Once you have determined your eligibility for the Italian healthcare system, you need to register for the service and get your Tessera Sanitaria.

As a new resident of Italy you need to register to the Italian health system, and obtain your Tessera Sanitaria

Italian health system and tessera sanitaria

How do you register for the Health system?

The health system registration requires you to book an appointment to the local ASL (Azienda Sanitaria Locale), despite the Universal Healthcare system is national, it is administered regionally, therefore you must apply in the ASL where you take up your residency (or at least you have a domicile).

After the Covid 19 pandemic, more ASL are accepting applications via email, instead of in person visits. Regardless of that, the documents required for the application process are the same; in order to apply you need:

  • Valid ID (Passport or national identity card)
  • A valid Codice Fiscale issued by the tax office (or the foreign consulate)
  • Self declaration of your place of residency/domicile
  • A valid Permesso di Soggiorno for non-EU nationals
  • Employment contract copy
  • Partita IVA setup and/or Chamber of commerce registration
  • Voluntary contribution receipt

The last three documents are alternative, in fact you need one of the three to enroll in the healthcare system of Italy.

Once you have all the documents together, the ASL registers you in the system and you will receive a plastic Tessera Sanitaria at your home. In the meantime, you receive a temporary printed file which serves as an alternative to the Tessera Sanitaria, until you receive the latter.

What is a Tessera Sanitaria?

The Tessera Sanitaria is the Health care card of Italy, and it provides proof of coverage within the system. It includes basic information about you such as: Full name, date and place of birth, and Codice Fiscale.

You need it to show it to doctors, purchasing drugs at the pharmacy, admission to public hospitals, and so on.

You scan it to pay any health related service, so you can deduct such amounts in your annual tax return (Health expenses provide a 19% deduction per year).

The Tessera Sanitaria has a standard 6 years duration, therefore it needs to be renewed after that. If you are a non-EU citizens living in Italy, the Tessera Sanitaria expires when your VISA expires, therefore you need to renew it more often (annually, or bi-annually), and only when you secure a Permesso di Soggiorno di Lungo Periodo your Tessera Sanitaria will last 6 years
The Tessera Sanitaria is also a TEAM (Tessera Europea Assicurazione Malattia) – European health card – allowing you to access treatment in a different EU country at no charge.

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