Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Italy

Emergency


Treatment, coverage & costs

Doctors

  • You can use your valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if the doctor you are visiting belongs to the National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale – SSN) or has an agreement with it ('accreditamento').
  • Private practictioners do not have to accept the EHIC.
  • General practitioner clinics are open Monday to Friday. Surgery hours vary, but are usually in the morning and the afternoon. Except in the case of emergencies, they are not open on weekends.
  • Even for emergency and critical care, treatments received are partially paid by the patient (it is the individual share that is called ticket).
  • Fees charged for medical services are not reimbursed in Italy. When you get home, you may be able to make a claim for reimbursement with the health insurance fund/service that issued the EHIC.

Dentists

  • Dentists in Italy are private practictioners who do not have to accept the EHIC, so you need to pay the full amount billed.
  • In exceptional and urgent circumstances, or in clinics inside SSN hospitals providing urgent dental treatment, you can have access to dental care with your EHIC. Nevertheless, you will need to cover some of the costs of treatment.

Hospital treatment

  • Before leaving home, check with the health insurance fund/service that issued your EHIC if you are entitled to treatment during your stay in Italy. Ideally, you should get a written confirmation from them.
  • Ask the local health authority ('Azienda sanitaria locale' or 'ASL') for a list of hospitals that belong to the SSN or have an agreement with it.
  • Show a valid EHIC at the hospital and determine before the end of your stay that they have accepted your EHIC

Prescriptions

  • You can buy some medicines without a prescription - ask the pharmacist. In this case, the EHIC is not needed.
  • For some prescriptions, you only need to pay part of the prescription charge, while others must be paid in full. In any case, you will have to pay upfront even if you show your EHIC. If in doubt, ask pharmacist.
  • Always show your EHIC when asking for a prescription from a doctor who belongs to the SSN or who has an agreement with it. Also, show it to the pharmacist when buying prescription-only medicines.
  • The full price should be paid for most prescribed medicines even if you show your EHIC. You may be reimbursed by your competent institution when you back to your country.
  • Prescription charges are not reimbursed in Italy. Ask your health insurance fund/service about reimbursement when you get home.
  • Over-the-counter medicines – those sold without a prescription – are not reimbursed.

Ambulance

  • Free in an emergency if the ambulance belongs to the SSN or healthcare services that have an agreement with it.
  • For non-emergency patient transport, you may have to pay some or all of the costs.
  • Ambulance charges are not reimbursed in Italy. When you get home, ask the health insurance fund/service that issued your EHIC about reimbursement.

Air ambulance

  • Free in an emergency if the ambulance belongs to SSN or healthcare services that have an agreement with it.
  • For non-emergency patient transport, you may have to pay all costs.
  • Ambulance charges are not reimbursed in Italy. When you get home, ask the health insurance fund/service that issued your EHIC about reimbursement.

Reimbursement

  • No fees are reimbursed in Italy.
  • Whenever you have to pay a fee (which is called the ticket) you are not entitled to any reimbursement of the ticket at all.
  • If you have to paid for healthcare, ask your health insurance fund/service when you get home about reimbursement.

Patient contribution

  • You may have to pay a contribution/individual share (called a ticket) for medicine (ask the pharmacist).
  • For non-emergency visits from a medical practitioner (called a visita occasionale) a fee will be charged.
  • Fees depend on the type of treatment and the region where you are staying.
  • You may be charged for emergency care if you are not admitted to a hospital. Ask the nearest local health authority for more information.

Dialysis, oxygen & chemotherapy

Check availability several weeks before you travel in order to ensure you receive adequate treatment and know the costs. Contact the nearest local health authority in the area where you will be staying.


How do I apply for an EHIC?

  • For those not (entitled to be) registered in the Italian healthcare system, the EHIC is not issued.
  • People staying temporarily in Italy should ask their competent institution for an EHIC before coming in temporary stay in Italy.
  • It is automatically issued to those who are entitled to it (provided that they are entitled to reside in Italy).
  • You are entitled to an EHIC if you have previously been registered in one of the local authorities (ASL) of the National Health System.

Doctors & hospitals accepting the EHIC

Please contact the local health authorities for more information.


Loss of card

Contacts for holders of EHICs issued  by their competent institutions at home

  • If your card is lost or stolen, report it immediately to the police.
  • You should also ask your competent institution that issued the EHIC  to a temporary replacement certificate that should be shown in Italy for access to the healthcare services indicated above.
  • In an emergency, this certificate can be faxed or emailed to the nearest Italian local health authority or hospital.

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