Czech Health Insurance Comparisons

What´s the difference between local health funds?

Ryan Scott

Written by Ryan Scott Published on 01.03.2010 10:52:20 (updated on 01.03.2010) Reading time: 8 minutes

Newsletters sign-up

Note: please click here for updated (February, 2011) information regarding health insurance in the Czech Republic. 

If you are a permanent resident or an official employee of a Czech company you can join one of the nine public health funds. This choice is not exactly comparable to a free market because the care provided is determined by the Public Health Insurance Act not the insurers. The act stipulates that public health insurance covers care for:

  • Treatment of infection, illness and injury
  • Stay in a public hospital
  • Emergency care
  • Visits to the GP, including medical check-ups once every two years
  • Vaccines against rabies, tetanus, tuberculosis and against influenza for people over 65
  • Twice yearly dental check-ups
  • Amalgam dental fillings
  • Coverage of prescription medicines

Payment for your health insurance comes directly from your wages. The total contribution per person is 13.5 % of their salary, one third is paid by the employee and two thirds by the employer. This means that  4.5 % of your income goes towards your health insurance. If you have a business license, your insurance is usually made at tax time. The amount is 13.5% of half your annual income.

If you don’t have your permanent residence nor are you employed by a Czech employer, you have to organize your insurance another way.

The full list of what is covered, uncovered or covered in certain conditions can be found here. Procedures marked with a ‘W’ are fully covered (plně hrazený). Regardless of which of the below listed insurance companies you choose; the above coverage applies. Listed below are different options that each company offers in order to help you make the best choice for you and your family´s healthcare needs.

Public health funds differ primarily in the preventative care and discounts they offer clients. Before looking at these programs, it would be useful to know that you can change your insurer once every twelve months. The new coverage starts on the first day of each annual quarter: 1st January, 1st April, 1st July and 1st October. Upon changing, you are obliged to return your old health insurance card to the insurer and inform your GP and employer of the change.

Všeobecná Zdravotní Pojišťovna (VZP)
VZP is the largest and probably best known public health insurance provider in the Czech Republic. The insurer claims to have the widest network of contracted doctors in the Czech Republic. This fact would be its main advantage.

Contribution Scheme: VZP has two contributions schemes offered under the rubric ‘Zdravá rodina’ (Healthy family). Children aged 0 – 15 years whose parents are insured with VZP can receive a once yearly 500 CZK reimbursement for vaccination against hepatitis A, tick encephalitis or meningitis.  For children up to 5 years there is a reimbursement for pneumonia. The application for reimbursement (Žádost o příspěvek) and conditions for reimbursement can be found here (in Czech).

Children from 0 – 15 years who suffer from coeliac disease, the condition associated with gluten-intolerance, can be reimbursed the costs of gluten-free foods up to 1800 CZK per year. The reimbursement can be claimed only in the first month after the end of an annual quarter (April, July, October 2010 and January 2011) up to 450 CZK per quarter. The application for reimbursement (Žádost o příspěvek) can be found here (in Czech).

Discounts: By joining their club Klub pevného zdraví, (Club of Robust Health), a member is eligible for a number of discounts. The full catalogue can be downloaded as a PDF here.

The firm VZP for Foreigners provides VZP coverage in English for English-speaking foreigners.

Oborová Zdravotní Pojišťovna (OZP)
This company bills itself as the second largest public health insurance provider in the Czech Republic. It has branches in Prague as well as Brno, Ostrava, České Budějovice and Plzeň among others.

Contribution Scheme: For children up to 19 years, an insurer can receive 1000 CZK for vaccination against  hepatitis A, tick encephalitis, chicken pox, human papillomavirus (which causes warts and is linked to some cancers), rotaviruses and pneumonia. The reimbursement is only for one type of vaccine and can only be drawn once a year. The vaccine has to be bought between 1st Jan and 31st Dec this year. The application form (Žádost o příspěvek v rámci očkovacího prog. pro děti a mládež) can be found here.


OZP offers 500 CZK credit for preventative treatment not covered by public health as well as free cancer screenings for prostate, throat, colon and melanomas. For mothers, OZP has a program called Studio pro ženy (Studio for Women) which offers a 15% discount on pregnancy courses and massage. They also have a reimbursement up to 1500 CZK for vitamins, prenatal classes and ultrasound. Additional information about their contribution schemes can be found here.

Česká Průmyslová Zdravotní Pojišťovna (ČPZP)
ČPZP is a relative new name in the insurance field but is the third largest provider.

Contribution scheme:  ČPZP has a variety of reimbursements found under its Prevention Program 2010 up to 1500 CZK. The total includes a 300 CZK reimbursement for vaccinations against influenza, tick encephalitis or hepatitis; a cancer screening reimbursement from 200 CZK to 500 CZK depending on the test, a reimbursement for laser treatment for eyes up to 1000 CZK or a reimbursement for gluten-free food up to 1500 CZK. For children and students they also offer an 300 CZK reimbursement for orthodontic braces. Further reimbursements and information on how to obtain them can be found here.

Discounts: People insured with ČPZP are eligible for discounts at these following companies.

