There are two types of health insurance in the Czech Republic: public health insurance and commercial health insurance.
The difference between public health insurance and commercial health insurance for foreigners is, for example, the number of contract hospitals. A person who has the right to use public health insurance can always be treated anywhere in the Czech Republic. For commercial foreign-health insurance, you must always be in contract hospitals according to the list of workplaces that you have in the insurance contract from your insurance company.
Another difference between public health insurance and commercial health insurance is that you can visit a doctor for preventive examinations several times a year and you are not subject to any conditions. For commercial foreign-health insurance, you are usually limited to a preventive check once or twice a year unless it is a serious health problem.
Obligations if you fall into the public health system
On the other hand, in the case of the use of public health, every person who works and his condition allows it is obliged to make advances to health insurance.
In the case of commercial health insurance from a private insurance company you are not obliged to pay anything.
Who belongs to the public health insurance system of the Czech Republic?
Public health insurance may belong to:
- citizens of the Czech Republic;
- EU citizens in the form of necessary and urgent care;
- foreigners in an employment relationship with a company based in the Czech Republic;
- foreigners with permanent residence in the territory of the Czech Republic;
- asylum seekers;
- foreigners receiving temporary protection;
- persons born to a foreigner who has a permanent residence permit.
Who must use commercial health insurance for foreigners in the Czech Republic?
Commercial health insurance for foreigners must be used by foreigners who, for example, work in the Czech Republic as self-employed or foreigners who receive parental allowance.
How about health insurance if I am an EU citizen and I plan to stay in the Czech Republic?
If you are a citizen of one of the Member States of the European Union, you have the right to use the public health system, but only in the form of necessary and urgent care. In this case, you have more options to be covered when injured or ill.
For travel purposes to the Czech Republic, you will need insurance contract travel type
If you are staying in the Czech Republic for a tourist purpose, you should arrange travel insurance in your country to cover you in the event of an accident.
As a citizen of the European Union, you have the right to be treated in the Czech hospital even without travel insurance but European health insurance does not cover, for example, transportation to the hospital and the material used for your treatment or preventive medical examinations.
In such a case, the accident can climb to the order of thousands and you would have to pay everything from your own financial resources. When, for example, a simple fracture of a hand and its treatment from the next appointment can cost you about 5000 – 10000 CZK.
Longer stays in the Czech Republic require either entry into public health insurance or payment of comprehensive health insurance for foreigners
In case you want to live in the Czech Republic for a longer period of time, you have the option to either report here for the payment of public health insurance similarly to a citizen of the Czech Republic or to arrange comprehensive health insurance for foreigners, which will cover all costs associated with preventive examinations and acute treatment.
A model example you often ask us about
I am a citizen of the Slovak Republic where I have a permanent residence. I have a temporary stay in the Czech Republic and I will be living here for a long time as a graphic designer. They work for the self-employed. In Slovakia, I am not notified to pay Slovak public health insurance. In the Czech Republic I have a comprehensive health insurance. Do I have to sign up and pay medical insurance prepayments by law?
If you have paid commercial health insurance for foreigners in the Czech Republic, you do not have to report to the public health system. If you started to work as an employee at the company, or you would get a permanent residence in the Czech Republic, you would automatically fall into the public health system and have to pay the prepayments for health insurance. (In the case of a recruitment job, this would be done by your employer).