Some 800 British tourists use every day, especially in high season, to one of the 200 private health centers in Spain scammed by their insurance policy contracted since it does not cover the medical treatments they may need, and whose average billing cost can be up to 4,000 euros, as announced on Monday by the Alliance of Spanish Private Health (ASPE).
The fraud, as explained by the member of the Board of Directors of the private health employer, David Medina, is that British companies sell an insurance policy that, among other aspects, covers healthcare if you have a mishap during the holidays in Spain, although in an "opaque and in small print" they state that the assistance will be in a public and not private center, even though they have the right to receive free medical care with the European health card.
In fact, to hire these policies these British citizens are required to have previously removed the European sanitary card, something that "further reinforces the fraud" given that when they arrive in Spain and become sick, due to proximity or ignorance, they go first to a health center or private hospital.
Once in the center, these tourists are informed that assistance is not covered, a minor problem in the case that the patient is not serious and can go to public health, but more if he is in serious condition and has to be intervened as a matter of urgency. In these cases, as in those that are transferred to a public hospital, the British insurance company "automatically denies" the collection of the bill, so it is the patient who must pay it or, as in the case of "most of the occasions, "the private health care they have to bear the costs.
This occurs, as Medina explained, because Article 83 of the General Insurance Law defines in an "ambiguous" way the third party obliged to pay, which some autonomous communities such as Murcia, Andalucía, Canarias or the Comunidad Valenciana, they consider that the third party obliged to pay is private health care because it was the one who transferred the patient to public health services.
"So, Private healthcare is paying the bill for patient care in the public center, which we are charged by the executive channel for what you have to pay yes or yes. It is the height of the highs ", said the representative of ASPE, who has denounced the" total impunity "with the British companies acting.
In addition, Medina has warned that these practices involve "high costs" for the National Health System because it must assume a "greater congestion" of patients who, in theory, have paid for private care. In the same way, it has denounced that the British companies are carrying out a campaign of "discrediting" towards the Spanish private health, assuring that it is "corrupt" and that the health professionals working in these centers do not have enough preparation.
At present, up to 15 British companies have been detected with irregular insurance policies: Travelinsurance4medical.co.uk, Insurefor.com, Ok To Travel, Insure Pink, Staysure, Suretravel Citybond, Covered 2 Go, Good to Go, All Clear Traveler, Alpha Travel, ERV Medi-Care, Leisurecare Multi-traveler X5, World First Traveler and Get going Travel Insurance.
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