Health insurance in Italy

The national health service in Italy does a good job, and provides its people (including you!) with low-cost (often free) healthcare. The Servizio Sanitario Nazionale gives you access to GPs, hospital treatment, medicine, emergency services and specialist treatment in some instances.

The exact protocols and standards can vary from region to region, but all-in-all you will be very well looked-after if you have your insurance plan sorted.

EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals

European Health Insurance Card to the rescue! As long as you have a full health insurance plan back home, you will be covered for all necessary medical treatment during your stay. Make sure to bring your card with you, and contact your international health insurance provider to see if there is any other documentation you’d benefit from packing.

Non-EU Citizens

You are required to formally register with the Italian national health service. Once you have obtained your residency permit and received your identity card, you can apply for an Italian health insurance card. Your health insurance card must be shown if you are to receive treatment. If for any reason you are unable to qualify for national healthcare, you’ll have to take on a private plan.

Private healthcare

Because the majority of Italians enjoy free healthcare, there can be considerable delays, or long waiting lists for procedures and such like - having private health care is like a queue skip that lets you be seen by your doctor almost immediately.

Private healthcare in Italy is regarded as among the finest in the world, and you know what that means - it’s pricey. It’s not unaffordable if you’re used to paying for private insurance anyway, but there is a minimum pricing scheme in place by the Ministry of Health, so you won’t find any bargain deals.

Emergency services in Italy

To contact the emergency services (health, fire and the police) you should dial 118 - this is the national number for Italy. However, if you do not speak Italian, instead dial 112, the international emergency services number for Europe.

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