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Turkey – Health Insurance

Turkey has a two-tiered health care system consisting of both public and private healthcare services. Public healthcare services in Turkey are provided by the Ministry of Health and offer free healthcare services to all Turkish citizens and legal residents. The public healthcare system is funded by the government and the Social Security Institution (SGK). In addition to the public healthcare system, there are also private healthcare facilities that provide medical services for a fee. The Turkish government provides mandatory health insurance to all Turkish citizens and legal residents, while expats living in Turkey can also opt for private medical insurance.

Health Insurance Requirements in Turkey

Health insurance is mandatory in Turkey. The Turkish government requires all Turkish citizens and legal residents to have health insurance coverage. This is known as the Universal Health Insurance (UHI) system. The UHI system was introduced in 2012 to provide access to healthcare services to all citizens and residents of Turkey.

State Health Insurance System in Turkey

The state health insurance system in Turkey is known as the Universal Health Insurance (UHI) system. The UHI system covers all Turkish citizens and legal residents, regardless of their income or employment status. The system is funded by the government and the Social Security Institution (SGK).

The UHI system provides coverage for a wide range of medical services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, laboratory tests, and prescription medications. The UHI system also covers certain dental services, as well as emergency medical services. The UHI system does not cover elective procedures or cosmetic treatments.

Applying for State Health Insurance System in Turkey (provide answer in numbered steps)

  1. Obtain a residence permit: Before you can apply for health insurance in Turkey, you must obtain a residence permit. To obtain a residence permit, you must visit the local police station with your passport, visa, and other required documents.

  2. Register with the Turkish tax authority: Once you have obtained a residence permit, you must register with the Turkish tax authority. You can do this by visiting the local tax office with your passport, residence permit, and other required documents.

  3. Obtain a Turkish Identification Number: After registering with the tax authority, you must obtain a Turkish Identification Number (TIN). You can obtain a TIN by visiting the local tax office with your passport, residence permit, and other required documents.

  4. Apply for health insurance: Once you have obtained a residence permit, registered with the tax authority, and obtained a TIN, you can apply for health insurance. To apply for health insurance, you must visit the nearest Social Security Institution (SGK) office with your passport, residence permit, TIN, and other required documents.

  5. Submit your application: At the SGK office, you will be required to fill out an application form and provide your personal information, including your name, address, and contact details. You will also be required to provide information about your employment status and income.

  6. Wait for approval: After submitting your application, you will need to wait for approval. The approval process can take several weeks, and you may be required to provide additional information or documentation.

  7. Receive your health insurance card: Once your application has been approved, you will receive your health insurance card. You can use your health insurance card to access healthcare services at public healthcare facilities in Turkey.

Advantages of Private Medical Insurance in Turkey

While the state health insurance system in Turkey provides coverage for all Turkish citizens and legal residents, expats living in Turkey may also want to consider purchasing international private medical insurance. International private medical insurance offers several advantages for expats living in Turkey, including:

  1. Access to private healthcare facilities: While the public healthcare system in Turkey provides basic healthcare services for free, private healthcare facilities offer more specialized and personalized care. With international private medical insurance, expats can access private healthcare facilities and receive the best possible medical treatment without having to worry about the cost.


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    1. Coverage for pre-existing conditions: The state health insurance system in Turkey does not cover pre-existing medical conditions. However, with international private medical insurance, expats can receive coverage for pre-existing conditions and receive necessary medical treatment.

    2. Coverage for medical emergencies abroad: International private medical insurance offers coverage for medical emergencies abroad. This is especially important for expats who may travel frequently for work or leisure.

    3. Language barriers: Expats who do not speak Turkish may find it challenging to communicate with healthcare providers in public healthcare facilities. Private healthcare facilities often have English-speaking staff, making it easier for expats to communicate their medical needs.

    4. Flexibility in choosing healthcare providers: With international private medical insurance, expats can choose their healthcare providers, including doctors and hospitals. This gives them more control over their medical care and allows them to receive treatment from trusted and reputable healthcare providers.

    Overall, while the state health insurance system in Turkey provides coverage for basic healthcare services, expats living in Turkey may want to consider purchasing international private medical insurance to receive more specialized and personalized medical treatment, coverage for pre-existing conditions, and coverage for medical emergencies abroad.


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