Health insurance in Italy is primarily organized on a regional level through the nationally established Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN), which provides universal coverage, including the full funding of public doctors and prescription drugs. Formed in 1978, the SSN has increased the accessibility of medical insurance in Italy.
While the public services in Italy are reliable, as a foreigner you also have the option of acquiring private health insurance in Italy, which the majority of foreigners tend to do. It is important to understand which type of health insurance in Italy you are eligible for long before stepping on an airplane. Medical insurance in Italy is a requisite if you plan to stay for longer than 90 days.
If you are an international student, health insurance in Italy is required before you arrive. It is imperative to visit your healthcare provider at home, obtain the necessary documents to demonstrate proof of coverage, and show these documents both at the Italian Consulate nearest to you, as well as at the Questura, or police station, within eight days of entrance into the country. This information is crucial, as, in order to extend the length of your time in Italy for greater than 90 days, you must obtain a permit to stay. Without proof of coverage from your home provider, this is impossible to do.
If you have private coverage at home, as a non-EU citizen, the requirements are different. In order for your private health insurance in Italy to be valid and to obtain a permit to stay, some requirements include but are not limited to: legitimacy in the Schengen area, exact coverage period and expenses and a ceiling of 30,000 euros.
If you choose to continue with private health insurance in Italy, it is recommended that you invest in the INA-Assitalia Insurance, which accounts for urgent medical assistance in the Emergency Room of any hospital. This costs around 49 euros for six months and 98 euros for one year.
If you opt for Italy’s public health insurance policy, then you, of course, will be subscribing to the aforementioned SSN. In order to apply, there is a fee of approximately 145 euros, which you must pay for at the post office, while completing a MODELLO F24 form. After soliciting for your stay permit, you must bring this form (which demonstrates that you have paid), valid passport, as well as the receipt showing you have applied for a stay permit. Once you have said documents, you must visit the A.S.L., the local health branch in your area, in order to complete the insurance application process. This medical insurance in Italy allows for full coverage, not only in emergency situations like private insurance.
The goal of health insurance in Italy is to be available for all its citizens, including foreigners. Whether you choose to remain with a private health care provider from home or embrace state insurance, coverage in times of need or an emergency is guaranteed.