The Republic of Italy is located in south-central Europe, sharing land borders with Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, Monaco, and France. The country’s official language is Italian, and it’s a fairly homogenous society. With a total size of 301,230 square kilometers, Italy is the 78th largest country in the world. Its capital city is Rome, one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited cities. The Etruscan, Roman, and Renaissance Italian civilizations have played a major role in the development of Western civilization. Rome is also home to the independent state of the Vatican City, the home to the Catholic Church.
The climate in Italy is variable. Coastal regions often have mild winters and dry summers while the northern inland provinces experience an Alpine climate, not dissimilar to Switzerland and Austria. With an average life expectancy at birth of 79.94 years, Italy has the 15th highest life expectancy in the world. This is mainly due to the high quality of social services in the country and recent studies have shown that healthy Mediterranean cuisine has played a major role in the health of the Italian population.
Italy Health Insurance and Healthcare Overview
Italy offers universal healthcare to all Italian citizens and permanent residents as part of its public healthcare sector, as the country regards healthcare as a fundamental right. The Servicio Sanitaris Nazionale (SSN) is the government agency responsible for ensuring high quality treatment, and all those eligible for public healthcare must register with the SSN. However, newly arrived foreign nationals are usually not eligible to receive healthcare under the SNN service. Therefore, securing an Italy health insurance plan is advisable.
The Italian Healthcare System
Established in 1978, the SSN provides low-cost healthcare to all citizens and permanent residents of Italy. Healthcare in Italy is provided at 3 different levels, all of which are overseen by the SSN.
- Level 1: The local Italian healthcare system is overseen by primary physicians and hospitals, which are directly responsible for treating patients and overseeing care in the immediate vicinity.
- Level 2: Local healthcare providers are given funding on a regional level, which is the responsibility of the provincial government.
- Level 3: The entire system is overseen at the national level by the Ministry of Health, which is responsible for creating a healthcare budget and creating healthcare policy.
Public vs Private Healthcare in Italy
Although public healthcare in Italy is generally of high standards, long waiting times and bureaucracy are a reality. That being said, the benefits that Italian workers receive (cash benefits and paid sick leave, and non-cash benefits in the way of pharmaceutical and tertiary care) have helped many Italian nationals to overlook the twin issues of overcrowding and slow treatment times.
However, foreign nationals who have newly arrived in Italy are typically not eligible to receive healthcare under the SSN services, and will have to pay for all treatment. This often comes as a shock to expatriates in Italy who have been led to believe that Italian healthcare services are low-cost or free. Outside of the national healthcare scheme, these services can often be extremely expensive.
Foreign nationals in Italy can pay to use the public healthcare system. Even though the cost is lower than private facilities, they can still add up and be heavy on the pocket. Alternatively, foreigners can use one of Italy’s many high quality private hospitals or medical facilities, which will usually have a cost associated with treatment that is similar to costs in the USA and other expensive countries around the world.
Health insurance in Italy for foreigners
The only way to ensure that you have access to the quality healthcare that you deserve is with a private health insurance plan. The Italy health insurance plan that we can offer will afford you a number of coverage benefits including:
- Inpatient or hospitalization insurance
- Outpatient insurance
- Riders such as dental, vision, and maternity coverage
- Emergency evacuation
- Worldwide coverage, if you opt for an international health insurance plan
The Cost of International Health Insurance in Italy
The cost of international health insurance in Italy will vary based on a number of factors, such as your age, health, and benefit requirements. According to our free-to-download Cost of International Health Insurance Report 2020-2021, the average cost of health insurance for individuals and families in 2020 was USD $3,737 and USD $10,294, respectively.
Get Italy Health Insurance Quotes
Whether you’re looking for individual health insurance, family health insurance, or any number of other health insurance plans in Italy, Pacific Prime can help. We partner with top health insurance companies such as Axa, Bupa, and Cigna to bring you vetted plans. Our highly-trained advisors seek to understand your healthcare and lifestyle needs, provide a tailored plan comparison, and help you select the most appropriate plan for your needs and budget.