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What's Covered by Expat Health Insurance Policies in Turkey


Ken Grubb

A healthcare professional is depicted in front of the treatment coverage page of a private Turkish health insurance policy. All of the health insurance policies designed for foreigners applying for residence permits offer basically the same coverage, which must meet or exceed the minimum coverage requirements established by the Turkish government.

Learn more about the minimum health insurance coverage requirements.

You can also buy a more comprehensive private insurance policy as long as it meets the government's minimum coverage requirements.

Health Insurance Coverage is Limited in the First Year

The first year offers limited coverage to screen out those with pre-existing conditions requiring immediate care. But after the first year, you'll get the full coverage. Make sure you get one of your insurance company's cards with your policy number. That way the hospital or other healthcare provider can verify your coverage.

What Does "Contracted" and "Non-contracted" Mean?

Turkish insurance companies have contracts with various healthcare providers. In the contracts, the healthcare providers offer discount rates and lower or no out-of-pocket costs for the insurance company's customers.

So if you go to a healthcare facility that has a contract with your insurance company, you'll get better rates than if you go to one that doesn't.

Here's what a typical health insurance policy designed for residence permit applications covers.

Typical Health Insurance Coverage of Policies for Residence Permit Applications
Coverage Scope Contracted Non-contracted
Limit of Coverage Contribution Limit of Coverage Contribution
Inpatient Treatment Annual Unlimited None 20,000 TL 20%
Hospital Room-Meal Daily Charge for Standard Single Room None Charge for Standard Single Room 20%
Intensive Care Daily Charge for Intensive Care Unit None Charge for Intensive Care Unit 20%
Outpatient Diagnosis Treatment Annual 2,000 TL 40% 2,000 TL 40%
Auxiliary Medical Supplies Annual 1,000 TL 40% 1,000 TL 40%

*"Contribution" is the percentage the patient must pay.
*"Contracted" referrers to healthcare providers with whom the insurance company has a contract.
*"Non-contracted" refers to healthcare providers with whom the insurance company does not have a contract.
* International emergency assistance and medical consultancy
* Outpatient treatment coverage is limited at 2,000 TL in aggregate annually at contracted and non-contracted healthcare institutions.

Waiting Periods

According to my policy from Groupama, for the first year, many things are not covered.


4- Waiting Periods

4.1. Diagnose, outpatient treatment, minor intervention, surgery and inpatient treatment expenses related to the below mentioned diseases and complications are not covered for 12 months following the first effective date of the policy provided by Groupama Sigorta:

Hearth diseases, cancer, chronic diseases (diabetes, hypertension, COPD, MS, Thyroid Gland Diseases / Goiter,
hepatitis, gastroesophageal reflux, peptic ulcer etc.) benign tumor - mass- polyp- lypoma nevusverruca - cyst.

Provided that, after evaluating the declaration/documents of the insured/ the policyholder, the insurer may extend the waiting period for the above mentioned diseases or apply waiting period for other diseases on condition that it is written on the appendices.

4.2. All kind of physiotherapy and rehabilitation expenses as well as algology treatments are not covered for 12 months following the first effective date of the policy.


Excluded Coverage

The following things are never covered:


5 - Exclusions:

In addition to the Health Insurance General Conditions article 2 of the, any disease and/or injury resulting from an accident during the term of the insurance will be excluded due to the cases mentioned below:

5.1. Expenses regarding diseases and disabilities which exist before the effective date of the policy, examination and treatment following the first diagnose of congenital and/or structural diseases and disabilities, diagnoses and treatments of hereditary diseases and disabilities as well as the expenses for any related disorder,

5.2. Expenses related with medical examination, laboratory/X-ray, etc. tests , treatments for medical analysis or medical prevention purposes in absence of disease tests, check-ups, medicine and vaccines for early diagnose of diseases,

5.3. Any procedures carried out in the absence of any diagnostic / treatment program required by a physician and expenses resulting from these procedures,

5.4. All expenses related with treatments considered experimental by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration), any experimental treatments that are not scientifically proven, chiropractic, PRP, transplantation and use of root cells apart from cancer treatments,

