’t have legal residency, you can still apply . If you have a bunch of pre-existing conditions, you are eligible to apply as well. Being over the age 70, is not a deterrent either. All you need is to have lived in the region for 365 days and have proof using your padron.
Secondly, how do I sign up?
Pretty easy. There’s an office of Social security in capitals of each province, Valencia, Castellon and Alicante, they do not require appointments. Each time we have arrived to a mostly empty office and it took a little to no wait time.
Fill in the paperwork and take with you:
Your passport / photo ID and a copy
Padron ( it must show you have been registered in the region for over a year, so if you moved and updated that recently, ask for a historical one at your city hall, which will show all the places you have lived and dates)
You can apply at any time of the year, there is not a specific cut off date or enrolment period.
Pricing is straight forward:
60 euro for under 65 yo.
157 euro for everyone above 65.
The first month you sign up you will get the invoice proportional to the days left in that month, the rest will be the exact amount to be paid in the first few days of the month.
Payment will be drafted automatically from your Spanish bank account. If you don’t have a NIE, you will have to pay manually, even if you have a bank account.
How long does it take?
Depending on the office, can take from 3 days to 6 weeks. Once you submit your paperwork for processing , you will receive a phone call telling you to come down and sign the contract. That same day you will get your health card with information what health centre is yours and it’s done!
If you need help sorting your health care in Valencia region and would like some assitance, you're welcome to contact us and we will do our best to help. You can also join our mailing list for news on residency and beyond in Valencia, Spain. We only send information that can affect our readers because of important changes
*On the website it states those who lived in Spain for a year, but we were asked to prove living in Valencia region, so it might differ depending on who and in which office you apply.