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jade

State Health Insurance

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For newcomers to Turkey I thought the following article might be of interest to you.

 

State health insurance application made simple

 

After many expats were put off joining the SGK (Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu) – Turkey’s state health insurance – last year because of teething problems and a complicated application process, now things have improved and a much more streamlined sign-up system is in place.

A brave couple who were keen to get to the bottom of the situation armed themselves with a Turkish friend as a translator and headed to the newly opened SGK office in Didim. And here’s what they discovered:

 

If you are married, you need to take:

• Your marriage certificate;

• Your Turkish kimlik number (which the couple obtained by taking their residence permits to the local police station);

• Proof of your address (this needs to be obtained from your local Nufus Müdürlüğü office)

• Your residence permit

• Your passport

On returning to the SGK office, you will have to fill in a simple form that apparently takes less than a minute. The SGK staff will confirm by phone within a couple of hours that the application process is complete – BUT they do not take payments for the SGK at the office.

 

How do you make the payment?

In order to make your payment, you will need to pop along to the Ziraat Bank where you can then make the payment using their ATM machine.

 

How much does it cost?

The couple said they were charged 261TL (this includes the first month of SGK payment and application fee), but after this they will simply return to the Ziraat Bank’s ATM every month and pay the amount demanded. The average price for a married couple on SGK is around 230TL (approx. £72) per month.

The couple said: “The whole process and paying into Ziraat was pretty smooth and we are glad to have done it. But we do advise people thinking of getting into SGK to take a Turkish translator or friend to the SGK office as none of the staff can speak English.”

It now means that the couple can avail themselves of all the medical and health services that Turkish people enjoy. By paying monthly, they are entitled to free treatment in state hospitals and will be able to get treatment in some private hospitals at a reduced cost.

Those foreign residents with a residence permit, and have been resident in Turkey for at least one year, can apply. A single monthly premium will cover a married couple and their children.

However, there is no discount for single people, and those couples who are not married and simply live together have to pay separate single premiums.

 

Source:  http://turkeyguidenews.com/1ICP-1SP8I-D68DO95U71/cr.aspx

 

 

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Guest

Jade, many thanks for the posting. Posted Image

If you are a foreigner married to a Turkish person who is retired, there are no premiums. Posted Image

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If you are a foreigner married to a Turkish person who is retired, there are no premiums. Posted Image

 

Does this mean, if a foreigner married to a working Turk (as distinct from retired, and who is insured) is liable to pay the premiums ???? Posted Image

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Guest

I do not think so. SGK is family coverage, all members of a family who are underage or fall into other dependent categories, receive coverage for the premiums paid by the working person. If you are a foreign couple, legally married and enrolled in SGK you pay one premium and both are covered, the same is true for "mixed" (Turkish-foreigner) marriages.

 

What I should have said was since my wife, who is Turkish, is retired and has fully paid into SGK, neither of us pay premiums.

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Hello Everyone,

 

It is possible to take an Internet Login for the Ziraat bank in order that you can access your account on-line. Then you can make your SGK payment in the peace of your own home or at your local internet point on line. Using the Ziraat bank ATM's are not much fun as they are so busy and there's nearly always someone trying to observe what you are doing.

 

John

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I'm pretty sure you WON'T get anything cheaper on a private health scheme.  I looked into this thoroughly before I joined the state health system here in Turkey last February.

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I had a private health insurance policy with Yapı Kedi bank and it was definitely not cheaper than being in the SGK scheme. Private insurance didn't cover me for dental work either. I think your age and pre-existing health problem will make a difference to the premiums of a private scheme so it could be cheaper for a young healthy person.

 

You can pay SGK online for Yapı Kredi and Iş Bank too.

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I have to clarify myself: better value not only means cheaper but it can also mean better service for the same price.

Maybe private insurance entalis private hospitals with better (paid) doctors? Honestly, I don't know.

For dental work I self-insure anyways.

This is important: SGK takes you in regardless of age for life and the premiums won't grow over time which can't be said about private insurance?

How the service of SGK differs between (more developed) Western Turkey and (less developed) Eastern Turkey?

I don't know what North Cyprus has for SGK and at what service level.