5.5. All expenses related with motor and mental development disorder, growth and development disorder,

5.6. Apart from cases resulting from an accident occurred during the term of the policy, all kind of plastic surgeries, diagnose and treatments for esthetic purposes, gynecomasty, sex reassignment surgeries, breast reduction surgery, laser epilation, laser ad phototherapy procedures related with any skin disease (except for puva therapy), telangiectasia, therapies for dermal haemangioma, varicose treatments,

5.7. Expenses related to gall bladder and biliary track diseases, urinary system stone,

5.8. Expenses related to septum deviation, narrowness of nasal meatus, concha hypertrophy, tonsillitis, adenoid, sinusitis, auto-sclerosis and otitis media complications,

5.9. Expenses of diagnoses and treatments of hallux valgus, disc diseases (discopathy), carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar tunnel syndrome, shoulder and knee surgery (meniscus, cartilage, synovia and ligament lesions, etc., coxarthrosis, hygroma,

5.10. Expenses of coronary artery calcium scan by Electron Tomography (EBT), Volume Computer Tomography (VCT) and similar equipment, coronary artery angiographies by multi-detector computer tomography, and virtual bronchoscopy and virtual colonoscopy performed for scanning purposes, :

5.11. Expenses of diagnoses and treatments of spermatocele varicosele, hydrocele, umbilical cyst and epididymis cyst, prostate diseases, hernia, hemorrhoid / anal fistula, anal fissure / anal abscess, perianal abscess, Bartholin’s abscess/cyst/ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and pilonidal sinus,

5.12. Expenses of diagnoses and treatments of sleep disorders sleep apnea and snoring, and auxiliary equipment,

5.13. Immunotherapy and allergy tests (dermal tests,determination of quantitative antigen in serum and other analyses),

5.14. All expenses related with pregnancy and childbirth and incubation care,

5.15. Expenses related to diagnose and treatment of organ transplantation and organ failure, expenses related to organ donation and donor,

5.16. Breast diseases, breast prosthesis and nipple reconstruction after cancer surgery,

5.17. Expenses related to all kind of medical treatment, laser and surgical procedures carried out for strabismus and refractive errors, expenses related to diagnoses, analyses and treatments of amblyopia, expenses related to diagnose and treatment of cataract, glaucoma and retinal diseases,

5.18. Expenses related to diagnoses and treatments of all diseases related with AIDS, ARCS and HIV, genital herpes, genital and anal papillomatous lesions (warts, condyloma acuminatum, etc.), genital and anal contagiosum, human papilloma virus (HPV) and expenses incurred for diagnosis and treatment of venereal diseases,

5.19. Expenses of abortion, expenses of sterilization (tube ligation, vasectomy, etc.), implant contraceptives, all birth control methods (spiral application, oral contraceptives, etc.), analyses of oral abortion, impotency (erectile dysfunctions), sexual dysfunction, infertility and/or fertilization (in vitro fertilization, microinjection, etc.), HSG and hysterosonography, etc., analyses, controls and treatments carried out before pregnancy, expenses related to diagnoses and treatments of ovary cyst, myoma, stress incontinence, cystorectoceie, adhesiotysis, endometriosis, endometrioma,

5.20. Circumcision and related complications,

5.21. Expenses incurred for physical therapy and rehabilitation over 20 sessions within one year of insurance received as part of an outpatient and/or inpatient treatment,

5.22. Expenses of psychiatric and psychological disorders/treatments, treatment of psychosomatic diseases and expenses related to psychologists, pedagogues, social service experts, etc,

5.23. Expenses of diagnoses and treatments of geriatric diseases (dementia, Alzheimer's disease, etc.) and psycho-geriatric diseases,

5.24. Expenses of diagnoses and treatments of a disease or an accident resulting from the effect of alcohol and narcotic substances under which the insured is, diagnoses and treatments of any disease and complications developed as a result of use of alcohol or narcotic substances, expenses of cigarette, alcohol and substance addiction treatment,

5.25. Expenses of alternative medicine methods (acupuncture, hypnosis, aromatherapy, neural therapy, etc.), obesity, diagnose of metabolic syndrome, metabolic surgery, obesity surgery, diabetes surgery, methods of weight gain and expenses related with foot care centers, expenses of PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma), services used at SPA cure centers, massage expenses, dietary specialists, mud baths, weight loss centers, fitness centers and similar places, expenses related to anti-aging procedures, expenses of all kind of diagnoses and treatments of nutrition and diet, all expenses in beauty clinics, expenses of voice and speech therapy.

