Health coverage in Italy

Registration in the Italian statutory health insurance service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale, or SSN) is mandatory for all citizens and foreigners residing in the country for more than 3 months. Registered individuals can then benefit from almost free healthcare, except for cases where they access the private or intramoenia (private practice carried out in hospital) health system. In this case, the expenses incurred are only covered through complementary health insurance.

Get a quote according to the length of your stay:

Health insurance for expats in Italy

The health insurance system in Italy
 

The Italian SSN health system gives registered people access to all basic medical care services free of charge, including:

  • General practitioner consultations with an SSN-registered physician (chosen for a minimum of 12 months);
  • Specialist consultations with an SSN-registered doctor referred by the attending physician; 
  • Dental care, again, on referral from the GP;
  • Hospitalisation, in a public hospital or in a private hospital under agreement;
  • Some prescription drugs.

Some care, however, involves a copayment from the insured (called a ticket). This is particularly the case for specialist consultations, for which the out-of-pocket expense amounts to a maximum of €38.

The following services are not covered by the SSN:

  • GP consultations provided by a doctor other than the attending physician (unless the attending physician is not available, or in case of emergency);
  • Care provided by a specialist who is not SSN-registered, or accessed without prior referral by the GP;
  • In general, consultations or hospitalisations carried out under the private system (outside of SSN), where rates can be extremely high, from one doctor or institution to another.

How to choose health insurance in Italy: local or international?
 

In order to get reimbursed for their out-of-pocket expenses, as well as total or partial coverage of care not covered by the SSN, most foreign residents in Italy choose to take out private health insurance, which is sometimes covered by their employers.

However, make sure to check the specific conditions set out in local contracts, as most of them exclude dental care (which is covered by special insurance) and sometimes even the coverage of pre-existing pathologies at the time of registration, impose significant caps on the amounts covered according to each type of care, and apply deductibles. 

The benefits and services of international health insurance are often more comprehensive and better tailored to the needs of expats.

The cost of healthcare in Italy: some examples

Liste exemple remboursements

GP CONSULTATION

A visit to the doctor will cost you between € 50 and 120 on average depending on the region

APRIL International up to 120 €*

Out-of-pocket expenses 0€**

DERMATOLOGY CONSULTATION

The average cost of a dermatologist is between €70 and €110 depending on the region

APRIL International up to 110 €*

Out-of-pocket expenses 0€**

GYNECOLOGICAL CONSULTATION

A consultation with a gynaecologist ranges from € 60 to 250 depending on the region

APRIL International up to 250 €*

Out-of-pocket expenses 0€**

Disclaimer

Examples of average costs of care in Italy’s private health sector - APRIL International data 01/2022

 

* Example of reimbursement with MyHealth International - Comfort

** Example of the amount to be paid by the insured after reimbursement

Care in Italy

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Care in Italy
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Choosing hospitals
 

The management of the Italian health system is decentralised and administered by each regional health agency (Azienda Sanitaria Locale - ASL). As a result, the level of technical equipment is quite uneven from one region to another, with the institutions in the country's main cities being the best equipped (particularly in Turin, Milan, Genoa, Bologna, and Rome). This situation drives many patients to seek treatment in those cities, which contributes to longer waiting times in public hospitals.

Another solution to reduce this wait, as well as to benefit from comfortable care, is to resort to the private care sector

  • In private establishments which, while being under agreement, can also see patients under the exclusively private regime (not covered by the SSN);
  • In public hospitals, some of whose doctors also practice privately outside their hospital hours (intramoenia system), at relatively the same rates as in the private sector and, again, excluded from SSN coverage.

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Health facilities

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Emergency numbers in Italy

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Police
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Fire Department
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Ambulance and medical emergencies
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General emergencies can be contacted on 112 throughout the European Union

There is also a continuity of care service (Servizio di continuità assistenziale, emergency home visits, nights and weekends), with a different numbers in each city

A broad care network in Europe

APRIL International has an extensive network of hospitals, clinics, and healthcare providers where you can benefit from direct billing services and high quality care across the world.

To find your nearest health professional or partner establishment in just a few clicks, go to your Easy Claim application.

Services group
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FLEXIBLE PROTECTION
Description
Reimbursement of health expenses from the first euro/dollar, including in private hospitals
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TRAVEL WITH PEACE OF MIND
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Coverage in Italy, or even in other countries
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OPTICAL & DENTAL CARE
Description
Reimbursement of optical and dental care (option)
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UNLIMITED TELEMEDICINE SERVICE
Description
A free medical telemedicine service available 24/7 anywhere in the world
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MEDICAL TRANSPORT
Description
Repatriation assistance included in your benefits
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DIRECT BILLING
Description
In the event of hospitalisation, you pay nothing out of pocket

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