Health care in Vicenza

Health care in Vicenza

by Stripes Europe Staff
Stripes Europe

The overall quality and performance of Italy’s universal health system ranks favorably compared to international standards. Health care access and quality as well as life expectancy rank among the highest globally. Though health care in Italy is not free, the fees are usually reasonable and emergency medical assistance is provided to anyone in need without asking for upfront payment.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR VISIT

The health and dental care culture is different in Italy than what you might be used to. Understanding these differences will help you feel less nervous about going to an Italian provider.

Undressing is normal – Doctors will not hesitate to ask you to undress in front of them as they continue talking to you or calling in a specialist to greet you as you are partly dressed.

Things may not always happen quickly - Just as in the U.S., Italian health care can be slow. Address your concerns with the receptionist; even rescheduling your appointment if you need to. Going in with a good attitude, patience and understanding will make for a better experience. In order to have affordable health care, many hospitals may not issue basics such as towels, gowns, soap and other toiletries, so be prepared to bring your own.

WHAT YOUR ITALIAN PROVIDER EXPECTS

Italians value quality of life over money. Below are some best practices to remember when seeing an Italian provider.

Courtesy – Please show up to your appointment. If you can’t make it, let your provider know. If you do not show, you could be charged for the missed appointment.

Patience – If you find yourself waiting past your scheduled appointment time, be patient or notify the staff and reschedule your appointment.

Understanding – Understand that health care in Italy may be different than what you are used to.

INSURANCE PROVIDERS

In most cases, when you see a provider off-installation, you will have to pay your bill upfront then submit a claim to your insurance provider for reimbursement. Ask the cost of the visit in advance so you are prepared to pay for it.

FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNTS

Health Care FSA (HCFSA) – Reimburses you and your dependents for eligible out-of-pocket health care expenses from copayments to deductibles and more. Check with FSAFeds or your employer program for specific details.

INSURANCE

Below is a partial list of insurance companies for civilians in the community. Self-filing processes will vary so contact your insurance agency for specific instructions. Be sure to become familiar with your specific plan, the self-filing process, reimbursement, covered providers, etc. Your insurance company may also cover translation and/or interpreter services. Consult with your insurance company for more information.

Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP/AFSPA) - Uses the Aetna Choice POS II (Open Access) network and considers all covered providers outside the U.S. and Guam (including Military Treatment Facilities). 

Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program (FEPBlue/GMMI)- For overseas benefits, covered services are paid at the preferred level. Physician care performed outside the U.S. is paid at the preferred level using their Overseas Fee Schedule or a provider-negotiated amount. 

Government Employees Health Association (GEHA) - Providers outside the U.S. are paid at the GEHA preferred provider rate for medically necessary covered services. You will need to check your plan brochure for specifics.

Compass Rose Health Plan - If you need medical care outside the U.S., you may see any health care provider or visit any hospital.

TRANSLATION SERVICES

Some health care providers may not be proficient in speaking English and may not provide documents or bills written in English. Additionally, your insurance company may require bills to be translated to English prior to reimbursements.

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