5.26. Expenses of all kind of examination, diagnose and treatment for hair loss, treatment of perspiration, iontophoresis and BTX procedures, treatments with orlistat and its derivatives (xenical caps, etc.), treatments with sibutramine and its derivatives (reductil caps).

5.27. Expenses of unlicensed drugs, vitamins and food supplementary products approved by Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, imported with the import license given by the Ministry of Health, expenses of fruit salts and medical sodas, supplements and herbs for weight loss, bran and plant fibres, artificial sweeteners, nicotine replacement products to quit smoking, contact lens care products, all kind of tooth paste, mouth and dental care products, all kind of medicinal teas, any products shaped like drug, containing components like herb and herbal elements and herbal extract distillate, unregistered by the Ministry of Health, all kind of soap, anti-dandruff and anti-hair loss products, hair or dandruff shampoo, skin cream, skin soap, cosmetic products, thermophore, thermometer, etc.

5.28. Expenses of all kind of intervention, diagnose and treatment on teeth, gum and jaw carried out by dentists.

5.29. Costs of eyeglasses, contact lenses and solutions, wheeled chair, hearing aid, ICD, crutches, orthopaedic boots-soles-slippers-shoes.

5.30. Costs of diapers, baby food, feeding bottle, pacifier, baby care creams, etc.

5.31. Expenses related to disability and injury occurred during the performance of all kind of professional and/or dangerous and extreme sports (mountain climbing, parachuting, air sports, underwater sports, rally, motocross, use of atv-utv, etc.) and related sports competitions and speed and strength races, and all kind of accident due to unlicensed driving..

5.32. Expenses related to disability resulting from participation in strikes, workers movement involving lockouts, civil commotions, fights, etc. as well as expenses related to the required diagnosis and treatment.

5.33. Expenses of private nursing services at the hospital during outpatient or inpatient treatment

5.34. Costs of healthcare service received from physicians who are not specialist of the disease of the insured.

5.35. Expenses for use of robot, etc. in robotic surgical operations.

5.36. Daily hospital expenses exceeding the limit and the scope of coverage defined in the policy for treatments which should be inpatient treatment according to medical point of view.

5.37. Daily work disability compensation for the period in which the insured cannot work due to its medical condition resulting from a disease.

5.38. Expenses of daily home care which are out of scope of Nurse Care at Home Coverage.

5.39. Expenses related to pes planus and scoliosis, kyphosis and lordosis which are not a consequence of an accident occurred after the effective date of the policy.

5.40. All expenses excluded from guarantees, limits and contributions specified on the policy and any uncovered special situations specified in the additional clauses of the policy.

The above is only an example taken from the policy of one insurance company. Consult your personal health insurance policy to see what it covers or doesn't cover. And contact your health insurance provider if you have any questions.

Mertsel Health Insurance and Residence Permit Application Service

Mertsel Insurance provides residence permit application services and health insurance policies (among other services) for the Turkey Central community. Mertsel charges only according to what you need. You won't find a better price for the services they offer.

Within 24 hours after you send them all of the required information, Mertsel will:

  • Get you a tax number
  • Create your health insurance policy
  • Apply for and get your Residence Permit Registration Form
  • Set up your appointment at the immigration office and
  • Send you the documents for your application package.

You can get a free price quote from Mertsel according to your needs. Contact them by clicking below:

Ken Grubb, author.

As a special investigator for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and teacher for the University of Maryland, Ken Grubb has lived and worked in Turkey since 1997. He now lives in Antalya, where he researches and writes guides to help others live skillfully in Turkey.


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