How do Foreigners Benefit from Health Services in Turkey?

Living in Turkey T.C. There are two options before their citizens and foreign nationals to benefit from health services.

Having general health insurance or private health insurance is between these two options. Of these, general health insurance is covered by the state. Private health insurance is obtained by paying a certain monthly fee to an insurance company. There are also physicians who have their own practice. These physicians do not work under insurance and have their own fee schedules.

In this article, we will discuss how foreign nationals living in Turkey can benefit from health services.

Who Can Benefit From General Health Insurance?

Who Can Benefit From General Health Insurance?

  • Foreigners who have obtained a residence permit in Turkey,
  • Foreigners who do not have insurance in a country other than Turkey,
  • Foreign nationals living in Turkey for more than one year and applying after this period can benefit from general health insurance.

Foreign nationals can apply for general health insurance at their own request.

Where should foreign nationals apply to benefit from general health insurance?

Foreign nationals should personally apply to the nearest social security center in order to benefit from general health insurance. There are more than 600 social security centers across Turkey to make this application.

What Documents Are Required?

The following documents must be submitted when applying for general 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.
  • Commitment form

Who Else Can Benefit?

A foreign national who is entitled to general health insurance;

  • Partner,
  • The child (or children) under the age of 18,
  • Unmarried children who have not completed the age of 20 in case of high school education or its equivalent,
  • Unmarried children who have not completed the age of 25 in case of higher education,
  • Unmarried children found to be disabled regardless of age,
  • Parents, whose livelihood is determined by the foreign national according to the criteria determined by the Institution, can benefit from health services.

How Much is the General Premium Health Insurance?

How Much is the General Premium Health Insurance?

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 July 2022, the minimum wage in Turkey is 5.500,00 Turkish Liras.

How Can Foreign Nationals Benefit From Private Insurance?

Above all, foreign nationals must have private insurance in order 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 used free of charge.

It is worth mentioning: After obtaining a residence permit, foreign nationals can apply for general health insurance by canceling their private insurance policy.

How to Get Private Health Insurance?

Insurance companies operating in Turkey have agencies in almost every city. These companies; They may specialize 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 Health Services Does Private Health Insurance Cover?

Private health insurance covers many health services just like general health insurance.

To give an example of these;

  • Cornea, kidney, pancreas, liver, heart, lung transplantation
  • ESWL, Gamma Knife expenses
  • Medication expenses
  • Doctor examination fees
  • Diagnostic biochemistry, microbiology, pathology tests, radiological examination and imaging performed during inpatient treatment
  • Postoperative physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Cardiovascular angiography
  • Home medical care services that assist the insured’s daily life activities and provide social support
  • Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, dialysis… can be given as examples.

How to Get Service from Physicians with Special Examination?

In addition to physicians working in state and university hospitals and private hospitals, there are also physicians who have their own practice. These physicians do not work under any insurance. They have their own fee schedules. Therefore, patients do not have the opportunity to benefit from insurance for the treatment they will receive in private practice. For this reason, it can be financially challenging to benefit from physicians with private practice.

Enes Sahin

Hello, I am Enes, I write content for Expat Guide Turkey every day. Don't forget to check it out! You can contact me via e-mail

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