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JenRed73

SGK Membership Process & Coverage for Foreigners

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Hi,

I searched all the links about SGK on this site but could not find the exact information I am looking for...

I have questions about the SGK enrollment process, premium payments, and coverage. I'll describe below what I figured out piecemeal, hoping it can be helpful to anyone else who needs to know what to do.

I am a US citizen on my third residency permit and have a cheap private insurance that meets the minimum ikamet requirements. However, I had heard that foreigners can enroll with SGK if they pay a monthly premium. I had also heard that the state healthcare system offers better coverage. My Turkish is not perfect so it was too complicated to ask the SGK personnel. I looked at their web site but the English version is different from the Turkish; even on the Turkish page there are so many links (and no search engine) so I found it nearly impossible to find the right information.

PROCESS:

This is what I know and have accomplished so far: I have gone to the SGK office in downtown Antalya, filled out a short written application and provided a color photocopy of the fronts and backs of my three ikamet cards, everything going back to my first residency.  They told me the policy would begin on the date signed on the form. For any foreigner in Antalya who wants to enroll in SGK, ask for a ticket at the front desk to see counter C in the back room. (I waited and talked to 3 people before I was directed to the correct counter.) Within a few hours after they enter your application in their computer system, you will be registered in the SGK system under your kimlik number. They did not ask for my passport or a doctor's visit/form.

They also told me the monthly premium would be 450 TL, but said I could not pay at the SGK office. I was told to go to the PTT or one of four Turkish banks. After searching online quite a while, I finally found a link to the e-Devlet site, where you can conveniently make premium payments online. The online payment option link is not easy to find on the SGK site but if you Google "SGK prim ödeme" you'll get a link. The e-Devlet link should be easier to find on the SGK site.  You must first go to the PTT and show your ikamet (with the kimlik on it). The teller confirms that you are in the SGK system, then will give you a red envelope that contains your initial e-Devlet password. The teller will also tell you the amount due for your first premium, and will take your payment, giving you a receipt. My first premium was less, probably pro-rated for registering mid-month. There is also a fee of a few liras for the PTT to process the transaction.

You can log in to the e-Devlet site with your kimlik number and your initial password from the red envelope. Then you must create a new password. I was able to find the date and amount of my first payment, and the date my membership began. In your ID profile, you'll want to confirm your cell phone number and e-mail address. You can access many other government sites via e-Devlet.

The direct link for payment on the SGK site is: "Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu Kart ile Prim Ödeme Uygulaması." This link will also take you to the e-Devlet login, but there are other tabs in the box. The last tab, "İnternet Bankacılığı," shows several banks through which you can make a payment on the site. I believe you must have an account and a debit/credit card with one of these banks in order to pay online. You may also be able to pay the SGK from the bank's web site.

QUESTIONS:

So now I'm registered and set up online, but what next?

Payment Due Date: I noticed that the payment I just made showed a due date at the end of December. I found this strange for enrolling mid-November. Does anyone know the time frame of monthly periods and when due dates fall? (Is this similar to employees? For example, our apartment has a full-time doorman, for whom we must pay SGK insurance of about 500 TL/month. The payment for a given month is due around the 20th of the following month. I wonder if my case is like this even though I am not employed. So perhaps my December premium will be due toward the end of January, at the full amount??)

Renewal/Extension: Since I have to renew my ikamet once a year, I have to show proof of insurance that will last the validity period of the next ikamet. I read somewhere that you should apply for an extension of your SGK membership 60 days before your current ikamet expires; otherwise you may be dropped from the SGK system and have to start all over again. Does anyone have any experience with this? Is there anything I have to do to extend the coverage?

Coverage: What does SGK health insurance cover for foreign members? I do not have any US health insurance that will transfer over. I think the plan for foreigners is letter D? I can't find the list anymore because their web site is overwhelming. To clarify, I don't work here; I'm not an employee or retiree, just a foreigner paying independently into the system. Can anyone offer any tips on where I can navigate for the information I need?

Thank you so much.

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Hi Jen,i'm very surprised that medical tests were not required from you prior to being accepted by the SGK,this is the only time i've heard this stated,as the medical has to be done to determine any chronic &/or pre existing conditions you may have,which by the way neither are covered by the SGK. So if for example you went to the hospital with say,arthritis after being enrolled just a couple of months, SGK *could* refuse to cover that as it would not be something you contracted only within the previous 2 months..etc....

