For expats under 65 planning to relocate to Turkey, health insurance is compulsory. Without it, you won’t be able to gain residency in Turkey.
If you’re over 65, you no longer have to have medical insurance in place.
The rules, as they currently stand, require any foreign citizen under the age of 65 to have health insurance if they want to have residency in Turkey.
Health insurance options
The options open to each individual under the age of 65 are:
- Buy local private medical insurance.
- Join Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu (SGK), which is the state insurance scheme category open to expatriates.
- Opt for international health insurance.
Joining Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu (SGK)
You have to legally reside in Turkey for at least one year to be able to enroll.
To join SGK, you have to have a health assessment, and monthly fees are fixed. They are currently 426.60 TL. This premium will cover a married couple and any dependents under the age of 18.
Note: There is no discount for a single person, and couples not legally married have to pay separate premiums.
Note, however, that if you take out SGK, some private hospital treatment may be covered. Never assume; always ask in advance.
If you join SGK, you can’t opt to unsubscribe unless you leave Turkey permanently and give up your residency.
Local private health insurance
There are plenty of private insurers in Turkey that offer health insurance policies to expats as an alternative. And in Turkey, there are state and private hospitals and medical facilities. Depending on which type of insurance you opt for, you will be eligible for care at either a state or a private medical facility.
International health insurance
Many expats opt for international health insurance. To make sure you get the best value for money, compare international health insurance options from various providers to find the best deal.
Options for those over 65
If you’re over 65, you no longer have to have compulsory medical insurance in place to be able to receive or renew your residency.
However, if you’re over 65 and can afford to do so, join SGK. It will mean that no matter what, any health issues will be covered, and you won’t be hit by spiraling costs as price increases are likely to remain within realistic and modest limits.
You can choose to pay as you go for treatment instead. However, bear in mind that a long-term, chronic, or serious condition could incur seriously high costs that might become unaffordable and leave you in an exceptionally vulnerable position at a time in your life when you can’t recover financially.
Therefore, we strongly urge anyone moving abroad to accept the need to continue to cover the protection of their health by buying appropriate health insurance.