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Health insurance in Poland. National Health Fund (NFZ) - mandatory and voluntary in Poland. Medical health insurance advices.

Health insurance in Poland – public and private

Health insurance in Poland is insurance in case of illness, accident, injury, poisoning, life threatening condition, etc. To be able to use such insurance, you must pay monthly contribution under the insurance contract.

Who can benefit from healthcare services financed from public funds?

There are two types of health insurance in Poland in the National Health Fund (NFZ) – mandatory and voluntary. Both groups of insured can take advantage of the public healthcare service on the same basis.

The NFZ is a state institution that finances health care services from contributions paid by insured persons in the NFZ (insured persons pay a contribution to the NFZ, and for this they get free health care).

Public health insurance in Poland services may be used by foreigners who belong to one of the following groups:

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  1. Employed in Poland.

In Poland, all legally employed persons – including foreigners – are covered by compulsory health insurance. This means that the employee may use public health and non-public healthcare services free of charge.

Note: however, it should be remembered that health services in non-public healthcare are free only if the institution or doctor has a contract with the NFZ.

The employer is obliged to provide the new employee with access to the health care insurance. The employer has to report it to the Social Insurance Institution by filling out the ZUS ZUA and ZUS ZZA (ZUS ZZA) application for health insurance. Then, the employer pays a monthly health insurance contribution to the NFZ from employee’s income.

2. Family members of insured individuals (including family members of employed persons in Poland)

Every insured person is obliged to report family members for insurance if they do not have health insurance (e.g. they do not work).  

              Who pays for the health insurance contributions?

Everyone who runs their own business (and, for example, the owner of the company), pays the health insurance alone (for itself).

Also, people who insure themselves on a voluntary basis pay health insurance on their own.

For other people, the contributions are paid by the relevant institutions or individuals:

  • contributions of the legally employed are paid by the employer 
  • for a person who performs work on the contract of mandate or other civil law contract, the contribution is paid by the principal

After being registered for insurance, you get the right to health care benefits.

The amount of the contribution is calculated as a percentage of the basis of its amount (usually income). Every insured person, regardless of how high of his or her contribution is entitled to the same health care benefits.

Voluntary health insurance

A person whose stay in Poland is legal and who is not covered by compulsory health insurance may insure himself voluntarily. In order to do so, the individual should submit an application to the NFZ in the voivodeship branch of the National Health Fund competent for the place of residence.

The application is available at the branch office and on the NFZ websites.

Foreigners who are not citizens of the European Union applying for a voluntary health insurance should present their passport and one of the following documents:

  • a visa for work;
  • a temporary residency permit;
  • a permit to settle in Poland;
  • a long-term EU resident permit;
  • a permit for tolerated stay;
  • proof of refugee status issued in Poland or proof of temporary protection in Poland. 

After the contract with the NFZ you should go to the branch or inspectorate of the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS), where the ZUS ZZA printing is made.

You can print it and deliver it personally or send it by post to a branch or Social Security Institution inspectorate in your district.

Persons who have been insured voluntarily are obliged to register family members for insurance if they are not covered by compulsory insurance. The insurance covers the same family members as in the case of compulsory insurance: children, spouse, as well as parents and grandparents, if they remain with the insured in a shared household.

Proof of health insurance

In order to receive a healthcare, you must show proof of insurance.

It can be:

  • current ZUS RMUA document provided by the employer;
  • current certificate from the workplace confirming the payment of health insurance contributions;
  • in the case of running your own business, printing a health insurance application and a valid proof of payment of a health insurance contributions;
  • in the case of the unemployed – a valid certificate from the Labour Office about the registered for health insurance;
  • insured persons on a voluntary basis – an agreement with the NFZ and a Social Insurance Institution confirming the application for health insurance together with a valid proof of payment of the contributions,
  • certification issued by the NFZ or the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) if the individual is insured in one of the EU or EFTA Member States. 

The insured person’s family members must also provide proof of insurance. It could be:

  • proof of payment of the insured’s health insurance along with a copy of the application (forms: ZUS RMUA + ZUS ZCNA – if the application was submitted before 1 July 2008, or ZUS ZCZA – if the application was made on 1 July 2008 or later);
  • current confirmation document issued by the employer;
  • a family health booklet stating the personal data of the family members with a current date and stamp of the employer or Social Security Institution (ZUS); 

Please note that some of the above documents, such as ZUS RMUA or ZUS ZCNA, are valid for a period of 30 days.

In the absence of proof of insurance, this document can be presented no later than within 7 days of providing healthcare (or if the patient is in hospital – within 30 days of admission, if the patient is still in the hospital and if he is no longer staying, within 7 days from the end of treatment). If, after this time, the proof of insurance is not delivered, the patient may be charged for medical expenses.

The right to use healthcare services usually ends after 30 days from termination of the health insurance obligation, for example:

  • after 30 days from the date of termination of the employment contract;
  • after 30 days from the date of the insured’s death, members of his family covered by insurance lose their right to benefits under this title.
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Author: The Migration Bureau

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