×
Interested in our Partner Program for businesses or our Local Guide Program for experienced expats and digital nomads? Click here to learn more.
Expat Exchange - Enrolling in the Public Healthcare System in Italy
Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In
Turin, Italy


Enrolling in the Public Healthcare System in Italy

By Betsy Burlingame

Tripiamo
Tripiamo

Summary: A primer on how to enroll in the public healthcare system in Italy.

If you're planning to enroll in the public healthcare system in Italy, this article covers the requirements for foreigners to be able enroll in the public healthcare system, the steps involved and more.

Italy is renowned for its excellent public healthcare system, known as Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN). The World Health Organization ranks it as one of the best in the world. The SSN provides comprehensive coverage to all Italian residents, including a wide range of medical services from general practitioners, specialists, hospital care, and prescription drugs. It is funded by taxes and is mandatory for all residents, including foreigners legally residing in Italy. Most people in Italy use the SSN due to its high quality and low costs.

Eligibility for Foreigners

Foreigners are eligible to enroll in the SSN if they are legally residing in Italy. This includes EU citizens, non-EU citizens with a valid residence permit, and even those awaiting approval for their permit. However, non-EU citizens without a valid permit are only entitled to urgent or essential care.

Enrollment Process

The process of enrolling in the SSN involves several steps:

  1. Obtain a residence permit: Non-EU citizens must first apply for a residence permit (Permesso di Soggiorno) at the local police station (Questura). EU citizens must register their residence at the local town hall (Comune).
  2. Choose a doctor: Once you have your residence permit, you can choose a general practitioner (Medico di Base) or pediatrician for children under 6 years old. You can find a list of doctors at the local health authority (Azienda Sanitaria Locale, ASL).
  3. Register at the ASL: Bring your residence permit, tax code (Codice Fiscale), and proof of identity to the ASL to register. You will also need to provide your chosen doctor's name.
  4. Pay the annual fee: The fee varies depending on your income, but it's generally around €150-€380 per year. Some people, such as those with low income, certain chronic diseases, or pregnant women, are exempt from this fee.
  5. Receive your health card: After registering and paying the fee, you will receive a health card (Tessera Sanitaria). This card allows you to access healthcare services across Italy and even in other EU countries.

Private Healthcare

While the SSN provides high-quality healthcare, some people choose to supplement it with private healthcare. Private healthcare can offer shorter waiting times and access to a wider range of specialists. Many people in Italy have both public and private healthcare. If you're considering private healthcare, it's important to research different providers and plans to find one that suits your needs and budget.

Healthcare for Temporary Visitors

If you're in Italy temporarily and need medical care, you can use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you're from an EU country. Non-EU visitors should have travel insurance that covers healthcare. In an emergency, anyone can access urgent care, regardless of their residency status or insurance.

Overall, Italy's public healthcare system is an excellent resource for residents, providing comprehensive and affordable care. By understanding the enrollment process and your rights, you can ensure you have access to the healthcare you need while living in Italy.

Traveling MailboxTraveling Mailbox
Connect

Traveling Mailbox serves thousands of travelers, expats, digital nomads, businesses, individuals and others in over 47 Countries by scanning their postal mail so they can view it online anywhere in the world. They provide customer service 7 days a week so if you need assistance, it is just a phone call away. Traveling Mailbox works with Evernote, Bill.com and Dropbox. And, there are Traveling Mailbox apps available for iOS and Android devices.

Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

Traveling MailboxTraveling Mailbox

Traveling Mailbox serves thousands of travelers, expats, digital nomads, businesses, individuals and others in over 47 Countries by scanning their postal mail so they can view it online anywhere in the world. They provide customer service 7 days a week so if you need assistance, it is just a phone call away. Traveling Mailbox works with Evernote, Bill.com and Dropbox. And, there are Traveling Mailbox apps available for iOS and Android devices.
Connect

Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


Tripiamo
Tripiamo

Tripiamo
Tripiamo

Turin, Italy

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

Contribute to Italy Network Contribute
Help others in Italy by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Italy.

Tripiamo
Tripiamo

Copyright 1997-2024 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal Partners & Local Guides