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Old 4th February 2015, 14:46   #1 (permalink)
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Health insurance in Turkey

Hi,

I'm enquiring on behalf of my father, who has some questions regarding the compulsory insurance required for a residency permit.

1)
What happens (what is the procedure) when you need to see a doctor in Turkey, if you have private health insurance and not the state SGK?


2) If you have a simple sinus infection, is it complicated to use a private insurance policy just to see a doctor, and do you have the choice between private or state health care?


3)
Approximately how long does it take for the insurance to pay the hospital and do you have to make the claim, or does the hospital take care of it for you?


4)
I've noticed many members are selecting UK based insurance companies, using these for their residency permit applications, instead of taking out a state insurance policy. Why is that?


5)
What happens if a UK based insurance company refuses to pay a claim? Can the Turkish government cancel your residency if your insurance claim is denied?



Generally I feel taking out a Turkish state insurance policy is a better option and I'm advising him to do this (again) but I thought I should ask for other peoples advice and experience on the subject.
Personally I can foresee lots of problems occurring between a British based insurance company and a state or private hospital in Turkey; if you do fall ill and need to make a claim (even if your symptoms are as simple as a water infection) will it push your premiums up?

Any advice on the subject will be much appreciated.

Charlotte
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Old 4th February 2015, 15:37   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Health insurance in Turkey

I am 64 years old and just got annual health insurance from Ankara Sigorta for about 2000 tl which was accepted for Residency Permit.
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Old 4th February 2015, 17:44   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Health insurance in Turkey

Is your father living permanently in Turkey or is he based in UK and spending holidays in Turkey?
It could make a difference.
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Old 4th February 2015, 20:26   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Health insurance in Turkey

I am not an expert and some of this is pure speculation however...

If you have private health insurance and want to see a doctor that would depend on the terms of your policy. Some policies will only allow you to use certain hospitals. That's something to ask about when you take out the policy. This is true worldwide, not just in Turkey... (I worked most of my life in the NHS but have also worked in private hospitals).

If you have a simple sinus infection you could buy antibiotics over the counter in Turkey. If you wanted to see a doctor on your private health insurance, it would depend on your individual policy. Every private hospital I have ever visited in Turkey is able to advise on this and many have special reception teams to deal with people with foreign insurance. People in these teams will usually speak some English.

3) I have no idea about this as I have always used SGK in Turkey!

4) I think this may because once you are in the GSS scheme with SGK you are in 'for life'. Your premiums need to be paid every month (whether you are in Turkey or out of Turkey) until such time as you cancel your residence permit (and leave Turkey permanently), or die. That's the downside for some, I guess. From my point of view I know my GSS premiums will go up in line with the Turkish minimum wage. I also know/hope that my insurance will not be refused (or made unaffordable) on the grounds of age or should I become expensively ill after having enrolled on the scheme.

5) I doubt if your residency would be cancelled if your insurance refused to pay for your healthcare. You would, however, remain personally responsible for any costs incurred....

The sad fact is that many people (especially those who have benefited from the NHS for most of their lives) do not realise the true costs of healtcare. Becoming ill can be an extraordinarily expensive business and leave you (and/or your relatives) with a massive bill.
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Old 4th February 2015, 21:55   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Health insurance in Turkey

Thanks for the input.

My father has had a residency permit for 12 years, he previously paid for Turkish state insurance. However, he has spent the past two years mostly in the UK, only coming for holidays to Turkey (surprisingly his blue book has not been cancelled, last entry departing January). We recently visited the foreign police department in Izmir where they advised us to simply apply for renewal in March, when this one ends. My father is deciding whether or not to reapply for a residency, or whether to reduce the time he spends here by using a tourist visa. Hence his questions.
For a couple (married couple) SGK can work out very economical, however, if you only spend 7 or 8 months of the year in Turkey, and pay nearly 300tl a month in insurance, then it is an extra cost to consider (along with the paperwork and other hassle).


