Health care for international guests (for research activity, teaching activity and personal training)

Useful information for using the healthcare services in Italy.

The Italian national health system is called "Servizio Sanitario Nazionale" (SSN), and is divided into local Healthcare Boards ("Aziende Unità Sanitarie Locali - AUSL").

Consult the information on the AUSL in Bologna and on the Romagna Campuses.

If you come from an EU country

If you come from an EU country, the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) or Switzerland, and you can present a valid European Health Insurance Card EHIC (TEAM in Italy) or other form of entitlement (e.g. forms  E 106, E 109, etc.), you have the right to obtain health care directly from public health facilities and private facilities recognised by the Italian National Health Service. To obtain health care, you will be required to pay a "ticket" (cost contribution). Important: the EHIC card does not give you access to treatments "programmed abroad", i.e. planned services (e.g. non urgent dental care, spa treatments, etc.). 

If you do not have a EHIC card, before you leave find out from then national insurance body in your country if and how you can have access to health care in Italy.

If you pay taxes in Italy and stay in the country for more than 3 months you can register free of charge with the National Health Service (SSN). 

Read more information on Health care for EU nationals.

If you come from a country outside the EU

General information

The first thing to do is to check with the insurance body in your country if there is a health care agreement with Italy, and if so how to access this. If there is no agreement, you have several options.

Short stays

If you stay in Italy for less than 90 days you can obtain urgent or elective treatment against payment of the relative regional tariffs. It is advisable to purchase a private health care insurance policy, valid in Italy, which you can then claim to for refunds. Contact your insurance company to find out which health costs can be refunded.

It is not possible to register with the Italian National Health Service

Long stays

If you stay in Italy for more than 90 days, you can register with the National Health Service. Registration with the National Health Service (SSN) ensures health care at the same conditions specified for Italian citizens. Consult the list of services available

Alternatively, you can take out a private health care insurance policy, valid in Italy for whole period of your stay and covering all costs in case of sickness, injury and maternity.

International guests (for research activity, teaching activity and personal training): how to apply for the National Health Service

If you have a visa for study purposes/studio,  consult the pages concerning health care for students.

If you have a visa for self-employment/lavoro autonomo and you stay in Italy for more than 3 months, you are entitled to mandatory registration with the National Health Service (SSN), free of charge.

If you have a visa for research/ricerca scientifica:

  • if you are a fixed-term researcher (RTD) or you have a work contract subject to IRPEF tax, you are entitled to mandatory registration with the National Health Service (SSN), free of charge.

  • in all other cases (for example: assegno di ricerca), you can register voluntarily with the National Health Service and pay the relative fee. You can contact the relevant Department for information on the possibility of obtaining a reimbursement of such expense.

How to apply for mandatory registration with the National Health Service

To register you must go to an AUSL office offering the “CUP-Anagrafe Sanitaria” service. Take with you:

  • your passport with visa

  • your contract of employment (and salary slips, if possible)

  • the receipt from the post office confirming the submission of your application for first issue or renewal of your residence permit, or a valid residence permit

  • a self-certification of residence or, if you are not a resident, a statement of effective residence, as shown from your residence permit

  • your tax ID.

Mandatory registration is guaranteed immediately; before the issue of your first residence permit the registration is temporary and will be converted with the same duration as your residence permit once you submit this.

How to register voluntarily with the National Health Service as a researcher

If you are a researcher, in order to register with the National Health Service you have to pay a fee, calculated according to the income you earned in the year prior to that of registration. The table for calculating the fee is available on the Ministry of Health website. In any case the annual lump-sum amount shall not be less than €387.34.

Important: registration with the SSN is based on a calendar year, from 1 January to 31 December, and it is not possible to register in advance for the subsequent year. If for example you arrive in September, you must assess whether it is worthwhile for you, as the registration is valid only until 31 December but you must in any case pay the whole annual fee.

To register:

  • Go to a “Sportello Unico” AUSL (CUP) with your passport, your official Italian tax code and the documents proving the income earned in Italy; the income earned abroad can be self-certified. The operator will calculate the required fee in your case, and will provide you with the required documents and payment instructions (you can pay at the CUP, online or in other offices: post offices, banks, tobacconists etc).

Here is a list of “Sportello Unico” (CUP) in Bologna and Romagna (Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna and Rimini districts).

  • make a copy of the payment receipt and attach it to your application for initial issuing or renewal of your residence permit;
  • after applying for the residence permit, go back to the “Sportello Unico” (CUP) office as soon as possible, taking with you:
    - your passport with Research Visa (or, if you already have an Italian residence permit, copy of the “Nulla Osta” for research activity and copy of the residence permit application form, proving that you’re applying for a Researcher permit);
    - your official Italian tax code;
    - payment receipt;
    - postal receipt of your residence permit application (or residence permit if already issued);
    - for the CUP offices in Bologna, the registration form for non-EU citizens (in Italian) [.pdf 967 KB]; read the example with instructions in English [.pdf 983 KB] on how to fill in the form.

At the CUP you’ll need to choose a general practitioner (family doctor) and your health coverage will be activated. Always check the end date of your coverage.

Attention: making payment alone does not imply activation of the coverage! You must complete the registration and choose a general practitioner (family doctor).

If you live in Forlì-Cesena, Rimini or Ravenna, you can contact the International Relations offices in Cesena, ForlìRavennaRimini for additional information on local support services.