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Turkey has a national health insurance plan, managed by the Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu, (Social Security Administration, or SGK). Once you have legally resided in Turkey for at least one year, you can enroll. After you pay the first premium, you are covered. You will get an SGK health insurance ID card which you can present at any state hospital and be treated, without charge. Some private hospitals also accept SGK insurance, but since treatment at private hospitals is more expensive than at state hospitals, there may be additional charges you will need to pay in cash, or have them covered by supplemental insurance that you can get from one of the Turkish insurance companies. SGK Insurance Premiums The premium for SGK insurance is currently 426.60 TL per month (2017). This price is for legally-married couples and their children (if they are under age 18) and for single persons (the price is the same for both--there is no discount for a single person). Note: If a person receives income from a government pension, that person will not be eligible to be a covered as a dependent under their spouse's SGK policy. First-time Application for SGK Insurance Because enrollment in the SGK plan requires you to be a resident of Turkey, and becoming a resident of Turkey requires health insurance coverage, you will have to go back and forth between the SGK office and the foreigners' bureau. Here's what you need to do: Go to the SGK office, and verify exactly what you need to do according to your situation. Rules can change or vary according to province. Get a physical examination. You can go to a private or state hospital for this (state hospitals are cheaper. You can pay by cash or credit card at either type of hospital. Go to the SGK office and submit an initial application for SGK insurance. You will need your residence permit, passport, and proof of address (such as a property deed or rental contract, or a stamped and signed address registration document from the Nüfus [Citizenship and Population Directorate]). The SGK will provisionally enroll you and give you a document called a Provizyon Sorgulama Cevap (Provisional Inquiry Reply) which shows you have been provisionally registered in the SGK system. Then, pay the premium for the first month of coverage. Go to the DGMM with your copy of the Provisional Inquiry Reply. Submit it with your residence permit application package. You will get a confirmation of application from the foreigners' bureau showing that you have applied for your residence permit. Go back to the SGK office with the confirmation document you received from the DGMM, and complete the SGK application process. You will then have medical insurance coverage in Turkey, and a completed and submitted application for your Turkey residence permit. Note: After you receive your residence permit, return to the SGK office, show them your residence permit card, and make sure that you are registered with the SGK as a resident of Turkey. Extending Your SGK Insurance Once you reach a date 60 days before the expiration of your residence permit, it is a good idea to apply to extend your SGK coverage as soon as possible, to make sure you have no gaps in your insurance coverage. If You Are Over 65 Years Old If you are over 65 years old, you do not need to have health insurance to get a residence permit, unless you are applying for a long-term residence permit. Need to buy the required health insurance coverage for your residence permit? You can buy it online, or just get a free quote, by using our Expat Health Insurance Inquiry Form. See Also Health Insurance Forum: A forum dedicated to the health insurance requirement to live in Turkey. Please post any questions or comments you have there. External Links Republic of Turkey, Social Security Institution: In English. Covers just about anything you need to know about SGK Universal Health Insurance.
My country has a bilateral agreement which says that I am covered for my medical needs in Turkey. Will that suffice for the residence permit requirement? Yes. If your country has a bilateral agreement with Turkey which allows you to get health care services while in Turkey, you don't need to buy another health insurance policy. You can present documentation of your health insurance coverage as proof of insurance. This involves obtaining document(s) from your home country, then taking them to the Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu (SGK). The SGK will then give you a document which proves that you are entitled to health insurance coverage by the SGK. Take that document to your residence permit interview. How can I apply for Turkey's national health insurance coverage (SGK)? After you have legally resided in Turkey for one year on a residence or work permit, you can apply for coverage under the Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu, or SGK. This must be coordinated with your residence permit application, since you have to have a valid residence permit to apply for SGK insurance, and you have to have insurance coverage when you apply for your residence permit. So you will have to apply to SGK, which will give you a provizyon sorgulama cevap (provisional inquiry reply) document. Submit that document with your residence permit application, then take your residence permit application back to SGK to finalize your application for health insurance coverage. When you receive your actual residence permit, go back to the SGK so they can enter the expiration date of the SGK coverage (which will be the same as your residence permit expiration date). You will need to keep your SGK coverage up to date for the duration of your residence. Where can I buy private health insurance for my residence permit? Some companies, such as Ankara Sigorta or Groupama, have health insurance policies specifically designed to cover foreigners who are applying for a residence permit. You can just walk in to one of their offices and give them your information, and they will give you a quote. If you want to buy the policy, they will print it up on the spot. The whole experience takes less than an hour. Learn more about Turkish private health insurance policies. Unfortunately, the Turkish private health insurance policies don't cover everything in the first year. They do this to prevent people with undisclosed preexisting conditions from being covered. Learn more about what a Turkish private health insurance policy covers. You can get a free online quote from an Ankara Sigorta agent by filling out a form here: Ankara Sigorta residence permit health insurance free quote. I'm applying for a two-year short-term residence permit. How can I get health insurance coverage for two years, if insurance companies only issue one-year health insurance policies? Ankara Sigorta now offers a two-year health insurance package. It consists of two separate one-year health insurance policies. When the first one expires, the second one activates. They