Some interesting data:

Turkey ranks 54th in terms of GDP (PPP) per capita

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

Though only 90th in the Human Development Index ranking:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Development_Index

The latter being a mix of GDP, life expectancy (as a measure of though not exactly the healthcare system but well being in general) and education. I wonder where they cut the corners. :)

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Re: State Health Insurance

 

If it costs X for one person but also costs the same amount, X for two persons (or even for a family of 4? I don't know) then it is obviously not as good of a deal for one person as for more. Simple maths. :)

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So, if you are born in Turkey, Turkish citizen, self employed single person you pay approx. ~250 TL a month?

No, if you fall into this category you will pay more as you would be paying Bag Kur which would also contribute towards a pension.

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Turkish citizens are means tested unlike foreign residents who are charged a set amount per month. The amount charged to foreigners is the highest rate a Turkish person would be required to pay. The poorest Turkish person gets a green card and free health care, and then the rates go up accordingly. We have a similar system in Australia. However Australian citizens and legal residents are assessed in the same manner. When you submit your tax return you pay a percentage of your gross income towards Medicare, unless you are a low income earner. While the Turkish system in unfair in that it charges foreigners more, it is much faster to get things done in Turkey than in Australia.

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I don't know what new Turkish members to the Bag Kur scheme pay as the health schemes have all been amalgamated  but the amount existing people pay would depend on what level they have reached. The scheme started at one and went, I think, up to level 24, increasing every year. It covers pension as well as health care for the member and their family. My husband pays about 400tl a month.

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Guest

Maybe private insurance entalis private hospitals with better (paid) doctors? Honestly, I don't know.

 

This is important: SGK takes you in regardless of age for life and the premiums won't grow over time which can't be said about private insurance?

There are many private hospitals which will take SGK patients. There will then be a small co-pay, usually 10%. Many state hospitals are quite good, some not, you will have to try the area in which you live to see.

 

Regardless of age you are insured, I got in over 65, private insurace either will not take you at that age or will charge you a fortune. I dropped private insurance last year, it was too expensive and I determined my needs could be met by SGK.

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Have you seen this Hobbit?

DEAD LINK

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Guest

Nope, had not till now. What else do you know about this?

I am rather a slow and stupid hobbit, can someone explain how this works please?

Example:

A doctor/hospital fee is 1000 TL for a visit, tests, etc. Does this mean the person being "served" will pay 200 % of 1000 TL?

That does not seem to make sense.

In this example, what does SGK pay and what is the patient's co-pay?

Anyone explaining with a clear example would be greatly appreciated.

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I believe it means that whereas you used to, for example, pay 50tl with SGK for a procedure, now the private hospitals can charge you 100tl.

This link gives more examples but it is in Turkish.

DEAD LINK

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Sunny has the right idea. If the SGK charges 50tl for a procedure, a private hospital can charge up to 200% more for the same procedure. That means they could charge 150tl (100% = 50tl so 200% increase makes the charge 150tl). I've never used a private hospital in Turkey but I do know that in the past there were no set rules regarding what they could charge. The sky often was the limit. The SGK have been analysing the amounts being charged in order to streamline and control fees charged by private hospitals.

 

Hobbit is also correct in guessing that private hospitals pay their doctors more money. In the past doctors could work at both a SGK hospital and a private hospital. They often did this by working 6 hours a day at a state hospital and then another 4 hours a day at a private hospital. A while ago (maybe a few years ago) the government made them chose which type of hospital they wanted to work at. However many of them still have shares in private hospitals while nominally only being employed at State hospitals. It's also important to remember that all doctors in Turkey train at the same universities, so going to a private hospital does not guarantee a better doctor, just a more expensive one.

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 all doctors in Turkey train at the same universities, so going to a private hospital does not guarantee a better doctor, just a more expensive one.

 

A lot of doctors go abroad for further study.

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Just for your interest: In Malta you get some pension contributions, unemployment insurance and maybe higher quality medical care for roughly similar prices.

 

Sure, it's a different country and different quality of living but I though it might be interesting to share. It depends on what you are shopping for.

 

I am shopping for tax (and healthcare) residence (no tax on foreign income). That's why I am eyeing with island nations such a TRNC and Malta.

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