Skip to main content

Italian Health Insurance Card: Tessera Sanitaria


The tessera sanitaria is your Italian health card. It gives you access to health care services — and, since 2011, access to all other public services — in Italy.

People also sometimes refer to it as the TS-CNS, which stands for “tessera sanitaria — carta nazionale dei servizi” (in English, health and national services card).

How to get a tessera sanitaria

You’ll get a tessera sanitaria automatically when you register with the Italian national health care system, the Sistema Sanitario Nazionale (SSN) — something everyone with legal permission to live in Italy must do.

Make sure to check whether the personal details on your tessera sanitaria are correct. If they're not, you can find out how to change them here.


If you’re an asylum-seeker

If you are in a camp or center, the camp managers will likely register you with the SSN, and you will receive a tessera sanitaria with your codice fiscale and basic personal information, such as place and date of birth, on it.

If you haven’t gotten your tessera sanitaria from your center, and want it, ask the operators or camp managers about it. It is possible they may have already registered you but haven’t given you your tessera sanitaria yet.

If not, you have the right to register yourself with the SSN. If you try to register yourself, you may be denied. If that happens, you can message us on Facebook and we’ll aim to connect you with someone who can help.

To register with the SSN yourself, you will need to go to the azienda sanitaria locale (ASL) or local health office, of your town or city. If you’re not sure where that is, you can message us on Facebook and we’ll help you find it.

Bring with you:

The dichiarazione di ospitalità is a document that centers must always send to the local questura on your behalf. It notifies the questura of where you live. You can ask your center for a copy of your dichiarazione di ospitalità.

If you have been granted status in Italy

If you have been granted status in Italy and need to renew your tessera sanitaria, you will probably need to register with the SSN yourself.

To register with the SSN yourself, you will need to go to the azienda sanitaria locale (ASL) or local health office, of your town or city. If you’re not sure where that is, you can message us on Facebook and we’ll help you find it.

Bring with you:

You can get the declaration of residence online, just as Italian citizens do, on the Comuni website.

After you input your information, print and sign the autocertificazione di residenza and bring it with you to the ASL.

When you need your tessera sanitaria

You’ll need to use your tessera sanitaria to access all public services in Italy, including:

  • Medical services
  • Public schools
  • The agenzia delle entrate (tax agency)
  • The INPS (social security office)

Treatment you can receive with your tessera sanitaria

Although this changes from region to region, generally, these are the kinds of medical treatment you are entitled to receive with a tessera sanitaria:

  • Regular check-ups and specialized visits
  • At-home check-ups
  • In-patient recovery
  • Vaccinations
  • Blood tests
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasounds
  • Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Prosthetics

How much it costs

You will receive the tessera sanitaria free of charge, but it doesn’t give you free access to health care.

When you get medical treatment, you usually have to pay a “ticket” — that’s the Italian word for fees you pay for treatment at hospitals or clinics.

The cost of your ticket depends on your income and the type of treatment you need.

To find out more about health care costs in Italy, check out our page on your right to access the health care system.

How long your tessera sanitaria is valid

If you’re a migrant in Italy, your tessera sanitaria will expire at the same time as your permesso di soggiorno.

Unfortunately, this means that while you’re renewing your permesso di soggiorno, you will not have a tessera sanitaria.

However, you can request a new one as soon as you get the receipt of your permesso renewal or conversion. Your receipt should have been issued within the last 6 months.

Then you will receive a new tessera sanitaria once you get your new permesso.

How can you renew it? Follow the same instructions to apply as the first time!

If you lost your tessera sanitaria

You can request a copy ("duplicato" in Italian) of your tessera sanitaria on the Agenzia delle Entrate website or at the ASL in your area.

Where to learn more

To learn more about getting the tessera sanitaria in Italy as an asylum-seeker or holder of international protection, you can check out the prefecture of Rome’s website article on the topic.

You can also have a look at the Italian Ministry of Health’s leaflet on accessing health care as a foreigner in Italy.

For general information on the tessera sanitaria, you can check out the Italian government’s tessera sanitaria website.

Powered by Zendesk