Health insurance and medical care
Health insurance is compulsory in Italy. Everyone, regardless of citizenship and duration of the stay, must hold a valid health insurance when visiting Italy or living/working there to protect them in case of sickness, accident, hospitalisation and pregnancy for the duration of the stay.
For more information about health insurance, please contact the host organisation or the nearest EURAXESS Centre.
The Italian National Health Service – SSN (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale) is organised autonomously on a regional basis and includes public and private clinics and specialists.
Registration with SSN is managed by Local Health Centre (Azienda Sanitaria) and it must be performed by yourself once in Italy. Employers/hosting organisations are not responsible for providing the registration.
Registration is compulsory (iscrizione obbligatoria) when the work contract includes the Personal Income Tax (IRPEF) OR voluntary (iscrizione volontaria) when the work contract does not include IRPEF tax, i.e. assegno di ricerca. Voluntary registration entails the payment of an annual amount based on the household income of the previous year accrued in Italy and abroad (around 7,5% + 4% when needed). It expires on December 31st of each year.
Registration with SSN includes:
- free consultations and pharmacy prescription with general practitioners or pediatricians of the SSN
- Emergency service at all main hospitals
- medical examinations with specialists upon medical examination request (impegnativa) issued by GPs or paediatricians. A fee (ticket) will be charged;
- free hospitalisation and access to day hospitals in specialised medical structures (dermatology, ophthalmology, etc.)
- Duty Doctor Service (Guardia medica), a basic medical assistance available at night (8 pm - 8 am) or during bank holidays and days before bank holidays.
For short stay of less than 90 days, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles to free access to emergencies and medical provided by the Italian National Health Service – SSN (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale).
EHIC is issued by the Health authority in the country of residence (only Eu member states) and must be valid.
For more information visit https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=559
Another option is to take out insurance on a private basis. Researchers could undertake it before leaving (an endorsement by an Italian embassy or consulate is required) or once in Italy.
Proof of health insurance is asked when applying for the visa (travel health insurance). It should cover a minimum of €30,000 for emergency hospitalisation and repatriation expenses and be valid throughout the Schengen area.
According to the Italian health system, a health insurance must satisfy the following requirements:
- covering expenses in case of emergency treatment, urgent hospitalisation and repatriation expenses
- provide full coverage for healthcare risks (maternity included)
- cover the entire duration of your stay in Italy (including a validity and expiry date)
- provide for the policy-holder's repatriation to their country in case of serious illness;
- be either in English or translated into Italian (authenticated by the Italian Embassy/Consulate);
- be valid throughout the Schengen area.