Prescriptions etc

hazy Image
12/27/2010 - 05:55

I became a pensioner in March and have had to use the health service here for the first time recently. I am registered as resident in Le Marche and wonder how I stand re prescriptione etc. I have had 1 prescription whcih I have paid for (€3,85 - much less than the UK) and some blood tests which I have been told I will have to pay for when I get the results. I don't mind paying if this is the norm for people like myself here but wonder if my Doctor has not cottoned onto the fact that I'm now 60 etc. Any info?



Search the site hazy, much has been written about charges, generally drugs for chronic conditions are free, eg diabetes, thyroid conditions, but I think and will stand corrected 65yrs old is when another set of rules kicks in. usually charges are minimal, and this covers the whole spectrum of health care (if you are eligable for it) and this is especially good in Marche.

Much the same across Europe..............if you are below the age of 65, you pay a sliding charge.....if a 'critical', other items you pay. It seems wrong to me as if you were living in the UK they would be free from the age of 60 (I think?)........but across the EU things change ( I totally disagree but that's the inconsistency of the EU..let  us know how you get on please? S

But much of the point here is that we are not living in the UK, if we had liked it so much we would not have moved to Italy to live. Agree that it would be helpful to have a unified system across the EU, but we (in our position) are entitled to what our fellow Italians receive, and I am still trying to work that out as there are inconsistancies, still a learning process after nearly 5 years!

I was asked by sprostini to keep the forum informed. Here is a reply i got from the pension service dealing with Brits living abroad:- The form E121  will give health cover on the same terms as a Italian National. This means that whatever a person in Italy has to pay for you would also have to pay for. However, I am unable to advise you exactly what is covered under the form E121/S1 in Italy. It is a matter for the Italian authorities to determine exactly what level of healthcare you may be entitled to under Italian legislation, I would advise you contact your local office in the area where you live for this information. If you wished to obtain treatment or medication that was not available under the Italian state scheme, you would be responsible for the costs. I can confirm that the Italian government do claim expenses from the UK for your health care in Italy. This confirms no free prescriptions for women until age 65, so I'll just have to stay healthy until then!

In reply to by hazy

Hazy, well done indeed for the research! Is there any point in the EU?????? Other than a massive financial drain on member states? It seems that whatever one tries to do (because this is how it is done in my 'home' country), there seems to be differing rules and THEN these differing rules are interpreted and applied differently across the many provinces in Italy (and lord knows where else in the EU) ! [I can confirm that the Italian government do claim expenses from the UK for your health care in Italy.] I'm particularly surprised at this could therefore assume that the UK claims similar from Italy, and all the other EU countries do the same? My gawd.........what bureaucracy.... ..crikey charlie!! Thanks again, S

Thanks for the update hazy, I know that the quality of health care here in Italy can vary from region to region, which may inform some when a decision is made on where to live. In Marche I find it excellent, and the small fee involved in seeing a specialist is balanced out by the very short waiting period, in my case 24hrs. I am so out of touch with the Btitish NHS that I dont know how this compares, but doubt that I would have had the same level of service, plus here (at Fermo hospital) the ratio of staff to patients is much higher and the wards immaculately clean. Not our experience in the UK when mother in law was in hospital.  

The right to free prescriptions in the UKis not determined by the ages of 60 or 65 any longer. For example, I will not become elegible for my state pension until the age of 63. Therefore many benefits that a few years ago would have kicked in at age 60 are not now open to me until 63 under new rules. Some of my colleagues, also female, will not get state pension until they are 64. This is the gradual harmonisation by the last government here to equal up to 65 with males. Unfortunately, this will soon be old hat as the talk is that there will be no upper retirement age which will probably mean that the state pension age is likely also to go up. So only those who came under the old 60 age group for state pension will be able to claim things at that age. This will also rise to 65 - for now. Also discussions are afoot that will mean that state pensions in future will be determined by a basic amount which can be added to determined by how many years you worked and paid into the state. Many people have company pensions, which can be accessed at the age of 60. This has nothing to do with the state, but comes under the jurisdiction of your pension company. Since 2008, most of these are 65 for new members. I have the right to collect my public sector state of the art pension at 60, all £ 300 quid a month after 30 years. But it is no use to me as I cannot collect the state one until 3 years later. Public sector Trade Unions are driving the fight against these changes but at the rate that redundancies are happening , there won't be many of us left to fight. This may have some bearing on what the Goverment will pay other EU countries for your health care. So to sum up, the UK will have many different 'payouts' at different ages. To confuse things further, in Scotland we have a lower prescription charge than other parts of the UK. This will decrease to no charge at all for prescriptions if SNP get back in here. It will be different for, England, wales and N Ireland. So we no longer have a unified UK system either! What all this means in agreements with other EU countries I cannot say. All I know is that we have a confusing situation ourselves which is hard for us to understand let alone trying to get to grips with other countries. And just like they cannot dictate to us what to do, nor can we.

