The general rule is that everyone in the territory of the Czech Republic has to be insured.This means that everyone is obliged to have a properly paid for and valid insurance! Below you will learn what type of insurance is relevant for you.
Always have your health insurance card with you! If you have arranged commercial health insurance, you should also always have a document proving you have paid for the insurance with you.
When does a migrant fall within the public healthcare system (VZP)?
Foreigners fall within the public healthcare system if they have permanent residence in the CR or if they are employees of employers with a registered office or permanent residence in the CR. Under certain conditions, EU citizens and their family members can also become part of the public healthcare system, as well as other groups, such as asylum seekers. They all have the same access to healthcare services paid for by public health insurance just like other insured persons.
Commercial Health Insurance
Other groups of migrants (sole traders and other self-employed persons, economically inactive family members of foreigners and migrant students) have to pay for what is called a commercial health insurance.
Generally, there are 2 types of commercial insurance: 1) insurance of necessary and urgent healthcare for travel (travel insurance) and 2) comprehensive health insurance.
If you apply for a long-term residence permit or its extension, you have to prove that you have arranged comprehensive health insurance! Insurance has to be paid for the whole period of the expected residence (up to 2 years).
If you have arranged commercial insurance, you will be treated only by a limited number of doctors and facilities – those that have a contract with your insurance company. Therefore, ask your insurance company for a list of contracted doctors and facilities.
In some cases, the doctor may require that you pay for the treatment in cash. The insurance company will reimburse the cost back to you, therefore do not forget to request proof of payment.
Always read the terms and conditions of your insurance policy carefully and find out what are the exemptions in coverage!
I am going abroad – can I suspend my insurance?
Commercial health insurance is paid for in advance and therefore it is not possible to cancel or to suspend it before going abroad.
Public health insurance can be suspended if you consistently stay outside the CR for more than 6 months. However, in such a case you have to prove that you have valid insurance abroad.