Health insurance is one of the biggest concerns for foreigners living in any country. Likewise, the foreigners living in Turkey are also concerned about this issue. Due to the increase cost of treatment, many foreigners worried about the cost of emergency treatments or major illness and rely on insurance in such conditions. The uncertainty of health coverage that foreigners face during hospital treatments are mostly in the form of hidden clauses in terms and conditions and expensive treatments. Due to this reason many foreigners prefers to have reassurance sign up from Turkey’s government approved scheme known as Turkey’s SGK insurance.
On the other hand, in Turkey people under the age of 65 needs to apply for residency permit as a proof for medical coverage. People over 65 do not necessarily have the health insurance.
Turkey’s SGK Insurance for Foreigners
The Foreign residents are eligible to apply for the SGK (Sosyal Guvenlik Kurumu) system if they have been living in Turkey for a year or more. This system provides the facility of free treatment in Government Devlet hospitals and reduces payment for prescriptions. Sometimes, they are even provided discount at private institutions that subject to their distraction.
Moreover, the Holders need to pay a monthly premium which is 614 lira, and this is applied equally on married and single people. The amount also increases per year. If you get the approval from the government, you will receive a card that will gave you can access to medical and health facilities in government as well as some private hospitals.
On the other hand, some countries have a reciprocal agreement with Turkey to make sure that their citizens will have a medical coverage in case of if they have paid premiums in their home country. The list includes many counties including France and Germany. Additionally, United Kingdom does not have any reciprocal agreement with the Turkish government. Also, it is important to highlight the fact that SGK does not cover the expensive of pre-existing or current conditions like cancer or diabetes.
How to Apply for SGK
As the procedure differs from region to region, so at first you need a visit to local SGK office to apply for SGK insurance. Through office, you will further know how to apply and the documents you need to provide. Your first application may seem long-winded because according to the rules you are unable to get a residency when you are under 65 without health coverage. Also you can’t enroll on the system without a residency so in the beginning the two processes will overlap.
Along the application form you must submit copies of your passport and your residency application. Similarly, to join you will have a health assessment that will be carried out by an approved doctor. Moreover, the proof of your address will be required by the local Nufus office.
Once you are enrolled, the SGK department will give you some provisional document to show the residency permit office. Alongside, you will receive a temporary report from the residency office and you will have to continue the payments for your premiums every month via online or at one of the major Turkish banks. Also in case of renewing your residency permit, you need to visit the SGK office again to reinstate the medical coverage and update your records.
At the same time, Turkey’s SGK health insurance for foreigners especially for those who are about to move into this country, it is compulsory to apply for a Turkish residence permit.