by Adriana ruiz
If you are residing in Italy, the Tessera Sanitaria, also known as the Italian Health Insurance Card, is a vital document that provides access to the Italian National Health Service (SSN – Servizio Sanitario Nazionale). Whether you need medical consultations, prescriptions, laboratory tests, or hospital admissions, the Tessera Sanitaria is a must-have for all residents seeking healthcare services through the public health system. In this article, we will explore what the Tessera Sanitaria is and the process of obtaining one.
The Tessera Sanitaria is an official health insurance card issued by the Italian government. It serves as an identification document when accessing healthcare services through the Italian National Health Service. With this card, you can consult general practitioners, specialists, receive prescriptions, undergo medical tests, and seek treatment in public hospitals.
To acquire your Tessera Sanitaria, you will need the following documents:
– Passport: Your valid passport as identification.
– Permit to Stay or Receipt: If you are a foreign non-European Union citizen, you will need a valid permit to stay or the receipt you receive when applying for it.
– Codice Fiscale: Obtain the Italian Tax Code from the Agenzia delle Entrate (Italian Revenue Agency).
– Self-declaration of Residency: This is a document stating your address, which should match the one on your permit to stay.
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– Receipt of Payment: Pay the annual fee for the Tessera Sanitaria at the Post Office and keep the receipt as proof of payment.
– Additional Documents: Depending on your status (e.g., student, relative, or au pair), you might need documents confirming your enrollment at a school or your au pair contract.
1. Get Your Codice Fiscale: First, obtain your Codice Fiscale from the tax authority (Agenzia delle Entrate). This is a prerequisite for several official processes in Italy.
2. Visit the Local Health Authority (ASL): Before applying for the Tessera Sanitaria, visit your nearest ASL office. Here, you can inquire about specific requirements, the exact fee to pay, and how to complete the payment form at the Post Office.
3. Pay the Annual Fee: Head to a Post Office and pay the annual fee using a postal order (Bollettino Postale). Keep the receipt as you’ll need it when applying for the Tessera Sanitaria.
4. Gather the Required Documents: Make copies of all necessary documents, always review online or in the nearest ASL office in your municipality and take them to your ASL office.
5. Complete Registration: Submit the required documents to your ASL office and complete the registration process. You will receive a receipt that serves as proof of registration until you receive your Tessera Sanitaria by mail.
6. Register with a Primary Care Physician: Choose a Primary Care Physician (Medico di Base or Medico di Famiglia) and present your registration documents. The physician will officially register you as a patient, and you can note their office hours and contact information for future reference.
Certain foreign non-European Union citizens are entitled to “Mandatory registration,” which means they don’t have to pay for the Tessera Sanitaria. Others, like students and au pairs, can apply for “Voluntary registration” and will need to pay a yearly fee. Tourists are not eligible for registration with the Italian National Health Service.
For those eligible for “Voluntary registration,” the cost of the Tessera Sanitaria depends on the previous year’s gross income. The annual contribution can range from €387.34 to €2,788.86, depending on income brackets.
However, students and au pairs enjoy special benefits, including the option to apply for registration even if staying for less than three months and paying a fixed yearly lump sum of €149.77 for students and €219.49 for au pairs.
If you misplace your Tessera Sanitaria, you can request a duplicate online, at your ASL office, or at any office of the Agenzia delle Entrate.
In conclusion, the Tessera Sanitaria is a crucial document that grants access to Italy’s public healthcare system. By following the step-by-step guide and meeting the necessary requirements, you can ensure you are properly registered and entitled to the benefits of the Italian National Health Service. Remember to keep your Tessera Sanitaria safe, as it will be your gateway to quality healthcare services in Italy.
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