Health Insurance and Benefits in Spain

Statutory benefits, add-ons, and more.

Updated on March 14th, 2023

What are Spain’s statutory health benefits, and what do they cover?

The National Health System (Sistema Nacional de Salud, or SNS) is the public healthcare system in Spain and is financed primarily through public funds. All people insured under this system and their beneficiaries (spouse, children, immediate relatives) are entitled to healthcare. (Please note that the employer must enroll the employee in social security; however, it is the employee's responsibility to enroll other beneficiaries.) “Insured” people include all people registered under social security, including those working in Spain, pensioners, and those receiving unemployment benefits.

The SNS is comprehensive, covering medicine, hospital care, surgery, and emergency treatment—although major dental treatment, long-term psychiatric treatment, cosmetic treatments, and medical evacuation are generally excluded. For more information about the SNS, please see this resource.

​​Both employers and employees must pay social security contributions, which cover healthcare. Contribution rates vary according to the type of agreement the worker has and the type of job performed. 

What are the most commonly offered health benefits?

Spain’s healthcare system is robust, so it is not mandatory for employers to provide additional health benefits to employees or their families.

Although not mandatory, it is common and recommended for employers to provide supplemental medical insurance for their employees via an allowance so each employee can choose the perfect insurance based on the benefits offered. 

It is common to offer only employee coverage; however, some employee-contribution plans can also cover dependents.