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Health Insurance for Expats in Italy

Submitted: April 2014

Private health insurance in Italy is good to have, but the Italians generally use it only as a supplement to the SSN. Private health insurance would generally pay only for what is not covered by the SSN, including notably:

  • specialist or hospital care without prior GP referral – to avoid the waiting times
  • co-payments
  • any other uncovered healthcare expenditures, such as private clinic treatment

If you are part of the unregistered foreign nationals staying in Italy, private health insurance is strongly recommended, if not mandatory. As a general rule, Italy does not issue residency permits to foreign nationals without adequate health insurance.

It is advisable to:

  • get your insurance arrangements in order prior to entering Italy
  • compare private health insurance premiums with social insurance.

 

International cover

You should check the geographical coverage of your existing insurance policy, if you have any.

If you have a foreign policy but you haven’t been sold it as an international insurance cover specifically designed for expats, your policy is unlikely to work in Italy. In that case, you should let your insurer know that you are moving to Italy, and switch to an international cover. Your insurer is likely to charge you extra for this, but do bear in mind that the very fact of being insured in several countries carries an extra burden as well.

A good international cover would insure you against:

  • medical costs in Italy
  • medical costs in your home country (or another relevant foreign country), and
  • medical evacuation costs (without adequate insurance, these can be well above  €10,000).

If you are coming to Italy only for a temporary visit, you probably don’t need international health insurance if you have appropriate travel insurance.

 

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