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 available on the websites www.salute.bologna.it, if you study in Bologna, or www.auslromagna.it, 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.
  • If you are not eligible for free registration with the Italian National Health Service (SSN), 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), providing a self-certification of your student status.
  • 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, the registration is subject to the lump sum fee of € 149.77 per year. Registration is based on a calendar year (eg from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021) and it is not possible to pay reduced quotas for shorter periods.

It is allowed to pay the registration for the current year and also for the entire following calendar year. This possibility enables students to get a health coverage for an academic year and it is useful for students who arrive, for example, in September and 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 Post Office, ask for a blank payment slip (bollettino) and fill it out paying attention to the following points:
    • the beneficiary is: Amministrazione PT.C.S.S.N. Regione Emilia-Romagna– c/c n° 569400;
    • you must indicate the reference year for the registration with the SSN, for example: Iscrizione volontaria per studenti 2021;
    • if you want to register for two consecutive years (eg 2021 and 2022), for each year you have to fill in and pay two separate payment slips;
  • pay the annual lump sum fee of € 149,77 for each year of registration with the SSN at the Post Office and keep the payment receipts;
  • make a copy of the payment receipts and attach them to your application for the first issue or renewal of the residence permit;
  • after applying for the residence permit, as soon as possible, go to an AUSL office offering the service CUP-Anagrafe sanitaria and bring with you:
    • payment receipts of € 149,77;
    • receipt of the residence permit application (or residence permit if already obtained);
    • your passport.

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

Read what the registration with the SSN entitles you to.

Consult the list of "Sportelli Unici Distrettuali"  in Bologna and Romagna (Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna and Rimini districts).