Turkish government abolishes compulsory health insurance for retired expats

Published:  7 Aug at 6 PM
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The Mediterranean country’s complicated resident visa system is now simpler for expats wishing to retire in Turkey after a government turnaround on the compulsory health insurance requirement.

Compulsory health insurance for retired expats over the age of 65 was part of a recently introduced policy relating to residency applications. The plan offered two options, expensive private health cover or the SGK government health insurance programme.

The scheme’s practical application soon became problematic for older expats due to the extremely high cost of private health insurance and the reluctance of insurance companies to take on those over 65 years of age. As a result, many expats who had been refused insurance decided against taking permanent residency.

Now that the compulsory requirement has been rescinded, older expats have a choice of paying for their own treatment or buying health insurance within Turkey. Although many younger expats are unhappy that the regulation still apples to them, the retirement community is relieved that they now have access to affordable options.

According to British Consul in Istanbul Timothy Fisher, older expats were struggling to find the cash for private health insurance, with quotes of around £1500 a year making a huge hole in the average British pension. The SGK government insurance costing £75 a month, he added, was also causing financial difficulties for many of those who’d decided to sign up.
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Comments » There are 2 comments

OLIVE HAYFIELD wrote 5 years ago:

I have taken out SGK because i had to to get my permit ..its making things very hard for me as my state pension is mu only Income ..now the insurence for over 65s .( im 72) has been abolished ..but SGK wont cancel it so what can i do ....?? OLIVE HAYFIELD ( DALAMAN)

Anthony Sharp wrote 5 years ago:

That's all very well for us Over 65 Males. BUT what about the women who retire at 60 in the UK. My wife is one of them. We were both Refused RP earlier this year because we could not get SGK as we were too Old and my wife has Pre-existing illnesses which exclude her. They kept the Fees though and refused to give any back !

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