I have found all this very interesting reading. As one who is hoping to make the big move next year I have been worried about healthcare and costs. Like a lot of women, I fall in the 'phasing in to 65' category and will have to wait till I am sixty two and a half to get my government pension although my private company pension will kick in when I am 60. If we move next June I will be 60 and my husband will be 65 so I presume he will be ok as far as healthcare is concerned but I will have to stay young and fit for another five years - which shouldn't be too difficult in Italy surely? My main worry is the cost of inhalers. Being asthmatic I use them all the time and in England I can get two at a time on prescription but I think they are quite expensive in Italy. Would I need to take out some private healthcare to cover the costs? Many thanks Lorraine

Nice one bunterboy ...ho ho ! I tend to agree if this is possible? Now .............Lorraine, your thinking in terms of age is pretty much spot on. BUT, for what are considered 'serious/life threatening' ailments (Asthma being one) you would get these medications free (I believe), other non serious ailments you would pay for. A friend of mine (same age-ish as yourself) takes statins for instance and they are not charged for them. There is a list somewhere (I think it's been on this forum but lordie knows where), which outlines the 'rules'. These rules can then be interpreted very differently across the various healthcare regions. You'll survive !! S

My Wife uses an inhaler from time to time with mild asthma, and she gets them free. Now she is Italian but a freind of ours who is English does also get hers free as she is entitled to Italian Health care by transfering her entitlement from the UK. The type of inhaler here is slightly different from the ones in the UK (Brown and Blue caps), but talk to your doctor and he will test you and ensure you get the correct doses.

If you suffer from asthma and you travel to the USA take a few inhalers with you. The cost there is highway robbery!!! Look at this: o The average cost of one reliever inhaler (Atrovent) is $114 o The average cost of one combination inhaler (Advair) is $233 o The average cost of one preventer inhaler (Flovent) is $151 o The average cost of one month of Xolair injections is $1000 You cannot afford to be an asthma sufferer in the USA unless you have the right type of insurance to help. How fortunate we are in the EU!!!!!

Thanks for all your advice, makes interesting reading and not as worrying either. When in Majorca a few year ago they wanted to charge me 79 euro for a ventolin inhaler!! Glad I chose Italy to live and not Majorca or the USA yes

You get it over the counter in Spain and it costs about 5 euros. I can't understand why they wanted to charge you that much in Majorca... Some one was trying to rip you off. Basic medications cost pretty much the same throughout Western Europe, no huge differences. The USA is a different case. There, if you are not insured, you die of a heart attack when you see the prices. Lorraine, when you start going to your health centre in Italy they would include in your medical history those medications that you would regularly need and list you as a chronic sufferer, which should entitle you to receive them free of charge. I think that there is a strong possibility that they could also put you as a dependant on your husband's file, particularly if you are not working. I am not completely certain, but worth enquiring about it. If you don't ask.... you will not be told.

Prescriptions in England and Wales rising in April to £7.40  -  Prescriptions in Scotland going down to ZERO! I live in Scotland. Maybe in Italy there are regional differences the same as us. Something to be mindful of, as previously stated, when folk are choosing where to stay.

There certainly are regional differences as to what is offered in the state Italian Health System, not sure this extends to medication but differences do exist. Each individual ASUR should be able to advise if your particular needs are covered. In all these discussions, it is also worth pointing out that even once you are entitled to treatment under the Italian state system you become entitled to receive the same treatment that an Italian would receive, it does not entitle you to receive a UK style treatment in Italy! It may seem obvious,  but we have come across folk with pre-existing medical conditions who were covered for all their needs in the UK but who found that in Italy some aspects of their treatment were only covered privately. As they had registered with the Italian system, they were no longer eligible to receive treatment under the UK system, which needless to say caused them several headaches and much stress. So check before you make an ongoing committment! On a related issue, in the 'old' forum there was also a longish post which highlighted the difference between the 2 countries in the case of social/personal care needs if illness causes a loss of independance. Families are expected to take on the role of carer in Italy or to pay for private care- this could be a problem if you have no family around and/or limited income.