Health Insurance for Expats in Italy 2023
Foreigners living in Italy need to be well prepared before facing the bureaucracy of the country's National Health Service. Find out about health insurance for foreigners in Italy 2023 and how to choose the right private insurance for an expat
Italy's public health care system is funded by taxpayers, so all residents of the country have the right to medical care without paying a monthly insurance premium. Also, the country has a widespread system of voluntary insurance, which allows you to contact private medical institutions and receive services that are not available through the state system.
According to the latest polls, 46% of Italians are considering purchasing a health insurance policy because it provides access to specialist services that would be too expensive to visit without insurance. Also, with insurance, you can get medical services in the shortest possible time.
Expats moving to Italy are also entitled to take out private health insurance.
We tell you in detail about the health care system in Italy and the available methods of health insurance.
Health care in italy
The National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale – SSN) of Italy is financed by the state. Any foreigner has the right to access this system if he receives a health card (tessera sanitaria) from the local health authority (Azienda Sanità Locale - ASL).
Services within the NHS are free or low-cost. You will have to pay extra for some prescription drugs and specialized treatment. Unprotected groups of the population are exempted from surcharge: children, pensioners, low-income people.
All expats employed in Italy can register for SSN free of charge. Students and pensioners also have free access to services. The rest of the foreigners have the opportunity to take out insurance voluntarily, but in this case you will have to pay a fixed annual fee.
Consulting a highly qualified lawyer on treatment issues will help you understand the specifics of the Italian health care system. The specialist will also advise on the existing health insurance systems in the country.
Who needs to issue a health insurance policy in Italy?
In order to be entitled to medical care in Italy, foreigners who do not have access to the National Health Care System must take out private health insurance. Also, private policies can be used in conjunction with an SSN to qualify for a broader list of health care.
European Health Insurance Card. Read here how to get preferential medical care in the EU countries.
Health insurance is mandatory for most visa applications
- Features of insurance in Italy for expats who are EU citizens
EU citizens who plan to stay in Italy for less than 3 months, there is no need to register with the Italian National Health Service or take out additional insurance. Most EU citizens have an EHIC (European Health and Insurance Card), which allows you to use emergency medical services during a temporary stay in EU countries. With the EHIC, you can go directly to government agencies and get the help you need. If the service you receive requires a co-payment, you pay it just like everyone else.
If you do not have an EHIC, you need to take out private health insurance to receive medical care in Italy.
If you are an EU citizen and have been living in Italy for more than three months, you must have private health insurance or be registered with the Italian National Health Service (SSN).
- Health insurance in Italy for foreigners who are not EU citizens
Foreigners who are not EU citizens, but plan to stay in Italy for up to 90 days, must take out travel health insurance.
Expats who have obtained a work permit in the EU have the right to register with the Italian National Health Service or purchase private health insurance.
How to get health care for those who do not have health insurance in Italy?
If you are not covered by an SSN and have not purchased private insurance, you may not be able to get non-emergency care. In an emergency, you can contact an Italian hospital, but you will have to pay for the expenses at your own expense.
Where to register with the Italian National Health Service (SSN)
Registration for SSN is done at the ASL (Local Health Authority) offices in your area of residence.
To register with the SSN (National Health Service), you will need the following documents:
- A valid residence permit or employment receipt.
- Certificate of residence (can be produced independently) or declaration of your actual current residence.
- Recent tax return.
Private health insurance in Italy
Private health insurance is only required for short-term visitors from outside the EU and foreigners waiting for an SSN card. However, many Italians and expats prefer private health insurance because it has many advantages:
Full access to Italian healthcare – policyholders have the right to use both public and private services throughout the country.
A wide range of services - in addition to basic medical care, additional services can be added to the policy: dentistry, physiotherapy, etc.
Reducing the waiting period - in a private hospital, you can get the help of a doctor much faster.
Possibility to choose a general practitioner and specialized specialists.
A referral from a general practitioner is not required for a visit to a specialized specialist.
Possibility of full reimbursement of treatment costs.
Additional services in hospitals, for example, private wards.
Availability of English-speaking staff.
Types of private health insurance in Italy
In Italy, two types of health insurance can be distinguished:
Corporate health insurance - the employer fully or partially pays for the insurance policy for employees.
Voluntary health insurance – the policy is taken out by an individual, the insured person pays the premium independently.
Private health insurance italy cost
To cover the costs of medical care, the insured person pays a monthly or quarterly fixed payment.
Each company has developed many different types of insurance policies. They are divided into basic and complex.
The cost of the policy depends on: the level of insurance benefits and the limit of claims, the coverage area (national or international), the availability of additional services (for example, dental care), the age and health of the insured person, the number of insured persons, etc.
Expect to pay between €100 and €500 per month for a health insurance policy.
What should you pay attention to when choosing an insurance company?
Both national and international insurance companies operate on the Italian market. When choosing an insurance agent, we advise you to pay attention to:
The ability to adapt the components of the policy depending on your needs - whether it is possible to add services that interest you or exclude unnecessary ones.
Payment process - the insurance company will directly transfer funds to the hospital or you will need to pay for the doctor's services yourself and then wait for compensation from the insurance company.
Ability to change the amount of the franchise.
Foreign coverage - does the policy cover other countries.
Additional benefits of the policy.
Cancellation policy - how easy it is to switch to another insurance company.
Where to buy a private health insurance policy?
Take out an insurance policy from verified agents online in just a few minutes. You can buy health insurance by following the link.
The majority of people who took out a private health insurance policy in Italy say that they are satisfied with the quality of the services they received. Expats trust insurance companies and note the quick procedure for compensation of expenses. Private health insurance will ensure you a peaceful life in Italy and quality medical care in emergency situations.
What countries are allowed to come to Italy for treatment?
For short-term stays (up to three months), citizens of the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), namely Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, can receive medical care in Italy on the basis of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
British citizens are entitled to use their own Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) in Italy, which replaced the EHIC after Brexit.
Italy also has reciprocal healthcare agreements with certain countries. Citizens of the following countries do not need to obtain health insurance when traveling to Italy: Argentina, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Macedonia, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia, Tunisia, and the Vatican.
Many foreigners take advantage of this opportunity and travel to Italy for treatment. In certain cases, a medical visa is required for short-term or long-term entry to Italy for treatment. Here is a list of documents and the procedure for obtaining a medical visa in Italy for citizens of different countries: Argentina, Monaco, Tunisia, etc.
In general, medical tourism in Italy is becoming increasingly popular. Previously, tourists were attracted to the country by architecture, culture and nature. However, people are increasingly traveling to Italy for medical treatment.
For more information about immigration, work, education, travel and medical treatment in Italy, follow this link.
How to choose health insurance: step-by-step instructions.
Health insurance abroad: find answers to the most common questions here.
Find the 7 best places to live in Italy for a high quality of life here.
Treatment abroad: do Ukrainians need health insurance in Europe?
Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:
Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in Italy;
Insurance for foreign students in Italy;
Services of a personal lawyer in Italy for registration in Italy for up to one year.
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