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Paying a Medical Bill from the Junta de Castilla y Leon

Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
We got COVID on our recent camino. We holed up in Astorga and while there went to the Centro de Salud for some medical advice. We weren't sure it was advisable to take a regular decongestant or antihistamine and my husband's nose was running like Niagra Falls (Answer -- over the counter decongestants and antihistamines are fine from a COVID perspective). We also wondered if there was antying else we should be doing other than resting and isolating. (answer: nothing else)

Anyway, we tried to pay but they were not set up to take payment. When we got home we had a bill in the mail for 90 euros. I need to pay this but I am not sure how to do so. Can I just sent a US check to Spain? Any advice would be appreciated.

LizB
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
We got COVID on our recent camino. We holed up in Astorga and while there went to the Centro de Salud for some medical advice. We weren't sure it was advisable to take a regular decongestant or antihistamine and my husband's nose was running like Niagra Falls (Answer -- over the counter decongestants and antihistamines are fine from a COVID perspective). We also wondered if there was antying else we should be doing other than resting and isolating. (answer: nothing else)

Anyway, we tried to pay but they were not set up to take payment. When we got home we had a bill in the mail for 90 euros. I need to pay this but I am not sure how to do so. Can I just sent a US check to Spain? Any advice would be appreciated.

LizB
Hola @ebrandt
Sorry to hear about your fight with COVID but unfortunately its "par for the course".
Now how to pay your account. There should be bank account details on the account - Account Name, Account Number and BSB Number. Since yours is now going to be an international transfer it might be a bit more involved. If there is a telephone number you may be able to phone, ask to speak to someone who has reasonable English and ask if you can pay via credit card (MC/VISA/AMEX). if this option is not available I suggest that you go to your bank and ask their advice about arranging an international transfer.
Back in 2015 I had to go to the University Hospital in Salamanca. At the end of my treatment they gave me an account (with all the above info). I asked if I pay in cash and was advised Yes. I came about two hours later with the E104.90 and paid the cashier directly, she gave me a receipt and marked my account as paid.
Good luck
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2020
You could use https://wise.com/ .
This system allows you to send money from your credit card directly to a Spanish bank account and the fees are much less than an international transfer typically would be.
That sounds interesting - have you used it yourself ?

Im in the group of those (pre Covid ) going to a Centro de Salud and wanting to pay on the spot ; but having them say: no, we need your insurance details. I complied but would have preferred to pay then.
Months later.. I received an account from Centro de Salud for around 350 euros which I arranged for my bank to transfer to spain : to bank account info on invoice.
It just wasn’t worth nit picking again through the insurance / plus the excess would have been almost this value.

Good luck Liz.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Hola @ebrandt
Sorry to hear about your fight with COVID but unfortunately its "par for the course".
Now how to pay your account. There should be bank account details on the account - Account Name, Account Number and BSB Number. Since yours is now going to be an international transfer it might be a bit more involved. If there is a telephone number you may be able to phone, ask to speak to someone who has reasonable English and ask if you can pay via credit card (MC/VISA/AMEX). if this option is not available I suggest that you go to your bank and ask their advice about arranging an international transfer.
Back in 2015 I had to go to the University Hospital in Salamanca. At the end of my treatment they gave me an account (with all the above info). I asked if I pay in cash and was advised Yes. I came about two hours later with the E104.90 and paid the cashier directly, she gave me a receipt and marked my account as paid.
Good luck
An international transfer is not the best option from the USA We just don’t do bank transfers here often. Fees can be half the charge you’re paying. If you ask, the hospital can send you a link and you can pay via credit card or atm card. I do it all the time when I’m paying for reservations. It’s also the way I paid my recent hospital bill
 
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
You could use https://wise.com/ .
This system allows you to send money from your credit card directly to a Spanish bank account and the fees are much less than an international transfer typically would be.
I will check this out. I have never heard of it. Thank you
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I would underscore others' advice to effect a credit card payment. A US$ cheque might well require extra charges to be cashed, and would be a great headache to everyone (if you're one of these really rare people with a Euro account at your bank, it might be much easier).