both have to be purchased at the same time. How can I get the validity period of my health insurance policy to line up with the validity period of my residence permit? Firstly, make absolutely sure that your health insurance policy is active on the date of your appointment. This may result in some time being chopped off the end of the validity date of your residence permit (since the expiration date of your residence permit cannot be beyond the validity date of your health insurance policy). But that is better than having your application rejected at your interview. Ankara Sigorta allows their residence permit health insurance policies to be purchased up to 60 days in advance. So you can use that leeway to set up your health insurance policy to be active on the date of your appointment, without being double-covered, say, by your travel insurance. I have health insurance from my country which covers me in Turkey. Will this be accepted for my residence permit? Yes, but only if the policy must say you are covered worldwide, meets or exceeds the minimum coverage requirements, and the company which issued the policy has an office in Turkey. You will need to have certain pages of the policy translated and notarized, including the identity information, the start and end date of the policy, the coverage provided and cost share information. What if my health insurance policy is not accepted? If you are a first-time applicant for a residence permit, then when you go to your appointment, an immigration specialist will tell you if your insurance policy doesn't meet the requirements. If you are renewing your residence permit and mail your application package, an immigration specialist will send you an e-mail and/or an SMS (text) message to your mobile phone and alert you to the problem. You will then have to go to a Turkish private health insurance company, such as Ankara Sigorta, and buy a Turkish residence permit health insurance policy. You can have a Turkish private health insurance policy issued in less than an hour. If you want a free quote from an Ankara Sigorta representative, please use our health insurance quote and inquiry form. I don't need a residence permit for a whole year. Can I use travel insurance to meet the health insurance requirement? No. You have to buy a health insurance policy from a private Turkish insurance company. While the coverage technically goes month-to-month, these insurance companies require payment, in advance, for one year. Before you leave Turkey, you can go to the insurance company where you bought the policy, and get a refund for the unused portion. I'm over 65 years old. Do I have to have health insurance for my residence permit? It depends. For a short-term residence permit, people over age 65 are not required to have health insurance coverage. But for a long-term residence permit, it is required. Are children required to have health insurance for their residence permits? It depends. For a short-term residence permit, people under age 18 are not required to have health insurance coverage. But for a family residence permit, it is required, either with coverage under a parent's policy or their own policy. Need to buy the required health insurance coverage for your residence permit? You can buy it online, or just get a free quote, by using our Expat Health Insurance Inquiry Form. Turkey's Foreigner Communications Center The DGMM has a number you can call to speak to an immigration specialist. Call 157 from any telephone within Turkey. The call will be free. From outside of Turkey, call +90 312 157 1122. Long-distance charges will apply.
Hello All, I am retiring from the military and my family is relocating to Turkey... I wanted to open a topic on Tricare to begin compiling information for others who might be interested. So here are some questions I have been trying to address, and the answers I have found thus far (Thanks to Ken who provided much of this info)... if you have better or more recent info, please add to the conversation: Q1: What kind of TRICARE is available to military retirees in Turkey? A1: Retirees are eligible for Tricare Standard Overseas (see http://www.tricare.mil/Plans/HealthPlans/TSO.aspx). Only active duty can use Tricare Prime Overseas or Tricare Extra Overseas. Q2: How does TRICARE standard work? A2: In short, individuals $150 USD for a deductible, families $300, then a 25% cost share for services. Detailed info: http://www.tricare.mil/Costs/HealthPlanCosts/TSO.aspx Q3: Do I need to enroll or do anything special to use Tricare Standard Overseas? A3: No. You are automatically enrolled in Tricare Standard Overseas. You will pay out of pocket for all services, and then submit paperwork to Tricare for reimbursement. Q4: What about prescriptions? Can we use Tricare Mail Order Pharmacy? A4: Overseas, you may fill prescriptions at MTF pharmacies. Otherwise, you will need to fill prescriptions at host nation pharmacies by paying the full cost up front and filing a claim for reimbursement. TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery is only available overseas if you have an APO/FPO address. Q5: What are some other ways to pay for medical costs while overseas? A5: We are looking at several supplemental policies that pay the difference after Tricare pays. One optionis through MOAA... here is the link to their policy: http://www.moaainsurance.com/personal-insurance/mediplus-tricare-supplement Q6: What if you have children who reside in the USA while you live in Turkey (i.e. - college students)? A6: They can enroll in Tricare Prime as usual. It is called a split enrollment. Call Tricare for the region of the USA for more info. Q7: Can we use Turkish medical insurance instead? A7: I think it depends on your individual situation. It is my understanding that military retirees don't qualify for the Turkish health insurance because foreigners who receive health insurance coverage from a state-sponsored plan don't qualify. Tricare is state-sponsored. But... if Tricare doesn't meet the standard for the Residence Permit insurance requirement you may be able to purchase state insurance. But what if you elect to not take advantage of Tricare? Can you then use Turkish insurance? Not sure... Q8: What about VA medical benefits? Are costs for service-related disabilities reimbursable while living in Turkey? A8: Not sure... this would be a great question to explore. As I mentioned before... I hope this can be an ongoing discussion. If you have anything to add I am sure it would be much appreciated.
Hi everyone-- So I just read somewhere that between October 1 and March 2014, everyone (Americans) have to sign up for health insurance under Obamacare, or be fined if you don't. I've done a little research and saw that if you are living abroad, you are exempt, but "living abroad" apparently means living away from the US 330 days a year, and between two vacations--one in the summer, one in the winter--I overstay that. Just wondering how others are dealing with this/making sense of the rules. . . .