General Healthcare Insurance for Foreigners in Turkey

January 24, 2023by Bünyamin Esen0

Foreign nationals residing in Turkey are required to have mandatory private health insurance in order to obtain a residence permit. The Provincial Directorates of Migration Management consider private health insurance a necessary requirement for issuing a residence permit. With this insurance, foreigners can access contracted private hospitals at a discounted rate. This requirement is not sought while applying to a work permit.

In addition, foreign nationals living in Turkey also have the right to access the General Healthcare Insurance system, which is a mandatory insurance program in Turkey. The General Healthcare Insurance refers to the compulsory insurance system that ensures that everyone can benefit from healthcare services free of charge (or with symbolic minimum contributions) throughout the country, and can enjoy healthcare services that are financed by the Social Security Institution (SSI).

Which foreign nationals are eligible to access the General Healthcare Insurance?

Foreigners who meet the following criteria are entitled to access general healthcare insurance, as long as the principle of reciprocity is considered:

  • Possession of a valid residence permit.
  • Not being insured under the legislation of a foreign country and not having the right to access health insurance.
  • Residing in Turkey for a continuous period of one year or more.
  • Fulfillment of a requisition.


Is it mandatory for foreign nationals to apply for general healthcare insurance?

No, foreign nationals with a valid residence permit are registered under the general healthcare insurance upon their request. General healthcare insurance for foreign nationals is considered a right, rather than an obligation.

On the other hand, foreign nationals working in Turkey with a work permit are already within the system of General Healthcare Insurance compulsorily via their social insurance coverage.


Where should foreign nationals apply to access general healthcare insurance?

Foreign nationals are required to register for the General Health Insurance with the Social Security Institution by applying to the nearest social security provincial directorate or social security center directorates to their address.


What documents do foreign nationals need to apply to access general healthcare insurance?

Foreign nationals are expected to submit the following documents to the Social Security Institution to access general healthcare insurance:

  • A valid residence permit
  • Previous residence permit documents, if applicable (expired)
  • The original or photocopy of the letter showing the social security status in terms of the general healthcare insurance application received from the relevant foreign country’s social security institution or labor attaché.
  • A commitment form.
  • General Healthcare Insurance Declaration/Application Form (as wet signed).


Which health services can foreign nationals access?

Within the rules of the Health Insurance Communique, foreign nationals can access treatment for non-chronic diseases and chronic diseases diagnosed after being covered by the General Health Insurance. The general healthcare insurance also covers dependents.

Bünyamin Esen

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