Health insurance in the Czech Republic

Professional counselling in a nutshell #3

In the last article from our professional counseling series, we’ll explain just how does health insurance in the Czech Republic work.

This article is designed for third-country nationals residing in CZ on at least a long-term visa. 

For starters, we’d like to point out that as a foreigner residing in the territory of CZ for more than three months, you must have a health insurance subscription for the entire duration of your stay. 

Public health insurance

If you have access to public health insurance, you may utilize health care the same way as Czech nationals. You may receive treatment in any hospital and from most doctors.

1) Who has access to public health insurance?

Apart from Czech nationals, the following categories of foreigners have access to public health insurance:

  • Foreigners with permanent residence
  • Foreigners without a permanent residence, employed under an employer who is registered or has permanent residence in the Czech Republic. Only applicable if you have primary employment, agreement on performing work (DPČ “Dohoda o pracovní činnosti” with monthly income over 3000 CZK), or agreement on completing a job (DPP “Dohoda o provedení práce” with monthly income over 10 001 CZK)
  • Some foreigners with a temporary residence permit for a family member of an EU citizen, but only if certain conditions are met.
  • Foreigners granted international protection
  • Other specific categories of foreigners

If you are unsure whether you’re eligible for public health insurance, dial +420 252 543 846 to make an appointment for our free of charge social counseling.

2) I have access to public health insurance. Which health insurance companies can insure me?

There are 7 public health insurance companies. You can find them on this link (page is in the Czech language only). The biggest and most well-known is the VZP (Všeobecná zdravotní pojišťovna).

3) How to prove that I have valid public health insurance?

Your health insurance company will issue a so-called insuree card, which you must always carry with you. You’ll present this card when receiving a medical check-up. Printed on this card you’ll find your not only your identification data but also the telephone number for the insurance company’s call center, which you can dial in case you’ve got questions or are experiencing difficulties. Call centers can communicate in Czech or English. 

4) Which forms of medical care are covered by public health insurance?

Public health insurance covers various forms of medical care, including preventive medical examination at a general practitioner, gynecologist or dentist, some medicaments, some medical procedures related to pregnancy and birth, some medical supplies, and/or transfer to a hospital in case of serious health complications. For a complete list of medical care covered by the insurance, click here (page is in the Czech language only).

Complex commercial insurance

Under complex commercial insurance, you’re limited to those hospitals and doctors who’ve signed a contract with your selected commercial insurance company

1) Who does complex commercial insurance concern?

If you do not fall under any of the categories of foreigners with access to public health insurance (see above), you will have to purchase commercial insurance.

If you are unsure about which type of insurance to purchase, dial +420 252 543 846 to make an appointment for our free of charge social counseling.

2) At what insurance companies may I purchase commercial insurance?

Many insurance companies are offering commercial health insurance. Some of the best known are Pojišťovna VZP, a.s., Maxima, ERGO, Axa Assistance, Slavia, Uniqa.

Pojišťovna VZP, a.s. has contractual agreements with more doctors than any other insurance company.

3) How to prove that I have purchased commercial health insurance?

Commercial health insurance companies will issue insuree cards, just like public health insurance companies. If you did not receive an insuree card, you’ll instead use a health insurance contract and proof of payment. Insuree card or health insurance contract with proof of payment both serve as proof that you have valid health insurance in the territory of the Czech Republic. You should always carry this proof with you in case you need medical assistance or are checked by Foreign Police. 

On your insuree card or in your contract you’ll find your insurance company’s call center contact information, which you can dial in case you’ve got questions or are experiencing difficulties. You can usually communicate with them in multiple languages.

4) What health care is covered by commercial health insurance?

Commercial insurance’s health care scope depends on the height of your insurance fee. It is possible to purchase commercial health insurance that would be on par with public health insurance in terms of scope, but its price will be higher.

When purchasing commercial health insurance, it is important to carefully read and understand all terms and conditions. The terms and conditions and fees of different commercial health insurance companies may vary.

CARE: In case you’ve purchased commercial health insurance and are expecting a baby, we advise you to make an appointment for our social counseling at +420 252 543 846. Such a situation is very specific and best consulted with a professional.

Health insurance covered by government

In some cases, a person’s access to public health insurance is covered by the government.

May be applicable if you:

  • are receiving an old-age pension or disability pension
  • are on maternity leave or parental leave
  • are listed as a job applicant in the Labor Office register
  • are a recognized refugee or an applicant for international protection

A detailed list of persons whose health insurance is covered by the government can be found here (page is in the Czech language only).

How to look for a doctor?

You should be registered at a general practitioner’s clinic, where you’ll go for a preventive health check-up or if you are feeling unwell. If necessary, GP will refer you to a medical specialist.

In case you have access to public health insurance, we recommend visiting the www.znamylekar.cz website, where you can search for GPs based on location, reviews, contracted insurance companies, and/or whether they currently register new patients. On this website, you can also search for GPs who can speak foreign languages and thus can provide assistance without an interpreter. For interpreting services, you may also employ the services of our intercultural workers.

In case you have purchased commercial health insurance, please contact your insurance company’s assistance center. They will help you find a contracted GP.

Pay special attention to whether your chosen GP has signed a contract with your health insurance company. Furthermore, always inform yourself whether the medical treatment you require is fully covered by your health insurance or whether you’ll have to pay a portion yourself. You may also visit a GP who isn’t contracted by your health insurance company. In case they receive you, you’ll have to cover the medical expense in cash or by an invoice (via VZP, a.s.)

If you are having trouble finding a GP, ask your health insurance company to send you a list of their contracted GPs.

Got more questions?

Each situation is unique, so we’d always recommend visiting our organization, where we can answer your questions in depth. Call +420 252 543 846 and make an appointment for counseling.

We’d like to point out that all information is valid as of the article publication date. The information may change with time. You may always inquire about the current situation in a personal meeting.

We’ve also prepared a short video on this topic. Check it out!