NHS and insurance: the advantages of health insurance policies

Foreign citizens can receive healthcare in Italy based on the following regulatory references:

EU citizens: Legislative Decree 6 February 2007, n. 30 «Implementation of Directive 2004/38 / EC»;

non-EU citizens: Ministry of Health Circular 24 March 2000, no. 5 «Application indications of Legislative Decree 25 July 1998 n. 286 «;

all foreign citizens: State-Regions Agreement of 20 December 2012 «Indications for the correct application of the legislation for health care for the foreign population».

Foreign citizens can benefit from the provision of health services if the conditions for their registration with the National Health Service (SSN) are met.

Depending on the country of origin and the reasons for staying in Italy, the registration of a foreign citizen in the NHS can be:

compulsory (registration “by right, not for payment);

voluntary (registration not “by right”, but obtainable on a voluntary basis, for a fee).

The EU citizen, present in our country for periods longer than three months, can request:

compulsory registration with the NHS, if it falls under the numerous conditions set out in Legislative Decree 30/2007;

voluntary paid membership, to the NHS, if the conditions set out in Legislative Decree 30/2007 do not exist and are not in possession of the European Health Insurance Card (TEAM) or community forms.

The non-EU citizen, present in our country, can request compulsory registration, or voluntary registration for a fee, to the National Health System if in possession of a residence permit with the reasons indicated in Circular no. 5 of 24 March 2000 of the Ministry of Health.

For some particular categories of citizens (example: irregular minors, refugees, asylum seekers, minors residing for psychophysical recovery, etc.), compulsory enrollment in the NHS is provided, without doctor assignment and with limited validity, even in the absence of the pursuant to Legislative Decree 30/2007 and Circular 24.03.2000 n. 5 of the Ministry of Health.

For mandatory registration: the validity is equal to the validity timing of the documentation that gave rise to the right to registration; while for voluntary registration: the validity ends on 31 December of the year of registration.

For SSN members, with regard to the services provided, there is a level playing field with Italian citizens; for non-SSN members, urgent or medically necessary assistance is guaranteed, however continuous, with the forms of access and the organizational procedures provided for by the individual regions.

Citizens from countries outside the European Union, legally residing in Italy, can choose – regardless of the length of their stay – between two possible health coverages:

public coverage offered by the National Health Service (NHS): provides full healthcare – including the possibility of choosing a general practitioner – upon payment of a fee of 149.77 euros per calendar year, that is, until December 31 of the year of the payment. In this case, contact the ASL (Local Health Authority) competent for the territory, for the necessary bureaucratic obligations. It is necessary to present the following documents:

certification of enrollment in the university study path;

•  residency permit;

fiscal Code;


certificate of residence;

• payment receipt to the postal current account of the amount of 149.77 euros;

• health insurance.  In fact, it is necessary for students to take out a health insurance policy with an Italian company upon their arrival in Italy.

Please note that in order to obtain a residence permit, it is essential to have health coverage.

Generali Italia, unlike other insurance companies, offers citizens residing in Italy health insurance which:

covers urgent hospital services (NHS) for sudden illness or accidents in Italy without spending limits (there are no deductibles and / or overdrafts) and in countries participating in the Schengen agreement with spending limit € 30,000.00 (without deductibles and / or discovered);

provides medical re-entry following a sudden illness or accident.

Thanks to Europ Assistance Italia, the Generali Group has created a package of services for citizens residing in Italy for a maximum of 3 times a year, following an accident or illness. The assistance package consists of the following services:

• medical advice;

• sending home a doctor or an ambulance to Italy in case of urgency;

• transfer and return from a hospital center in Italy;

• access to the health network;

• reporting a specialist doctor in Italy;

• delivery of results to your home in Italy;

• trip of a family member and interpreter available in Italy;

• cardiological, gynecological, geriatric and pediatric consultancy;

• research and booking specialist visits in Italy;

• international second opinion.

The Generali Group offers its package of health and assistance coverage at a cost lower than the NHS, giving the insured greater security and peace of mind in the event of illness or accident. Furthermore, the validity of the health coverage always coincides with the duration of the residence permit unlike the NHS whose validity is per calendar year.

If you are a foreign citizen who stays in Italy with an entry visa or a residence permit and you need information on your health coverage, do not hesitate to contact Insurance Italy, a desk dedicated to foreign citizens of the General Agency of Rome Parioli Liegi Generali Italia SpA at +39.06.3210214 or email info@insuranceitaly.it.