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What Having Italian Citizenship Means for Your Healthcare
There are significant differences between the American and Italian healthcare systems, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Here’s how having dual citizenship in both countries can affect your healthcare options.
How Healthcare Works in Italy vs. the U.S.
In the United States, healthcare is predominately managed by private companies. Many clinics, hospitals, and insurance providers are privately owned, and most individuals need to acquire their own health insurance coverage and choose a provider that works for them. Not all healthcare services are covered, and patients typically still have co-pays, deductibles, and other costs.
In Italy, basic healthcare is provided by the state. Citizens automatically have the right to free primary or inpatient care from the provider of their choice. Italian citizens receive a personal Tessera Sanitaria card for use with public health system services, but they are also able to purchase additional private health insurance for services that are not covered by the state.
Healthcare Benefits of Dual Italian/American Citizenship
When you’re sick or injured, it’s helpful to have a wide variety of healthcare options. By becoming a legal citizen of both Italy and the United States, you expand your access to medical care significantly and give yourself even more options from two different types of systems.
Although the private U.S. healthcare system offers its own benefits, many Americans find themselves worrying about what they’ll do if a severe illness or accident leaves them with enormous medical bills. With dual citizenship, you can protect yourself financially by choosing to receive medical care in Italy.
You can also benefit from the European Health Insurance Card on the backside of the Italian Tessera Sanitaria. With this additional health insurance for EU citizens, you can travel freely between EU member countries without worrying about access to affordable medical care.
Italian Residency Advantages: It Could Add Years to Your Life
As a dual citizen, you can choose to live in one or both countries as you see fit, including maintaining homes in both the U.S. and Italy. Whether you choose to live in Italy full time or simply visit now and again, you may be able to increase your health by becoming an Italian resident.
According to statistics, Italians’ life expectancy is roughly three years longer (4% greater) than that of Americans.¹ Genetics certainly play a role, but experts also believe the Mediterranean diet supports good health and reduces the risk of heart disease.² Instead of using lots of saturated animal fats and processed foods, the average Italian diet uses olive oil (unsaturated fat) and includes plenty of fresh fish, vegetables, and fruit.
Apply for Italian Citizenship Today
If you’re a U.S. citizen thinking about applying for dual citizenship with Italy, we can help you get started. The Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program can help you understand how dual citizenship works, determine whether you’re eligible for it, and guide you step by step through the application process.
Fill out our free questionnaire or call (305) 812-5512 to get started.