The Italian National Healthcare Service (SSN – Servizio Sanitario Nazionale) is the public, tax-funded medical assistance, organized and regulated by the Ministry of Health and administered through regional authorities. To access the Italian National Healthcare Service you must hold a valid Tessera Sanitaria (Italian Health Insurance Card)

Short-lenght visitors from another EU country (the EHIC card – European Health Insurance Card).

EU citizens who plan to stay more can transfer their home country coverage with a S1 Form and enrol in Italian Public Health Service with no extra expenses.

Foreign citizens from EU or with regular residence permit are fully entitled to the same rights and treatment as any Italian citizen.

In Milano, public healthcare is provided through regional health units called ATS (Health Protection Agency) and public hospitals. 

Public medical assistance includes a network of primary care physicians and pediatricians. When you enrol the Public Health Service, you will be asked to choose your general practitioner ( medico di base, your family doctor) to get free consultations, referrals and prescription refills.

What is a Tessera Sanitaria?

You will need it when going to a doctor, purchasing a drug in the pharmacy, doing blood analyses, undergoing specialist examinations, diagnostics or requiring admission to a public hospital. 

The Tessera Sanitaria (Italian Health Insurance Card) is not required for visits with private doctors or private tests, including blood tests prescribed by a private doctor.

The registration with the Italian SSN can be either 1) Mandatory or 2) Voluntary.

  1. Foreign non-EU citizens staying for work, family, international protection, pregnant women, fostering or adoption must register  (fees are in proportion to their income and part of the taxes they pay, the State takes charge of them for minors and people that can't afford them) in the Italian National Health Service (SSN – Servizio Sanitario Nazionale). 
  2. Others (e.g. non-EU students) who are staying for more than 90 days may apply for voluntary (or “optional”) registration by corresponding a relatively small fee (if compared to the prices of the private health insurances).

What do I need to get a Tessera Sanitaria?

In order to get your Tessera Sanitaria (Italian Health Insurance Card) you will need:

  • Your valid identity document (passport or identity card)
  • A valid permit to stay or the receipt you get when you ask for it (if you are no-EU)
  • A valid Codice Fiscale (Italian Tax Code) issued by the Agenzia delle Entrate (Italian Revenue Agency)
  •  Self - declaration of residence in which you state to live at your current address
  • The receipt of payment for the registration to the SSN from the Post Office (if the registration is voluntary)
  • If you are a student or au pair, a document confirming you are enrolled at a school or your au pair contract
  • A copy of all above documents

How can I get a Tessera Sanitaria?

1 – Get your Codice Fiscale first (Italian Tax Code

2 – Pay a visit to the ATS office (Teritorial Health Service –find the closest ATS office here). This will save you a lot of time later. You should go there first to check if there are any specific requirements, what is the exact fee to pay, and how to fill in the payment form at the Post Office. 

3 – Go to a Post Office ( find the closest Post Office) to pay the annual fee (if the registration is voluntary). Keep the receipt, you will need to show it when applying for your Tessera Sanitaria (Italian Health Card). 

4 – Present to your ATS closest to your domicile, all the documents listed on the top of this page. An operator will complete your registration, and you will be entitled to select your general practitioner from a list of names and addresses close to your home. Tip: make aprevious survey among neighbors for reccommendations about doctos near you and prepare two or three names. Some doctors may be not available because they reached the maximum amount of patients assgned to them.

5 – The operator will release you a Tessera Sanitaria in paper (Italian Health Insurance Card) while a plastic one will be delivered at your home address by mail after a few weeks.

What if I get Sick?

For all health issues call your general practictioner/family doctor, or the paediatrician assigned to your child.

When your family doctor is off (e.g. non-working days, and at nights) and you have urgent need, a Continuity Service is ensured: call 800 193 344 , for paediatric assistance call 800 193 344.

You will need:

  • your Tessera Sanitaria,
  • the Codice Fiscale.

Your family doctor may prescribe you medicines, specialty visits, or exams

What if you need emergency medical assistance or have an accident

For life-threatening emergencies call 112. (See How to place en Emergency call)

Emergency medical assistance in Italy is provided to everyone, without asking for upfront payment or insurance information.

Uninsured persons, however, will be billed afterwards by the Region. So it's better  to be covered.

    How to Access Specialty Visits and Medical Exams

    Your family doctor will prescribe you the Specialty visits and/or the instrumental exams.

    With your general practictioner prescription you can book visits or exams: online, via app (ios, Android ) by phone (call 800.638.638 - or from mobile), in pharmacies, in person at the booking counters (CPU) at facilities/hospitals. 

    You will need:

    • your Tessera Sanitaria,
    • the Codice Fiscale,
    • the Prescritption.

    In most cases you will be required to pay a relatively low contribution to the expenses (the so called 'Ticket') while booking or on the day of your appointment.

    You can also choose to use a private service to be paid in full. 

    Many private health structures operate a part of their services in agreement with the Public Service.

    Can I Buy Medicines on my Own?

    It depends. Over-the-counter drugs can be bought both in Pharmacies or Parapharmacies. A Pharmacist is always present to give you advice.

    Prescription drugs are sold in Pharmacies only with a prescription by a doctor. At least one pharmacy for each zone makes a night shift.

    Class-A "Life-saving drugs" are covered by the National Health Service except a small upfront contribution called 'ticket'. 

    You will need:

    • your Tessera Sanitaria,
    • the Codice Fiscale.
    • the medicine Prescription or the e-prescription code

    Presenting your codice fiscale while buying medicines, it will be registered electronically and accounted for deduction in your tax declaration.

    (Pharmacies locations and opening hours infoline 800.801.185)