New Health Insurance Requirements for Long Stays in Prague

Expats.cz looks at the health insurance amendment to the Foreign National Residence Act

Ryan Scott

Written by Ryan Scott Published on 18.01.2010 15:40:29 (updated on 18.01.2010) Reading time: 6 minutes

As you might have heard, from January 1st (2010) new regulations regarding the health insurance requirements for foreigners who have or wish to apply for a long-term visa in the Czech Republic were introduced. Apart from health insurance being mandatory, it must be provided by a company listed with the Czech National Bank. The coverage must be for the minimum amount of 30,000 EUR and must cover medical treatment for sudden injury or illness and repatriation of the patient. Furthermore, the insurance should have no deductibles. The term in Czech is ‘bez spoluúčasti’. Sometimes it is translated literally as ‘without participation’. Either way, it means that there is no amount which should be paid by you. The insurer should provide full coverage.

So who do these changes affect? If you have a long-term visa and you are an employee of a company registered in the Czech Republic, then it is possible to be insured through VZP, in the same way that someone with permanent residence would be insured. One thing which is important to remember is that the insurance is dependent on the period of employment. When you are not employed you are expected to take out private insurance. However, this might be a moot point if your visa is dependent on your being employed.

If you are not employed by a company registered in the Czech Republic, e.g. if you will be a student or work under a business licence then you will have to take out insurance.  I contacted Nora Gosmanová from assistance:2:expats (www.assistance2expats.cz) to explain the insurance requirements pertaining to visa applications in more detail.

“The proof of the health insurance must in four instances; firstly to the Czech Embassy abroad and/or the Foreigners’ Police, when the  applicant is applying for / and collecting the initial long term visa from the Czech Embassy abroad, secondly when the applicant is registering the initial visa locally with the Foreigners’ Police, thirdly when applying for the long term visa extension, fourthly when announcing a change to his / her status and lastly, if applying for a 90 day visa,” she said. In other words, if you are already here but are not insured as the new amendment requires AND you are considering renewing your visa you might want to consider getting the insurance.

Gosmanová pointed out that the insurance card issued by the company is not sufficient proof. An applicant must produce the original contract or statement from the country. Furthermore, that statement must be translated into Czech if it is in another language.

So, which companies can you choose? Of the 53 insurers listed with the Czech National Bank, seven of these definitely offer health insurance for foreigners which meet the criteria mentioned above. These insurers are:

AGENCY PROPERTIES

Apartment for rent, 4+kk - 3 bedrooms, 270m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 4+kk - 3 bedrooms, 270m2

Sanderova, Praha 7 - Holešovice

Apartment for rent, 5+1 - 4 bedrooms, 241m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 5+1 - 4 bedrooms, 241m2

dr. Zikmunda Wintra, Praha 6 - Bubeneč

Building plot for sale, 641m<sup>2</sup>

Building plot for sale, 641m2

Rosečská, Praha 4 - Krč

VZP / PVZP
Maxima / AXA
Slavia
UNIQA
Victoria Volksbanken

I contacted these companies to see what they have to offer and to get some idea of the service and communication skills.

VZP
This insurer offers two options for foreigners. The first option is called Standard Care or Necessary Care. (It depends on who you speak to.) This covers a person for the length of his/her stay for emergency care, sudden illness and injury, including dental procedures of this nature. The cost for this is 35 CZK per day, 900 CZK per month or 4970 CZK per year. The insurance can be organized only through these branches of VZP:

VZP Prague 1
Perštýn 6
Telephone: 221 668 111

VZP Prague 3
Orlická 2
Telephone: 221 751 111

VZP Prague 6
Vitězné náměstí 9
Telephone:

The second option is so-called Complex Care. Complex Care provides full care within the Czech public health system, including dental and prescription medicines. The cost of this insurance is approximately 3000 CZK per month and must be taken for a minimum of six months up to a maximum of 3 years. This insurance can be organized at the Prague 6 branch of VZP.

English language consultants are available to speak with. Their skills are not perfect and misunderstandings do occur on both sides. The consultant I spoke to got a little confused with numbers in English, so I had to double check figures. However, if you’re patient and speak clearly, they will answer all your questions. Somewhat confusingly, this insurance is not mentioned on their website in the section for foreigners. The information can instead be found with their daughter company Pojišťovna VZP. Please take note, the branch in Prague 7 is no longer open.

