|+44 203 290 6685 | | |info@valiant-wealth.com

Health Insurance for Expats in Italy

We are often asked about health insurance in Italy, in some cases from people moving to Italy who have heard about the need for health cover in order to gain residence status and others who are concerned about the level of care they may receive if they are taken ill or need an operation while resident in Italy.

In terms of private health insurance, there are broadly three levels of cover available in Italy.

The first is for those that are only interested in health insurance to fulfil the requirements of becoming resident in Italy, that is to have a policy you can present to your local comune. There are basic policies available which are designed entirely for this purpose. These are low cost, between €300 and €500 depending on age, and provide sufficient cover to be accepted by your comune but may not provide sufficient cover for a major medical problem. These policies are very simple to setup, feel free to get in touch for further information.

Someone who is genuinely interested in private health care will probably want a higher level of cover which brings us onto the second level, which is what we call ‘supplementary’ cover, that is supplementary to the cover provided by the national health service.

To give some background, the health cover provided by the Italian national health service known as the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN) is available to all residents and most services are free or highly subsidised depending on your individual circumstances. Refer to this guide produced by the Italian Health Ministry for further information.

The quality and availability of facilities varies from region to region and as you might expect the north of Italy is better served, with many who live in the south choosing to travel north for specialist treatments. However, the service and doctors are generally of a good standard throughout Italy and waiting lists for operations are lower on average than in the UK, for example.

These are the policies available from the large Italian insurance companies and are the standard in Italy. These policies cover any specialist treatment or operation which is required, so the starting point would be your local health authority (ASL) appointed doctor or an emergency doctor who would refer you for addtiional treatment. The insurance would then take over and you can receive private care for the specilaist treatment, if your policy covers it.

Private treatment is expensive in Italy and these policies come with varying levels of cover for the various types of care, but private clinics and wards are very comfortable in Italy, a bit like a nice hotel, and the level of care is excellent. Most of these polices are also direct billing, meaning that the insurance company pay the health provider directly so you do not need pay and then claim money back from the insurance company. These policies start from around €1,000 but the costs vary greatly depending on age, level of cover and pre-existing conditions. Italian insurance companies often reserve the right to adjust the premium the following year, not renew at all or have a maximum age limit which are factors to look out for when you are choosing a policy.

Unlike the policies you may be used to in other countries health policies in Italy normally do not offer dental cover. In fact until a couple of years ago dental cover was relatively unknown in Italy but now there are some specialist companies marketing it along with a couple of the larger insurance companies but it is not cheap.

The final level is comprehensive cover, which is mostly only offered by foreign insurance companies and provide the type of cover which many will be used to outside of Italy, particularly if you are from the UK or US. There are policies which cover everything up to relatively high levels, do not generally have age limits to the cover and also include repatriation and global cover. However, these policies are much more expensive and on average costs somewhere arond the €3,000 mark.

If you would like further information or guidance then please get in touch with us via the contact form below or email us directly on info@valiant-wealth.com.

Get in touch

Get in touch for a FREE consultation

We firmly believe that your location in the world should not be a barrier to receiving fair, independent and transparent financial advice that you can trust.

We work with clients across the globe and can offer you a FREE initial consultation wherever you are.

It all starts by getting in touch!

Simply complete the contact form and someone will be in touch for an informal chat to discuss how we can help.