Health insurance is an utmost priority for expatriates living abroad, including in Turkey. Ensuring that you and your family are protected in times of medical need is crucial for peace of mind and financial security. In this comprehensive guide, we aim to explore the various health insurance options available to expats living in Turkey, providing details on coverage, costs, and providers so that you can make better-informed decisions regarding your healthcare needs.

Beyond an overview of various health insurance options in Turkey, our guide will offer practical tips and factors to consider when comparing and selecting the most suitable coverage for your individual needs. In addition to coverage options, we'll touch on various aspects to consider, such as family coverage, pre-existing conditions, dental and vision care, and potential waiting periods.

Join us as we navigate the world of health insurance for expats in Turkey, equipping you with the knowledge and insights necessary to make the best choices for you and your family's healthcare needs. With thorough research and a clear understanding of each option, you can confidently choose the insurance best suited to your unique circumstances, contributing to a comfortable and secure expat life in Turkey.

Mandatory Health Insurance Requirement

As an expat seeking long-term residency in Turkey, you must first meet the mandatory health insurance requirement set by the Turkish government. This rule aims to ensure that all residents, including foreigners, have access to adequate healthcare services and can efficiently address any medical needs.

The mandatory health insurance can be obtained from either the public Social Security Institution (SGK) or an approved private health insurance provider. When opting for private health insurance, ensure that the coverage plan meets the minimum requirements stipulated by the Turkish government for residency purposes. Your insurance policy must include outpatient and inpatient treatment coverage, standard examination and medication costs, as well as emergency treatments.

Public Healthcare System in Turkey

Turkey's public healthcare system offers universal coverage to residents. The Social Security Institution (SGK) provides the General Health Insurance (GHI) plan, which includes access to state-run hospitals, primary healthcare centres, and certain private facilities. Expatriates holding valid residency permits are eligible to apply for the SGK's GHI plan after residing in Turkey for at least one year.

Before enrolling in the GHI, it's essential to understand the potential limitations of public healthcare coverage. While the system generally offers reliable services, expats may face issues such as extended waiting times for treatments, crowded facilities, and limited English-speaking staff. For expats who prefer more flexibility, quicker access to care, and an extensive network of healthcare providers, opting for private health insurance may be a more suitable option.

Private Health Insurance

Private health insurance is a popular choice among expats in Turkey due to the wider range of available coverage options, faster access to treatments, and a larger network of hospitals and healthcare providers. In addition to meeting the mandatory health insurance requirement for residency, private health insurance can provide added benefits such as coverage for international healthcare, dental and vision care, and no waiting periods for specific treatments.

To find the right private health insurance plan, start by researching popular providers in Turkey, such as Axa Sigorta, Anadolu Sigorta, and Allianz Sigorta, among others. These companies typically offer a variety of coverage plans, with options for individual, couple, and family insurance.

When comparing private health insurance plans, consider factors such as coverage limits, co-payments, deductibles, and hospital networks. The costs of private health insurance can vary greatly depending on these factors and the specific benefits included in each plan. It's crucial to obtain several quotes from different providers to find the most suitable and cost-effective policy for your needs.

Travel Health Insurance

For short-term visitors or expats awaiting residency approval in Turkey, travel health insurance is an essential option to consider. Travel health insurance typically provides coverage for any medical emergencies that may arise during your stay in Turkey, including hospitalization, emergency treatments, and prescriptions. However, this type of insurance is generally not suitable for long-term residents or those seeking comprehensive healthcare coverage.

When selecting travel health insurance, ensure that the coverage is adequate for your anticipated medical needs while residing in Turkey. Additionally, verify that the policy covers the entire duration of your stay, as some travel insurance plans may have limitations on coverage periods.

Comparing Insurance Options

Choosing the most suitable health insurance option for your needs requires careful comparisons and assessments. Here are some tips to guide you through this decision-making process:

  1. Evaluate Your Healthcare Needs: Consider the specific medical attention you and your family may require, such as preventive care, maternity benefits, dental or vision services, or coverage for pre-existing conditions.
  2. Budget: Determine the maximum amount you are willing to spend on health insurance and keep that in mind while comparing premiums, deductibles, and co-payments across various plans.
  3. Examine the Provider Network: Assess the hospitals and healthcare facilities included in each insurance plan, ensuring that you have convenient access to quality medical care.
  4. Consult Other Expats: Seek advice from fellow expatriates living in Turkey who may have experiences or recommendations for choosing the best health insurance option.


Health insurance is a crucial aspect of expat life in Turkey. Understanding the mandatory health insurance requirement, Turkey's public healthcare system, and private health insurance options is essential to make informed and confident decisions regarding your healthcare coverage. By comparing options and thoroughly understanding your specific needs, you can secure the best health insurance policy for yourself and your family, ensuring access to quality medical care and a comfortable expat experience in Turkey.

Are you an expat living in Turkey and struggling to navigate the complex legal and bureaucratic processes related to insurance and other aspects of expat life? Look no further than Ikamet, the largest online resource for expats living in Turkey! Our team of experts has extensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of expat life in Turkey and can provide you with the support and guidance you need to navigate these processes with confidence. Whether you're looking to obtain residency or citizenship, buy or rent property, or find the right insurance in Turkey, we have the resources and expertise to help you every step of the way. Don't let the complexities of expat life hold you back. Contact Ikamet today and let us help you make the most of your expat experience in Turkey!