Social Security/Health Insurance – Italy

1. Health Insurance
2. Other Social Security Schemes

1. Health Insurance

A. Health Care Schemes (State-Organised)

1. Migrant Sex Workers with a Residence Permit
a) Registered as Workers

Migrant sex workers with a residence permit can register for state health care schemes the National Health Service (“Servizio Sanitario Nazionale“). Membership of these schemes does not depend on professional states, so applicants do not register as sex workers. If the woman is working, she pays the fees automatically with her income tax.

b) EU Citizens

EU citizens who are not working or who do not pay income tax in Italy can choose to register themselves by paying a minimum of health tax (about 350 € per year) or by proving that they hold regular health insurance in their country, which covers their expenses even in Italy (this is the case with EU citizens).

c) Non-EU Citizens Not Registered as Workers

Migrants from a non EU-country who enter Italy with an invitation, or as a tourist, in order to look for a job, must subscribe a private health insurance.

2. Migrants without Legal Status
a) Registration as STP (Foreigner Temporarily Present)

In Italy, in principle illegal migrants are entitled to register in the National Health Service (“Servizio Sanitario Nazionale“) for some basic assistance through Regional Health Services (National law 40/98). They receive a card with a code number identifying them as foreigners temporarily present in Italy (“Straniero Temporaneamente Presente, STP“). With this card, they are entitled to specialist care, emergency, maternity and hospital cover.
However, not all regional administrations obey the law and register illegal migrants. Nevertheless, such migrants have the right to health assistance. Advisory centres offer advice in these cases.

b) How to Register

To register as an STP the migrant must state her address at the Local Health Office (“Azienda Sanitaria Locale, ASL“). Advisory centres accompany migrant sex workers to the ASL. The card is issued immediately and is valid until the 31st December of the year of issue. The following year, the woman can obtain a new card.

The registration as an STP will not be passed on to the police, but does not confer any residency rights either. It only provides some basic health assistance.

B. Private Health Insurance

Migrants from a non-EU country who enter Italy with an invitation, or as a tourist, in order to look for a job, must subscribe to private health insurance.

General Private Insurance

In Italy there are no special health insurance providers for sex workers. Insurance does not depend on professional status.

a) Conditions

To qualify for private health insurance, the woman needs a passport, a visa/residence permit and a “Codice fiscale” (tax registration number). Without a visa/residence permit, it is impossible to obtain private health insurance in Italy. Therefore illegal migrants can only register as  for some basic health assistance.

b) Premium, Validity, Companies

For premiums, validity and issuing companies, please contact advisory centres.

2. Other Social Security Schemes

Sex workers cannot register for other social security schemes (pension, social benefits), because sex work is not recognised as a profession under Italian law.
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