Health insurance should be concluded by everyone; however, some rules apply to those citizens who come from the European Union countries, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein, and different rules to citizens from the other countries. Whereas the citizens from the first group can receive medical care upon submitting the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
, the others will have somewhat more complicated access to the insurance (see below). Tourists can only have travel insurance, and if they are from the European Union countries, then they only need the card issued by their health insurance company.
There are two types of health insurance in the Czech Republic:
- mandatory public health insurance; participation commences upon compliance with the conditions directly by operation of law (prevailing form);
- travel health insurance, commencing by insurance contract conclusion:
Health Insurance of Foreigners from the EU
The citizens of EU countries become entitled to participation in the public health insurance if:
- they have permanent residence in the territory of the Czech Republic,
- they do not have permanent residence in the territory of the Czech Republic, but are employed by an employer with a registered office in the territory of the Czech Republic,
- if they are governed by the Czech regulations based on EU Directive (this group includes wage-earners in the Czech Republic (employees and self-employed persons), as well as persons on benefits from previous earning activity, i.e. old-age pensions, and family members of all entitled persons, i.e. wife or husband and dependant children).
Having arrived in the Czech Republic, you must visit one of the health insurance companies and get registered there. The insurance company will then give you the insurer’s card that you will hand in at the doctor’s office.
Health Insurance of Foreigners from Other than EU Countries
In the Czech Republic, every person with permanent residence in the territory of the Czech Republic is compulsorily insured by law. Foreigners who obtain permanent residence in the Czech Republic become participants in public health insurance and must get registered by one of the health insurance companies after obtaining permanent residence. Should they not do so, they get automatically registered by the General Health Insurance
Foreigners without Permit of Permanent Residence in the Czech Republic
Foreigners without permanent residence are not entitled to public health insurance, unless they participate in the sickness insurance as employees. The employer shall advise the health insurance company of the commencement (and end) of participation in the sickness insurance of an employee who is a foreigner without permanent domicile. The health insurance company issues a green card for this insured person. The public health insurance expires upon the employment termination.
Other foreigners with a long-term residence permit, who are not employed in the Czech Republic by an employer with a registered office in the territory of the Czech Republic, are required to conclude health insurance for settlement of medical expenses, for the minimum amount of EUR 30,000. These foreigners have a possibility to conclude commercial insurance that works based on market principles. The commercial insurance differs from public health insurance on principle, mainly with the existing indemnification limit, and the scope of the covered care is limited, as well. There are two basic types of insurance:
1) health insurance for cases of emergency care,
2) health insurance for cases of complex care.
The amended Act on foreigners’ stay in the territory of the Czech Republic became effective on 1 January 2010. As from this date, foreigners with long-term residence in the territory of the Czech Republic will have to present such valid travel health insurance, to be contracted with a health insurance company authorized to operate such insurance in the territory of the Czech Republic. They will also be required to present the insurance premium payment confirmation.