National Health Service for Students step-by-step

How to apply for public health coverage

The Italian National Health Service (SSN, Servizio Sanitario Nazionale) provides all citizens, for free or by paying a contribution to the expenses (the so-called ticket) territorial healthcare  (among which: general practictioner, pharmaceutical assistance, specialistic medical practices, thermal care, etc.) and hospital care (among which: ER, surgery, rehabilitation). In Italy, and particularly in the Milan area, public health care service provides very high-quality services.

It is a good idea to get covered by public healthcare, even though you already have a private health coverage. Here we will tell you how to get covered by the National Health Service (SSN)

If you are in an Emergency, call 112 

Students from European Union countries, the European Economic Area and from Switzerland

Students from European Union countries, the European Economic Area and from Switzerland:

- if you stay in Italy for less than 3 months: there are no formalities to take advantage of health services in the Lombardy region: in case you need a visit or to go to hospital, show a valid ID, and the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC / TEAM) of the State of origin.

 
- if you stay in Italy for more than 3 months: you should register with the National Health Service. If you are moving from European Union countries, the European Economic Area and from Switzerland you can temporarily transfer your health coverage to take advantage of Italian public healthcare as an italian citizen, including a local general practictioner by obtaining S1 Form from your country of origin. If you don't have the S1 form with you, you are eligible for Voluntary Registration (by paying a fee)

So our first tip is: if you are entitled to public health coverage in EU, before coming to Milan for a long stay, remember to ask your local authorities to issue you the S1 Form. 
Portable document S1 is issued by the competent authority in your country of origin and entitles you to transfer your health coverage in Italy for the period of your stay: start and expiry date are indicated on the form.

  1. Find the ASST office ("Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale" - it is the administrative entity that manages local health services) competent in the area where you reside. Areas of competence are based on the "Municipi" (that means administrative zones of Milan, often indicated with a number). Try to find out in which "Municipio" you live: ask your landlord, a neighbor, or any shop owner nearby... or look up to this map
     
  2. Find the location and timetable of the "Ufficio Estero" (this is the office that handles international procedures) of your local ASST office.   Alternatively you can look up and go to the "Scelta e Revoca" counters (these are the counters in charge of assigning a general practictioner to citizens) at your local ASST location .
     
  3. Go to Ufficio Estero / Scelta e Revoca counter with a valid ID and codice fiscale in original - plus one photocopy of both- along with the S1 form and a self-certification of residence / domicile.
     
  4. The office will retain the first sheet of S1 and the photocopies, and enrol you in the SSN. They will also assist you to choose a local general practictioner from a list. They will issue you a form called "Allegato 1" ("Annex 1") which must be shown as a health card at the time to request any health service.

Enrolment in the SSN is valid for one year from the date of application. Should you stay longer you can follow this same procedure to renew the enrolment until the expiration date stated on the S1 form. 

 

Please note: if you need planned health treatment, e.g. for chronical disease, you need to ask your local authority for S2 form - Authorisation to obtain planned treatment abroad.

Non-EU Students: Voluntary Registration

valid also for EU students without a S1 form

You can voluntarily enrol in the SSN and benefit of its services, by paying a (relatively inexpensive) fee, or "contribution".

Enrolment in SSN entitles you to have a general practitioner and benefit from public healthcare services (on the Italian territory only).

The voluntary registration (registrazione volontaria) validity period always starts on 1/1 and expires on 31/12 of the current solar year, no matter when you enrol.

For students without dependents, the cost is €149.77 per solar year.
For students with dependent family members*, contribution is €387.34 per solar year.
The contribution must be paid in one single payment.

It is never retroactive nor fractionable (that means: they are not taking charge of any event before the date of enrolment  and that you can't enrol for a part of the solar year only).

 

This is the step-by-step procedure for voluntary enrolment in public health service:

  1. Find the ASST office ("Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale" - it is the administrative entity that manages local health services) competent on the area where you reside. Areas of competence are based on the "Municipi" (that means administrative zones of Milan, often indicated with a number). Try to find out in which "Municipio" you live: ask your landlord, a neighbor, or any shop owner nearby... or look up to this map
     
  2. Go to the post office, get and fill in a blank "Bollettino Postale" payment form. The contribution must be paid on the postal account 379222, in the name of (a favore di:) "P.T. REGIONE LOMBARDIA", reason for the payment (causale) : “iscrizione al SSN anno…[write the year of coverage] 
     
  3. Find the location and timetable of the "Ufficio Estero" (this is the office that handles international procedures) of local ASST office. Alternatively you can go to one of the "Scelta e Revoca" counters at the ASST location with the following documents:
     
    • Students from European Union countries, the European Economic Area and from Switzerland:
    • Students from non-European countries already in possession of a residence permit for study:
      • Bring with you: passport, residence permit, tax code (both in original and one photocopy), certificate of enrollment in a course of study, and receipt of payment of the contribution.
         
    • Students from non-European countries in possession of the application receipt for a residence permit for study only (some limitations apply*):
      • you will need to bring: your passport, tax code, entry visa for study reasons, the receipt / attestation of having applied for a residence permit (all in original, plus one photocopy), certificate of enrollment in a course of study (issued by your university /institute), receipt of payment of the contribution
         
      • *Please note: for students without an issued residence permit it is not possible to register any dependents.
         
      • *The voluntary registration is issued valid for 3 months and it can be extended going again to the office, until obtaining the residence permit for study. Once in possession of the actual residence permit, you may go to the office and have it registered: the deadline, then, will be set to 31/12 of the current year.
         
  4. You will be asked to fill in and sign a registration form. The officer will also assist you to choose a local general practictioner from a list.
     
  5. As a result of the registration process, they will give you a paper document which must be shown as a health card at the time to request any health service.

 

Please note:

Students from non-European countries with bilateral agreement with Italy:

In general, bilateral social security agreements guarantee only urgent services for temporary stays with the exception of pensioners and posted workers. Therefore it is advisable to register voluntarily with the methods specified above.

The voluntary registration with the SSN always expires on 31/12 of the current year, it is never retroactive nor fractionable and entitles the general practitioner and health services only on the Italian territory

For technical reasons, first time applications must be done after the 1st of January of the year in which you want to enrol.

Skip-the-queue tip for renewals: If you are already registered with SSN, renewals can be done also with some anticipation, provided you indicate on the payment form the year for which you pay and you provide a certificate of enrollment in a course of study stating that you will be enrolled for the next year. Tell the officer that you are renewing the enrolment for the subsequent year. 

The voluntary registration with the SSN does not entitle you to:

a. Issue of the European Health Insurance Card (TEAM) 
b. Issuing of legal certificates required by bilateral agreements in force
c. Issue of the certificate pursuant to art. 15 of Presidential Decree 618/80
d. Issue of portable document S2 (high specialization care abroad)
 

 

 

We wish to thank the ASST office:  Dipartimento Cure Primarie - UOSD Governo dell'Assistenza Indiretta e tutela del Cittadino for the information given.