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 for foreigners 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 Czech 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 policy holders.
Commercial Health Insurance for Foreigners
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 in the Czech Republic.
Generally, there are 2 types of commercial health insurance: 1) insurance of necessary and urgent healthcare for travel (travel insurance for foreigners) and 2) comprehensive health insurance.
If you apply for a long-term residence permit in the CR or its extension, you have to prove that you have arranged comprehensive health insurance for foreigners! 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 health insurance?
Commercial health insurance is paid for in advance and therefore it is not possible to cancel or to suspend it before going abroad from the CR.
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.