Pavel signs law ending PVZP health monopoly for non-EU foreigners

The change means that non-EU citizens living in Czechia will be able to choose from a range of health insurance providers. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 05.09.2023 10:19:00 (updated on 21.09.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

President Petr Pavel Monday signed into law a reform of the health insurance system for non-EU foreigners, which ends the PVZP monopoly on the market and allows third-country citizens to choose any state-approved insurance provider they wish.

Cheaper for non-EU foreigners

Following the signature, the law comes into force this month. The key part of the change allows foreigners to terminate their existing contract with PVZP and select an insurance provider of their choice within three months of the new bill becoming law.

The one-time premiums that PVZP subscribers have already paid are not, however, eligible for a refund. With this expanded freedom, foreign nationals not from the EU will ultimately spend less on healthcare.

The amendment's limit on health insurance coverage is one of its most important features. The coverage threshold for foreigners who have lived in the Czech Republic for an extended period of time has been increased by the Chamber of Deputies in accordance with the Senate, from EUR 60,000 to 400,000 (about CZK 9.6 million). This makes insurance protection more comprehensive and provides foreign residents with peace of mind.

Proponents of the older system, which came into force in August 2021, pointed out that it was necessary to fix the requirement for doctors to provide healthcare to foreigners coming to the Czech Republic for work, despite a lack of a precise reimbursement process for the medical professionals. According to current senators, the monopoly was against European law.

Other changes

The amendment outlines a plan to establish a health insurance registry specifically designed for foreigners, and its administration will fall under the purview of the Czech Office of Insurers. This registry is slated to be created within a year's time, and populated by insurance companies with carefully chosen information pertaining to the commercial health insurance policies held by non-Czech residents. The registry will be accessible to medical facilities and, when deemed necessary, law enforcement agencies.

Additionally, insurance companies will have to renew travel health insurance for insured persons who wish to do so. This is to prevent situations where a sick foreigner remains uninsured on Czech territory.

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