Catholicism is the majority religion throughout Italy, but one Protestant group in particular, the Waldensians, is important in Piemonte. The original members of this group, begun as a movement within the Roman Catholic church but considered heretical, were excommunicated in 1177. The Waldensians did not formally join the Protestants until 1532. Although freedom of religion is constitutionally guaranteed, provisions of the constitution effectively make Roman Catholicism a state religion. Since the late 1960s, many of the privileges constitutionally accorded the Roman Catholic church have gradually been eliminated or reduced.
Piemonte participates in the National Health System,, the purpose of which is to extend free health-care services to all Italian citizens and resident foreigners.