An essential guide to getting Health insurance when moving to Turkey

Istanbul Memorial Hospital

International medical insurance is expensive but vital when living abroad, and moving to Turkey is no different. Going without health insurance could have serious consequences should anything happen. Insurance ensures that you can call in medical specialists contracted to insurers whenever needed and this can save your life as well as minimise any long-term health damage.

International health insurance falls into 3 categories;

  1. Basic; this provides hospital in-patient care only.
  2. Comprehensive; this covers hospital care as well as out-patient treatments such as consultations, including diagnostic tests in most cases and primary care – the sort of things you might see your family doctor in Britain for.
  3. Deluxe is usually reserved for the rich or those whose insurance is bought by their employer. It includes non-routine dentistry and unlimited physiotherapy or post-hospital care.

Before moving to Turkey, it is advisable to buy your insurance in advance; but before buying consider the following points.

  • Fully understand what is not covered as well as what is covered. Reading the small print is essential, especially if you are buying online.
  • Do you need rapid settlement, say within 14 days?
  • Do you want access to a 24-hour (multilingual) helpline, very important if you do not speak or understand Turkish.
  • Are accidents and injuries included?

Take your time & research thoroughly before deciding on a policy. Don’t just choose the cheapest because you get what you pay for. If you choose the wrong company it could cost you thousands in the long run.

It is a good idea to buy the insurance from a company regulated by the by British consumer protection rules so that if a dispute arises, the UK Ombudsman mechanism will be able to sort it out for you. But once you are settled in Turkey, any subsequent insurance can be bought locally as it tends to be cheaper.

For example an insurance plan run by Bodrum Universal Hospital comprehensively covers expats and is very affordable compared to plans bought in the UK

Under the “Health Club” insurance plan, policyholders get

4 free Doctors’ visits per year. For any extra visits you get 25% discount. (The normal charge for a visit is around 75 YTL)

  • Free blood and urine tests as well as other tests.
  • If you need to stay in hospital, a discount on surgery is given
  • 15% discount on pregnancy check-ups and birth
  • Free 24 hour Ambulance Service
  • Free injections given at home when needed
  • Discount on fitness clubs who work with Bodrum Universal Hospital
  • 25% discount on other Laboratory tests

Other hospitals in Turkey also provide similar health insurance plans so it is advisable for Brits moving to Turkey to shop around when the time comes to renew their health insurance.

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Comments
3 Responses to “An essential guide to getting Health insurance when moving to Turkey”
  1. KitsapLady says:

    Which plan did you pick?

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