Follow Us!

Health Insurance in Turkey: What is SGK? How to apply for the Universal Health Care as a Foreigner?

While Turkish citizens have a free universal healthcare system, anyone under 65 years old applying for a residency permit needs to show proof of medical coverage. Private health insurance premiums can be too expensive and with many hidden clauses in the terms and conditions. Immigrants can feel uncertain of guaranteed health coverage. For this reason, Turkey’s government-supported system known as SGK is often the best choice when seeking health insurance in the country.

The price of the premium is  941,76 TL in 2020. As it was 818,56 TL in 2019, this amount also increases every year. 

Alongside the application form, submit copies of your passport, residency application, a health assessment approved by a doctor. You will also need proof of your address issued by the local population directorial (Nüfus Müdürlüğü).

Upon finishing your application process, you will immediately eligible to access medical and health care. Continue to pay your premiums every month, either online or at one of the major Turkish banks, but when renewing your residency permit, don't forget to visit the SGK office, to update your records.


The social security system in Turkey is predominantly similar to the Bismarck model originated in Europe. This system refers to a system where the premiums paid over the wages of employees according to their insurance status are collected in a joint pool and the benefits are provided based on the paid premiums only when an old-age pension is entitled. The amount of the benefits to be granted to the insurance holders in cases of retirement, accident, and sickness varies by the income they previously had. The main actors in this system are employees, employers, and representatives in the public sector. This system has more regulatory measures in the employment market than the liberal system, which controls labor market flexibility.

Turkish Social Security System also uses some parts of the Mediterranean Model alongside the Bismarck Model. In the Mediterranean Model, the paid social insurance premiums provide a basis for future social security benefits. Another aspect of the Mediterranean Model similar to the Turkish Model is the wideness of the free economy. For this reason, the system does not cover a number of people; however social risks are tried to be eliminated through family ties.

How can we help you?
We are ready to support you with our expert team for all your questions