As well, you might want to send them a card at Christmas to thank them. While Spain is a modern society with a complex economy and everyone expects to be paid, they really love to be thanked.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
This is why I've decided that it's best to go to a private hospital/clinic. They usually give you the price up front, and you can pay at time of service via credit card and have a bill to take home to submit to your insurance for reimbursement.

A friend told me today that she just received an invoice for her Covid test in Spain - 351€!
 

mr potatohead

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2014); Primitivo (2017)
Norte (Sept 2018); Portuguese (coastal) Sept 2019
You could use https://wise.com/ .
This system allows you to send money from your credit card directly to a Spanish bank account and the fees are much less than an international transfer typically would be.
I always use this firm; excellent rates and service.
 
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tarredon

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Chemin du Piemont Pyrenees (Sep-Oct 2022)
That sounds interesting - have you used it yourself ?

Im in the group of those (pre Covid ) going to a Centro de Salud and wanting to pay on the spot ; but having them say: no, we need your insurance details. I complied but would have preferred to pay then.
Months later.. I received an account from Centro de Salud for around 350 euros which I arranged for my bank to transfer to spain : to bank account info on invoice.
It just wasn’t worth nit picking again through the insurance / plus the excess would have been almost this value.

Good luck Liz.
There is also a Wise app you can download, and it is very easy to make international transfers that way. I’ve done it a few times in preparation for the current Camino we’re going on, to pay deposits, etc. You just need to know the bank account information for the person or business you’re sending money to, as you normally would for an international transfer. It is much cheaper and easier than going to your bank.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I have had the same difficulties getting money to Spain. (In fact, I remember that you once took some money to Oviedo for me!) :)

A much lower tech option may be what I just recently did with the two geezers on the Olvidado. I had tried and failed to send a donation to the Vegarienza albergue. Since they were going to stay there, I asked if they would make a donation on my behalf. I then transferred the money to them via Zelle, which is amazingly simple but probably not available in Spain.

Astorga is a small enough place that a forum member passing through might be able to do this easily on your behalf.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
Thanks for the tips. I don't have an email but the invoice gives bank transfer info. I'd like to avoid a wire transfer as it will cost me $25. So the Wise app sounds like an option. That or a phone call.

i thought I would add that we went to a private hospital in Burgos when my husband injured his knee. They gave us the cost info up front and we paid with a credit card. An emergency room consult, X-rays, and an orthopedic specialist consult cost only $350!
 
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Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Time of past OR future Camino
2020
You could use https://wise.com/ .
This system allows you to send money from your credit card directly to a Spanish bank account and the fees are much less than an international transfer typically would be.
Yes, I use the Wise app all the time to make international transfers, and sometimes even to make national transfers here in Portugal because it's just easier than with my Portuguese bank. I have a Wise credit card too, which is incredibly convenient for withdrawing from ATMs abroad. Highly recommend.
 

JamesGeier

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2016
CF Autumn 2017
VDLP spring 2023
I have used Wise many times to transfer money to both Thailand and Spain. The fees are reasonable and for a recent transfer of about $670, the fee was $6. They have various options for transferring funds to a recipient's bank account:
- bank account to bank account
- debit card to bank account
- credit card to bank account
The fees are higher for using a debit card and even higher for using a credit card. I use bank account to bank account.
 

JCarpenter

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
This is an additional comment about medical that may or may not be helpful to future pilgrims, at least for a time. I went to the health center in Sarria, (not COVID related) was seen in 15 minutes by a doctor, and was told that there is an agreement between Galicia and our State Department that the visit for a pilgrim would be free. I even offered to run it through our insurance, but I was told that would complicate things. Could this be the insurance that Galicia bought for pilgrims? No explanation as to how long this is in effect. So if you can get injured or sick in Galicia, that is preferred, in my opinion, to other parts of Spain. Or limp there. Of course, in the case of COVID, and not wishing to make others ill, that is not a good option. Perhaps it would be helpful to other pilgrims, if someone with firsthand knowledge could explain how this worked.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Time of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
We got COVID on our recent camino. We holed up in Astorga and while there went to the Centro de Salud for some medical advice. We weren't sure it was advisable to take a regular decongestant or antihistamine and my husband's nose was running like Niagra Falls (Answer -- over the counter decongestants and antihistamines are fine from a COVID perspective). We also wondered if there was antying else we should be doing other than resting and isolating. (answer: nothing else)

Anyway, we tried to pay but they were not set up to take payment. When we got home we had a bill in the mail for 90 euros. I need to pay this but I am not sure how to do so. Can I just sent a US check to Spain? Any advice would be appreciated.