Regarding RP  renewal time,it is best for SGK holders to make their RP renewal soon into the 60 days prior to expiry so as to keep your SGK live and still be able to receive treatment, as cover is often suspended from when your existing RP expires until you show your new RP card to your local SGK office. 

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Hi Redders,

Thank you so much for your reply. What you said makes sense, so I'm not sure why they didn't give me a form or tell me to visit the doctor. I know enough Turkish to understand that! Do you happen to know if the form they use is the same as the Sağlık Raporu they require for getting a Turkish driver's license? I suppose I can go back to the SGK office and inquire.

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Redders, thanks anyway. If it ends up necessary for me I can find out which form to get.

UPDATE:

Tonight I met with a German friend of mine here in Antalya who has foreign friends who get SGK. She said that neither she nor her friends were ever required to have a doctor's visit or fill out a medical form. It's odd since you say it should be required.  I wonder sometimes if the requirements differ by province or city. It seems logical that they should be the same for national matters, but that has been my experience--even with ikamet application requirements, for example. The forums say one thing, the hotline says another, and then the Göç İdaresi will tell you, "gerek yok." The inconsistencies can be frustrating, but I guess I have to roll with it. Next time I visit the SGK office here I'll ask about a medical checkup just in case.

As for due dates, my friend also confirmed that a given month's premium payment is not due until the end of the following month.

Also, something the officials didn't tell me: you have to wait about one month before you're fully in the system. I saw my payment record when I logged into e-Devlet, but had trouble finding more information there and could not find my SGK record from my Garanti account. I wonder if this could be why... She also said I should receive a letter in the mail confirming that I'm a member of the SGK system. After that I should be able to log on and find all my information. BTW, she said you can't see advance payments due in the system; you'll only see the current payment due, and I suppose any debts for unpaid past months.

The other reason could be that I was choosing the wrong plan option. If you work in Turkey and your employer pays your SGK, you choose plan 4A. My friend told me that all her foreign friends (who do not work here) are considered "Bağ-kur," which means "self-employed"; but even if you aren't running your own business here, she said that plan would be mine, and that's 4B (kendi isteğe bağlı bağ-kur). So maybe all this time I was choosing the wrong option on the Internet sites. No one at the office told me my plan number, so this is good to know! I thought I was getting GSS, but she said that's only 55 TL/month, which seems very low.

My friend said that you don't get an SGK card. Once you're in the system, you just give your kimlik number to the doctor.

She also said that when my Irish-Canadian husband retires from his job in Kuwait and moves here permanently, he can join my SGK plan as a family member right away--no need for him to wait a year. And his age doesn't matter (he'll be 61 or 62 when he retires). The reason I bring this up is because I thought I read somewhere that anyone 65 or older must have their own SGK plan and can't join as a family member, because they suppose this person will automatically have a government pension. It doesn't make sense to me. I know after age 65, health insurance isn't required for the ikamet, but my husband WANTS health insurance here! The Turkish private insurance companies cut you off around that age.

I hope this information helps anyone else out there dealing with this issue. I'll give an update once my account is really up and running.

:)

 

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On 18/11/2017 at 03:23, REDDERS said:

Hi Jen,i'm very surprised that medical tests were not required from you prior to being accepted by the SGK,this is the only time i've heard this stated,as the medical has to be done to determine any chronic &/or pre existing conditions you may have,which by the way neither are covered by the SGK. So if for example you went to the hospital with say,arthritis after being enrolled just a couple of months, SGK *could* refuse to cover that as it would not be something you contracted only within the previous 2 months..etc....

Regarding RP  renewal time,it is best for SGK holders to make their RP renewal soon into the 60 days prior to expiry so as to keep your SGK live and still be able to receive treatment, as cover is often suspended from when your existing RP expires until you show your new RP card to your local SGK office. 

Hi..am just going through this and wondered...if pre existing conditions are discovered in the medical check up that is required, would that cause the cancellation of the residence permit or are they just not included in the scheme? What are the health conditions that are considered risky to public health that I read about in the law that Ken posted? I hope someone can shed some light on this. Thanks!

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Lisaz,pre existing & chronic conditions are not covered by the SGK,  this will not cause any problems in using this health cover for your RP application,but you won't be able to claim from SGK any pre existing/chronic conditions found/discussed at your medical. I assume you've held an RP for at least one full year before attempting to make your SGK application.
Please look in your messages ....

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