The health insurance to cover expenses if you need medical care is both a legal obligation and a necessity of life. This means that the incoming internationals who are to stay here for more than 90 days (3 months) must have health insurance in the Czech Republic. There are two types of insurance: public and commercial.
You cannot decide freely which insurance system you belong to, as this is strictly determined by your nationality and/or personal and economical situation. Moreover, you cannot switch between the systems as you wish. Below we introduce both systems, then suggest how to find out more about making the choice, and finally share a few contacts to begin with.
It is good to know that whichever insurance plan you follow it is actually the particular insurance company that has a contract with the actual medical service provider. This means that your health insurance company is the first place for you to find out about doctors and medical services that are available for you and your insurance plan.
Public Health Insurance is a public service provided by the Czech Government. By following the public health insurance plan one gets very high value for the health care, and although sometimes the price may seem higher than the commercial health insurance, it has some special and very practical benefits. Namely, there are almost no limits for the coverage of medical expenses and your insurance plan cannot be canceled by the insurance company. If you fulfill all the required conditions you cannot be turned down if you want to extend your contract. However, the service is not available for all internationals. Some have to choose commercial insurance.
Public health insurance is accessible mainly for the following categories of foreigners:
- EU citizens and their family members (if certain conditions are met);
- All foreigners with a permanent residency permit;
- An employee whose employer has their business registered in the Czech Republic;
- Other selected groups (such as subjects of international protection).
Public Insurance Companies:
- Všeobecná zdravotní pojišťovna (VZP, 111)
- Oborová zdravotní pojišťovna (OZP, 207)
- Zdravotní pojišťovna Ministerstva vnitra ČR (ZPMVCR, 211)
- Vojenská zdravotní pojišťovna ČR (VoZP, 201)
- Česká průmyslová zdravotní pojišťovna (CPZP, 205)
- Zaměstnanecká pojišťovna Škoda (ZPS, 209)
- RBP, zdravotní pojišťovna (RBP, 213)
The insurance plans offered by commercial insurance companies may vary. Initially, you may pay less, but it may happen that the coverage is also lower. There is more paperwork for the doctors involved and there might also be cost limits for some medical care. The unpleasant thing is that the commercial health insurance company may not extend the insurance later or may even terminate the contract with you.
As comprehensive health insurance is compulsory for a more than 90-days-long stay, you must purchase it within 90 days after your arrival to the Czech Republic. For the period starting August 2nd, 2021, you can solely purchase the public health insurance from PVZP (Pojišťovna VZP). That doesn’t apply to foreigners who are covered by the public health insurance, who are possessors of the European or the Global Health Insurance Card (EHIC or GHIC), or whose healthcare is covered by an international contract.
Who belongs to Commercial Health Insurance? Mainly:
- Self-employed persons and other entrepreneurs;
- Economically inactive family members;
Commercial Insurance Companies:
As has been stated above, you cannot decide freely which insurance system you belong to as this is strictly determined by your nationality and/or personal/economic situation. These are mostly the following: employee/non-employee, EU/non-EU, business person, permanent resident or unemployed.
Moreover, you cannot switch between the systems as you wish. To make life easier for yourself, you may consult the free-of-charge service of CPIC in Ostrava to help you find out exactly about your situation and the options you have for your personal situation.