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How Do Foreigners Get Health Insurance in Turkey?

09/05/2022 How Do Foreigners Get Health Insurance in Turkey?

Health Insurance System in Turkey

Turkey has a comprehensive public health system available to foreign nationals paying social security contributions. There are two types of health insurance in Turkey: One is universal and the other is private health insurance.

A General Health Insurance system is currently implemented in Turkey (as of February 2012). Most foreigners, who have resided permanently in Turkey for at least one year and have a residence permit, and do not have health insurance according to their home country's legislation, must make a mandatory monthly payment to the program. For most foreigners, this entitles them to unlimited healthcare for around 200 TL per month. Payments to the program are made at the bank monthly.

The private healthcare sector in Turkey is rapidly growing and many expatriates opt for private insurance because of shorter waiting lists for treatments and the generally higher standard of healthcare in private hospitals. Additional health insurance is not obligatory for private health insurance holders. Many expatriate employers provide additional private health insurance for their employees.

Treatments covered by universal health insurance:

  • Emergencies

  • Work accidents and vocational illnesses

  • Infectious diseases

  • Preventive health services (drug and alcohol abuse)

  • Birth

  • Extraordinary events (war, fire, earthquake)

The following treatments are not covered by social security in Turkey:

  • Fertility treatment for women older than 39

  • Cosmetic surgery unless medically necessary

  • Cosmetic dental work

  • Dental services

Most hospitals that are contracted to social security do not offer dental care. Patients are transferred to private dentists and pay for services themselves.

How Foreigners Can Apply for Universal Health Insurance?

Foreign nations should apply to the nearest Social Security Institution (SGK) to benefit from general health insurance. There are more than 600 social security centers across Turkey to make this application.

How Foreigners Can Get Private Health Insurance in Turkey?

Foreigners must have private insurance to obtain a residence permit in Turkey. In other words, one of the most basic conditions for obtaining a residence permit is to have private health insurance. Private health insurance is provided by various insurance companies operating in the country.

There may be some differences between the coverages offered by insurance companies. Just like in general health insurance, a monthly premium is paid to the insurance company in private health insurance. In return, health services are provided free of charge. It is worth mentioning: After obtaining a residence permit, foreign nations can apply for general health insurance by canceling their private insurance policy.

Insurance companies operating in Turkey have agencies in almost every city. These companies might be specialized in topics such as home insurance, travel insurance, vehicle insurance, earthquake insurance, and health insurance. For this reason, you can obtain the necessary information from the websites of insurance companies that offer private health insurance, and you can get private health insurance by visiting insurance agencies in person.

What Are the Required Documents for Turkey Health Insurance?

The following documents must be submitted when applying for universal health insurance:

  • Residence permit

  • The original or photocopy of the letter showing the social security status in terms of the general health insurance application received from the relevant foreign country's social security institution or labor attaché.

  • Letter of commitment form

How Much Are Healthcare Costs in Turkey for Foreigners?

The insurance premium rate that foreign nationals must pay is 24% of the minimum wage. This rate is 4% of the minimum wage for foreign students. As of January 2017, the minimum wage in Turkey is 4250 Turkish Liras.

Healthcare Insurance for Residence Permit in Turkey

According to the laws of the Republic of Turkey, foreign nations that seek to have a residence permit are obliged to have health insurance. Foreign nationals that have an appointment for a residence permit must bring the original health insurance policy with them to the appointment.

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