LizB
Liz, I can help you. Please email me a copy of the bill and I will pay via my Spanish account.
You can send me the equivalent in dollars to my PayPal account at rebrites @ gmail . com
 
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Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2020
Yes, works a charm and is cheap. I sent some money to a Spanish charity.

I also have their debit card and app.
Hi (I don’t like to call you Dough or doughnut tho 😁)

Q. Would you say the debit card is similar the the USA ‘charles Schwab’ card ? Ie does it refund fees incurred in taking cash at machines in Europe /camino etc.

Q. I find that sending funds to charities using PayPal incurs a percentage fee .. frustrating when you want it all to go to the recipient.
When it’s possible (Ie I’m in spain - I prefer to deliver in cash for that reason ).

I will check out the app (you mention that they have one).

Tks Annie.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
Would you say the debit card is similar the the USA ‘charles Schwab’ card ? Ie does it refund fees incurred in taking cash at machines in Europe /camino etc.
No, they don't promise to refund ATM fees.

However, they are a Europe based company and so might be part of one of the European banking groups, I don't know. There is also a very nice cheat sheet showing which bank ATMs charge the least fees within the Forum resources section.

a percentage fee .. frustrating when you want it all to go to the recipient.
I am attaching some screenshots showing fees for international transfers in NZD and AUD and a screenshot about ATM fees. They recently increased their ATM fees.

Lastly, the app is now called TransferWise.
 

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alwalker

Al WAlker
Time of past OR future Camino
many.

next ones- Via Francigena, San Salvador, Primitivo, Portuguese
Thanks for the tips. I don't have an email but the invoice gives bank transfer info. I'd like to avoid a wire transfer as it will cost me $25. So the Wise app sounds like an option. That or a phone call.

i thought I would add that we went to a private hospital in Burgos when my husband injured his knee. They gave us the cost info up front and we paid with a credit card. An emergency room consult, X-rays, and an orthopedic specialist consult cost only $350!
Have you tried Paypal??
 

Pilgrim Kaye

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Ingles 2019 Camino Frances Oct 2022 (plan)
This is an additional comment about medical that may or may not be helpful to future pilgrims, at least for a time. I went to the health center in Sarria, (not COVID related) was seen in 15 minutes by a doctor, and was told that there is an agreement between Galicia and our State Department that the visit for a pilgrim would be free. I even offered to run it through our insurance, but I was told that would complicate things. Could this be the insurance that Galicia bought for pilgrims? No explanation as to how long this is in effect. So if you can get injured or sick in Galicia, that is preferred, in my opinion, to other parts of Spain. Or limp there. Of course, in the case of COVID, and not wishing to make others ill, that is not a good option. Perhaps it would be helpful to other pilgrims, if someone with firsthand knowledge could explain how this worked.
Hi. In 2019 (pre-Covid) I got a flu and had a fever in Ferrol before beginning the English Camino with my husband. I needed a prescription for antibiotics. We went to the Medical Center and under the advise of a very nice Brazilian girl that was living there I was told to register as a pilgrim and to mark the option of desplazada, as I didn't have a fixed address in Spain.
I was seen by a doctor and got my prescription without paying anything. So I guess that you are probably right about Galicia's insurance for pilgrims. Like you, I would like to know more about the subject as we are returning for the Frances next October.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugués (from Oporto to SdC), July 2022
That sounds interesting - have you used it yourself ?

Im in the group of those (pre Covid ) going to a Centro de Salud and wanting to pay on the spot ; but having them say: no, we need your insurance details. I complied but would have preferred to pay then.
Months later.. I received an account from Centro de Salud for around 350 euros which I arranged for my bank to transfer to spain : to bank account info on invoice.
It just wasn’t worth nit picking again through the insurance / plus the excess would have been almost this value.

Good luck Liz.
Wise is great. I have used it regularly to send funds to my son studying in Spain.
 

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