Maxima (in co/operation with AXA)
Getting through to Maxima on the phone can be tricky. After several days of calling, I was still unable to speak to a consultant. Instead, I went to a broker who offered their insurance. They charge 4800CZK. When I quizzed the sales rep on what it includes, she said it was the type of insurance the Foreigners’ Police accepts. If you want to know more, a summary of the policy is here.

Contact information
Address: Na dlouhém lánu 41, Prague 6
Telephone: 272 099 900
Email: info@maxima-as.cz

Slavia pojišťovna
It helps to know some Czech if contacting this company. Yet, in this case, the person was able to answer the question very clearly and accurately. Slavia offer two types of insurance called Health Insurance for Foreigners (Zdravotní pojištění cizinců). Both are for one year and both includes necessary care explained above. The first is valid only for the Czech Republic and costs 4750 CZK. The second is valid for the Schengen area and costs 5000 CZK. More information is available at their website.

Contact information
Address: Revoluční 1, Prague 1
Telephone: 255 790 111
Email: info@slavia-pojisteni.cz

UNIQA pojišťovna
I actually contacted these guys in writing and they were among the few to get back to me promptly and with the information I needed. They offer two types of tariffs F1 and F25. F1 is up to 1 million CZK and F25 is up to 1.25 million CZK. The fees are divided into months and depend on purpose (tourist or work) and age (under 18 or under 26 if a student and adult up to 60). Because of space it will not be possible to list the whole price breakdown, so here’s a sample. Prices are for one year.

Insurance Tariff Child up to 18 or Student up to 26 Adult up to 60
F1 Tourist 4200 CZK 4800 CZK
F1 Work 4800 CZK 4800 CZK
F25 Tourist 4800 CZK 5400 CZK
F 25 Work 5400 CZK 5400 CZK

You can download an English version of their terms and conditions from this page. It also has some basic information on insurance in Czech.

Contact information
Address: Evropská 136, Prague 6
Telephone: 800 120 020
Email: info@uniqa.cz

Victoria Volksbanken pojišťovna
The telephone consultant was very helpful and spoke clearly and gave me the information I needed. Victoria Volksbanken offer a product called ‘Welcome‘ which covers the above mentioned areas. There are two tariffs Standard and Plus. Standard offers coverage up to 1 million and Plus up to 2 million. The costs depend on the length of time. Below are the costs for one year.
Standard: 4700 CZK
Plus: 7500 CZK

Contact information
Address: Francouzská 171/28, Prague 2
Telephone: 221 585 111
Email: victoria@victoria.cz

Insurance Brokers
I can’t vouch for their reliability or prices and it helps to speak Czech or Ukrainian, but the offices are within stomping distance of the Foreigners’ Police branch at Koněvova 32. The two below seem to be the best because of the range of insurers and proximity.

Koněvova 31. A large office with a sign reading Pojišťovací Kancelář (Insuring Office). They offer all the insurers mentioned above. Their opening hours are: Monday – Thursday 7:00am – 6:00pm and Friday 10:00am – 4:00pm.

Koněvova 32 (approximately). This is a small office beside the entrance to the Foreigners’ Police.
They offer VZP/PVZP, Slavia and Maxima. Their opening hours are Monday to Thursday 7:30am – 2:00pm.

If you’re looking for something more professional Hamilton Hudson (www.hamiltonhudson.com) come recommended from acquaintances and professionals. They offer VZP insurance at the same price as VZP. However, the service and communication skills are better. Please note visits are by appointment only.

Contact information
Address: Chopinova 2, Prague 2
Telephone: 222 254 442
Email: petra@hamiltonhudson.com

Regulation Fees:
One final word about regulation fees and health insurance. The regulation fees only apply to foreigners who have permanent residency or who are employed by a Czech company. In other words, it applies to foreigners who participate in the public health system. People who are excluded from the public health system, meaning those who require insurance from one of the private companies above, are exempt from paying fees. Of course, this does not stop some doctors asking for fees.

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