Just weighing up the options.

Charlotte

p.s. we were also told that he could apply for citizenship during his next RP, this is also something we're considering.
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Old 4th February 2015, 22:35   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Health insurance in Turkey

Quote:
Originally Posted by teosgirl View Post
Hi,

I'm enquiring on behalf of my father, who has some questions regarding the compulsory insurance required for a residency permit.

1)
What happens (what is the procedure) when you need to see a doctor in Turkey, if you have private health insurance and not the state SGK?
You go and pay and send of your receipts for a claim to your insurer.

2) If you have a simple sinus infection, is it complicated to use a private insurance policy just to see a doctor, and do you have the choice between private or state health care?
When you go to the hospital you just need to say you are fee-paying and go to the Vezne and pay before you see the doctor. As for private or state, your insurer may give you a list of accredited hospitals, private or state. If you choose to go to a different health institution (non-accredited), your insurer may not refund the totality. Groupama lists separately the % and limit of claims for accredited and non-accredited health institutions.

3)
Approximately how long does it take for the insurance to pay the hospital and do you have to make the claim, or does the hospital take care of it for you?
Will depend on the insurer and the policy. Aviva refund took 7 days and it was up to the insured to claim.

4)
I've noticed many members are selecting UK based insurance companies, using these for their residency permit applications, instead of taking out a state insurance policy. Why is that?
Pass

5)
What happens if a UK based insurance company refuses to pay a claim? Can the Turkish government cancel your residency if your insurance claim is denied?
Pass


Generally I feel taking out a Turkish state insurance policy is a better option and I'm advising him to do this (again) but I thought I should ask for other peoples advice and experience on the subject.
Personally I can foresee lots of problems occurring between a British based insurance company and a state or private hospital in Turkey; if you do fall ill and need to make a claim (even if your symptoms are as simple as a water infection) will it push your premiums up?

Any advice on the subject will be much appreciated.

Charlotte
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Old 5th February 2015, 06:59   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Health insurance in Turkey

I don't know whether this helps?

Here in Datca we have a Clinic, attached to the small hospital, with 'Family Doctors', who operate like GPs in the UK. If you have an RP, you can register with an English speaking doc - ours is Dr Cenk - who you can see at no cost. If you need more specialist attention you are referred, and then costs do kick in if you're not with SGK.
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Old 5th February 2015, 08:04   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Health insurance in Turkey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yildez Datca View Post
I don't know whether this helps?

Here in Datca we have a Clinic, attached to the small hospital, with 'Family Doctors', who operate like GPs in the UK. If you have an RP, you can register with an English speaking doc - ours is Dr Cenk - who you can see at no cost. If you need more specialist attention you are referred, and then costs do kick in if you're not with SGK.
Same here in the Fethiye area. Simple things are dealt with by the family health clinic doctor. For anything more serious she will give a letter of referral to a specialist and we can choose either the devlet or a private hospital for treatment.
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Old 5th February 2015, 08:08   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Health insurance in Turkey

Excellent, thanks.

My father had an emergency quadruple heart bypass here in Turkey, which cost quite a bit - I can't imagine everyone would be able to afford to pay up front, so I still personally think SGK is the best.


Yildiz, we also have a Saglik Ocagi in our village, but the doctors never seem to be there and we don't use it after several bad experiences.

Does anyone know if it's a 'pay as you go' system if you're over 65? I know over 65's don't require health insurance, is that because you have to pay high costs for health care now (up to 100tl to see a doctor I was told by a French couple without insurance, at the state hospital) or is it how it was 5 years ago, 10/15tl to see a doctor and you only pay for medication?


Charlotte
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Old 5th February 2015, 08:44   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Health insurance in Turkey

Some 2014 costs:

Normal Poliklinik Muayenesi 15.50 TL
Biopsy 41.03 TL
MRI scan 82.50 TL
Per night in hospital 100 TL (includes meals)
Electrocardiogram 20 TL
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