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Brits living in Italy under post-Brexit rules won't pay healthcare fee

Clare Speak
Clare Speak - [email protected]
Brits living in Italy under post-Brexit rules won't pay healthcare fee
The San Raffaele hospital in Milan.(Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

British nationals who moved to Italy before January 1st 2021 are exempt from paying Italian healthcare fees, according to an update on the UK government website for British nationals overseas.

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Italian authorities have clarified that British residents covered by the post-Brexit withdrawal agreement (WA) should not be subject to fees for using the Italian national health service (servizio sanitario nazionale, or SSN), according to the update published on the British government’s Living in Italy website on Friday afternoon.

“The Italian government has recently decided that British nationals who entered and have been living in Italy prior to January 1st 2021 and are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement can register for free with the Italian national health system and are therefore not required to make voluntary contributions,” it read.

READ ALSO: Trouble proving residency rights leaves Brits in Italy paying €2k health charge

The unexpected announcement came as a relief to many of The Local’s British readers, who have been battling local authorities’ varying interpretations of the rules for those who are covered by the WA.

However there were no further details available immediately about how the rules would work or how this would be communicated to local healthcare offices around Italy.

The British government’s update stated: “We continue to engage to fully understand guidelines and requirements,” and added that any updates would be published on the website.

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Clarissa Killwick, citizens’ rights campaigner with Beyond Brexit, told The Local the update on Friday had come as “a big surprise”.

“Obviously very good news, but we need to wait and see the detail as to how this is going to work.”

READ ALSO: Why Brits in Italy say they've been ‘hung out to dry' over €2K healthcare fee

“There has been a very positive reaction from our members,” she said. “I can feel a great weight lifting from those who have gone through a lot of anxiety since the new minimum of €2,000 for SSN voluntary contributions was first mooted last October.”

Italy’s government confirmed the new minimum €2,000 charge applies from the start of 2024, though there has been a persistent lack of clarity over exactly who it applies to.

In the absence of clear national guidelines, local health authorities have reportedly applied differing interpretations of the rules for WA beneficiaries, with several British nationals reporting being wrongly charged the fee in January.

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Comments (2)

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Karen 2024/04/03 16:48
we paid our usual fee without issue and received our tessera sanitaria, yesterday we received a letter requesting payment of €2000 each by 31st March. No one can give me a straight answer as to what our actual position is.
Jacky 2024/03/10 11:45
too late for us, we paid the €2000 fee in January 😢
  • Clare Speak 2024/03/13 13:29
    Sorry to hear that! We're still waiting for the detail, but we'll try to find out what, if anything, can be done in your situation.

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