Revirní Bratrská Pokladna (RBP)
RBP is an insurer based mostly in the Ostrava region.

Contribution scheme: RBP offer a 1000 CZK reimbursement for vaccinations which is divided into 300 CZK payments for vaccines against influenza, tick encephalitis and hepatitis A, B or A+B. Children up to 18 can also receive a reimbursement for vaccines against meningitis, children up to 12 for vaccines against chicken pox, and children up to 5 years for vaccines against pneumonia. 1000 CZK can be drawn to vaccinate against human papillomavirus. Reimbursement applications and further information can be found under the different client groups . When you open the relevant group, click on ‘Tiskopis k proplácení nadstandardu ‘ to obtain a form.

Discounts: RBP offer a range of discounts for members. A comprehensive list can be found here. Most of the participating firms are out of Prague.

Zdravotní Pojišťovna MEDIA (ZPM)
ZPM is not only for media professionals.

Contribution scheme: For clients over 19 years, ZPM will cover all or part of the costs for vaccines. For those vaccines taken in one dose, i.e. against meningitis and influenza, ZPM covers the dose. For vaccines against hepatitis A, the second dose of two is covered and for hepatitis A and B and tick encephalitis the third dose of three is covered. Members can also receive 500 CZK toward contact lenses. Cancer screening is also available for both men and women. Children 10 to 18 are eligible for 1500 CZK toward orthodontic braces. Check the web page for more information.

Ministrstvo Vnítra Zdravotní  Pojišťovna (MVZP)
MVZP is the Ministry of the Interior’s own insurer.

Contribution Scheme: MVZP offers reimbursements for members 200 CZK for vaccinations and 400 CZK for cancer screening. Further information can be found here.

Discounts: Members can receive discounts from a range of companies.

Additional services: MVZP also offer clients a club. Through this club it is possible to accrue points which can then be used to purchase medical goods and services.

Zdravotní  Pojišťovna Škoda
This company is not only for Škoda employees.

Contribution scheme: Reimbursements are available for vaccines. 350 CZK for influenza, 300 CZK for tick encephalitis, 1000 CZK for hepatitis, meningitis type C 300 CZK, pneumonia 1000 CZK, human papillomavirus 5000 CZK, other vaccines 500 CZK. Some of the reimbursements depend on age. See here for details (in Czech). Other reimbursements are for mothers with newborns up to 1000 CZK for stay in above standard room or purchase of diapers. ZPŠ also offers 1500 CZK toward gluten-free foods. The application for reimbursement (Žádost o příspěvěk ) is available here at the top of the page.

Discounts: Members can receive discounts on spa treatments, massage, swimming, yoga and fitness. See the list on the left of this page for more information (in Czech).

Vojenská Zdravotní Pojišťovna (VoZP)
Not only for soldiers VoZP has branches around the country.

Contribution scheme: VoZP offers 150 CZK for fluoride treatment or 500 CZK for sport medical check-ups once every 3 years for children 2 to 18 years. For children in the same age group, VoZP will pay for the third dose of three for vaccination against tick encephalitis. For vaccines against haemophilus influenza type B, children up to 18 can receive a reimbursement of 500 CZK. Girls between 13 and 19 can receive a reimbursement up to 2500 CZK for vaccination against cervical cancer. All members can obtain a 500 CZK reimbursement for vaccinations against fatal infections. Other reimbursements can be found here (in Czech).

Additional services: VoZP offers a discount program for members of its Bonus Club

Metal – Aliance
Metal – Aliance has been providing health insurance for 16 years. They have a number of branches around the country.

Contribution scheme: Metal – Aliance offers basic and supplementary contributions schemes. The basic scheme is determined by how long a client has been with a company. Those who have joined from the beginning of this year can draw on 300 CZK, those who joined between 1.1.2007 – 31.12.2009 can draw on 400 CZK, members from between 1.1.1998 – 31.12.2006 can draw on 500 CZK and members from 1.8.1993 – 31.12.1997 can draw on 600 CZK. This reimbursement can be used for vaccines against tick encephalitis, hepatitis A, B and A+B and influenza. As part of the additional coverage, members between 16 and 30 years can apply for 2000 CZK reimbursement for orthodontic braces. Further information can be found here.

Apart from the prevention programs, the other factor which may determine your choice of insurer is if the doctors near you have any space available. According to a spokesperson from the Ministry of Health, a doctor does have the right to not register a patient if he or she has “an intolerable load of patients”. It does not get any more specific than that.

To help you find which doctors have space available, the Association of General Practitioners (Sdružení praktických lékarů) have a list, click on ‘seznam PL’ beside the heading ‘Volná kapacita pro registraci’.

Irrespective of which health fund you join, as a participant in the public health system in the Czech Republic you will have to pay the following regulation fees:

  • 30 CZK for visits to the doctor, dentist or other medical specialist and for prescriptions (the fee is not charged for the second annual check up to the dentist)
  • 60 CZK per day in hospital or treatment center
  • 90 CZK for treatment in the emergency ward

These fees are not charged in some regions. However, they do apply in Prague.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more