Medical assistance for international students

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.

Students with European Union citizenship (EU students)

  • If you hold official residence in Italy for at least 5 years, you may apply from your Municipality of residence for an "Attestato di Soggiorno Permanente" (Certificate of Permanent Residence) which entitles you to register with the Italian National Health Service (SSN) and choose a general practitioner (GP) for an indefinite period.
  • If you have the E106/E109/S1 form issued in your home country, you can register with the Italian National Health Service (SSN) and choose a general practitioner (GP) for the length of time indicated in the form.
  • If you are not eligible for free registration with the Italian National Health Service (SSN), but you hold a valid European health card (EHIC) issued in your home country, you are entitled to any necessary healthcare, such as occasional visits to a GP or specialist clinical services.

    Important! With the EHIC you can go directly to a general practitioner (also known as a family doctor) choosing him from the list of affiliated doctors if you study in Bologna, or from the list of affiliated doctors if you study in the other Campus.


    All expenses are charged directly to your insurance institution.

    If you have not been able to use your EHIC, check if you are entitled to ask your insurance institution for reimbursement of health costs. So keep your payment receipts and health records.

    For some specialized health services a contribution ("ticket") is required to cover part of the cost of the service. For dental treatment, the Italian National Health Service only provides diagnostic services and dental work in case of emergencies.
  • Furthermore, as an alternative to registering with the Italian National Health Service (SSN), you may take out a private health policy for the duration of your study programme or mobility, covering all risks. If you have a private health insurance, you can go to any general practitioner. In case you need a specialist medical examination, you can directly choose which doctor to contact, possibly having advice from the general practitioner. You have to pay for examinations to both the general practitioner and the specialist doctor and you can then claim reimbursement from your insurance.

    Important! Private health policies:
    - they do not allow registration with the Italian National Health Service (SSN) or the choice of a general practitioner;
    - they usually require the student to pay the expenses and then ask for reimbursement from the insurance company. When purchasing a policy, carefully check the terms and limits of reimbursements. Remember that the health costs to be anticipated could be very high, for example in the case of hospitalization. It is advisable to check in advance, by contacting your insurance company, whether the type of benefit you need is refundable.

If you study in Bologna, also read the information on the new free health care service of the ANT Foundation for students from outside Bologna, which is also available for EU and non-EU international students.

Students with non-European Union citizenship (non-EU students)

  • You can voluntary register with the Italian National Health Service (SSN) and choose a general practitioner, by paying an annual flat-rate fee valid for a calendar year (expires on December 31).
  • You may take out a private health policy for the duration of your study programme or mobility, covering all risks. If you have a private health insurance, you can go to any general practitioner. In case you need a specialist medical examination, you can directly choose which doctor to contact, possibly having advice from the general practitioner. You have to pay for examinations to both the general practitioner and the specialist doctor and you can then claim reimbursement from your insurance.

Important! Private health policies:

they do not allow registration with the Italian National Health Service (SSN) or the choice of a general practitioner;

they usually require the student to pay the expenses and then ask for reimbursement from the insurance company. When purchasing a policy, carefully check the terms and limits of reimbursements. Remember that the health costs to be anticipated could be very high, for example in the case of hospitalization. It is advisable to check in advance, by contacting your insurance company, whether the type of benefit you need is refundable.

If you study in Bologna, also read the information on the new free health care service of the ANT Foundation for students from outside Bologna, which is also available for EU and non-EU international students.

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

For those who apply for or hold a residence permit for study purposes, registration is subject to the lump sum fee of € 149.77 per year. Registration is based on a calendar year (i.e. from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021) and it is not possible to pay reduced quotas for shorter periods.

It is possible to pay the registration fee for the current year and also the next calendar year. This possibility allows students to obtain health coverage for an academic year and it is useful for students arriving in September, for example, and who wish to apply for a residence permit for study purposes valid for one year.

The fee of € 149,77 does not cover any dependent family members.

To register:

  • Go to a “Sportello Unico” AUSL (CUP) with your passport and official Italian tax code. Ask for information on how to pay for the voluntary registration for students; the operator 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). If you want to register for two consecutive years (eg 2021 and 2022), you have to request a separate payment slip for each year.

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

  • pay the annual lump sum fee of € 149,77 for each year of health service (SSN) registration and keep the payment receipts;
  • make a copy of the payment receipts and attach them 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;
    - your official Italian tax code;
    - payment receipts for the € 149,77 fee per year;
    - postal receipt of your residence permit application (or residence permit if already issued);
    - enrolment certificate for the University of Bologna, or Certificate of Arrival for exchange students;
    - 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 982 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.

Students registered with the SSN receive a health card (Tessera Sanitaria) by post. The card is sent to the address communicated to the Revenue Agency; you must contact the Revenue Agency to update your address and to request a reprint of the card.

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

If you pay for two consecutive years, remember that at the end of the current year you must return to the CUP with the payment receipt for the following year, and ask for the service to be activated.

Read what the registration with the SSN entitles you to.