New options when arranging health insurance for foreigners in the Czech Republic

27. 9. 2023

As of today, i.e. September 20, 2023, there are changes in the provision of comprehensive health insurance for foreigners in the Czech Republic. The changes are a result of the amendment to the Foreigners Residence Act No. 326/1999 Coll., which was signed this month by the President, and which was published in the Collection of Laws on September 19 and came into force today.

It will now be possible for applicants for a long-term visa or long-term residence to arrange travel health insurance to the extent of comprehensive health care with any insurance company that is licensed to provide such insurance in the Czech Republic. From 2021, it was only possible to arrange this insurance with Pojišťovna VZP, see our article from August 2021 https://www.schaffer-partner.cz/en/media/4892-foreigners-residing-czech-republic-must-arrange-commercial-health-insurance-only. This monopoly, which was originally intended to last for five years, has however ended after two years. Proponents of the current situation pointed out that it was necessary to resolve the fact that doctors had to provide medical care to foreigners coming to the Czech Republic to work without being sure that they would be reimbursed. According to senators, the monopoly contravenes European law.

If a foreigner enters the Czech Republic with a travel health insurance document pursuant to Section 180j (1), they are required to take out travel health insurance within 90 days of entering the Czech Republic.

For the purposes of this Act, a travel health insurance document for a stay of more than 90 days means the document by which the foreigner proves insurance covering the costs that they are required to pay during their stay in the country in the event of the provision of necessary and urgent medical care, including transfer costs or, in the event of his death, the cost of transferring their remains, to the country whose travel document they hold, or to another country in which they are permitted to reside. The agreed limit of indemnity per insurance event shall be at least 400,000 euros, excluding the insured’s co-insurance for the above costs.

The amendment has increased the existing agreed indemnity limit per insurance event from the previous 60,000 euros to the 120,000 euros recommended by the Senate to the final 400,000 euros.

Within one year of the amended Act coming into force, a register of foreigners’ health insurance will be set up by the Czech Insurers’ Bureau, where data on the insurance policies that have been taken out will be available to healthcare facilities, the police and the Ministry of the Interior.

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