I am in a quandry about health/medical cover here for the first time in over 30 years when I was cosseted by having company paid insurance. I took early retirement in Jan 2008 and became a resident in Rome (my wife is Sardinian and we live with her mother who can't be left on her own). My tessera sanitaria (via the E106) has just expired and it looks as if I will have to pay for GP consultations and medicines until I retire in 2013 when I would be eligible again for the tessera sanitaria. I have been trying to get private medical cover from a UK insurer but the cost seems prohibitive and I am excluded from cover by most firms as I have the "chronic condition" of hypertension, which has been well under control for 8 years now but for which I have to take one pill per day for the rest of my life. This one drug costs Euros 27.30 per month, never mind a GP consultation costing 30 (I think I have a very simpatica dottoressa who will not charge me the possibly normal Euros 50). I think it is unfair that one is left in this limbo having paid all my NI dues etc for over 30 years. The fact that I am a resident here or that my wife is Italian does not seem to matter to the Italian authorities. I do not know whether any Italian insurance company would give me health cover, or whether I could pay voluntary contributions to the Italian system. My local ASL does not seem to know. I appreciate that many people will not sympathise with someone who has taken early retirement voluntarily to come and live in Rome - as many expats in a similar situation have been penalised over state health care in France and Spain - but it seems an awful situation to be in. Of course if I can't get a UK policy to cover me I will have to pay cash for GP and prescriptions until 2013...but if anyone has any advice I would be very grateful.