Health care in Italy


Health care will be one of your main concerns during your expatriation process. Here are the main points to consider before traveling to Italy.

Italy's national health care system is known as the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN). The health care system offers modern health care services in different regions via health care centers, hospitals, clinics, etc. These are regulated by the Azienda Sanitaria Locale, that is the Local Sanitary Agency. However, the quality of health care services, as well as waiting periods, can vary from one region to another.

Health care services provided by the Azienda Sanitaria Locale, according to an agreement with the SSN, are free of charge. However, this is limited to certain types of health care. Other services such as prostheses, frequent visits to a specialist or laboratory tests will be charged.


If you are going to work in Italy, your employer will be responsible of your affiliation to the SSN. This is possible due to employee contributions to the SSN. As a result, 43% of your gross monthly income, that is an 8% contribution on your side and a 35% contribution from your employer, will be deducted. As for the National Insurance Institute (INAIL), deduction rates vary between 0.3 and 13% according to the sector. Contributions are made by the employer.

The Italian social security system supports:

  • diseases (general medicine)
  • maternity
  • hospitalization
  • disability and old age
  • survivors (when there is a death)
  • occupational diseases and accidents at work
  • unemployment
  • family benefits
  • pediatrics
  • obstetric and gynecological care (financial contribution may be required if the patient's salary exceeds a preset limit)
  • dental care
  • certain pharmaceutical products and prescribed drugs.

Note that fees may be quite high if you prefer to opt for private health care. You will need more than 50 euros on consulting a general practitioner and some 150 euros with a specialist.

Join the SSN

You will also need a Tessara Sanitaria, that is a health insurance card, in order to justify your contributions to the SSN. The request must be made at the closest Local Health Agency to your place. Documents to be produced are:

  • your tax number
  • a valid identity card
  • a residency certificate
  • your chosen physician.

 Useful links:

Ministry of Health - Health System
Find a health facility
European Health Insurance Card
Stranieri in Italy

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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