A new year and a new law. Since January 1st, if you want to apply or renew a long term visa, and you are not from an EU country, you must have comprehensive health insurance known as komplexní zdravotní pojištění.
Below are the five health insurance companies whose products are accepted for visa applications and renewals. Along with the prices and coverage, we’ve tried to give you some idea of communication with these companies as well.
If you take out insurance with VZP for one year, you will pay 19,200 CZK. This is based on a 1,500 CZK per month for coverage in the Czech Republic, plus 100 CZK for emergency coverage in the EU. Both are compulsory.
The comprehensive insurance will cover you for doctor’s consultation, ambulance, surgery, emergency treatment (including dental), medical equipment, prescription medicine, rehabilitation care and mercy care in the Czech Republic and emergency treatment in other Schengen countries.
Finding an English speaking representative may not always be easy. For that reason, it would be good to contact VZP for Foreigners, which is connected to Hamilton Hudson and where you’re guaranteed to speak with an English speaking consultant. They were able to provide us with this information quickly and clearly.
UNIQA offer three tarrifs which satisfy the visa requirement: Komplex, Komplex+ and Komplex 2. Komplex is the standard and most applicable for most people. Komplex+ is for people doing a lot of sport. Komplex 2 is for pregnant women.
UNIQA have the most varied price breakdown for age. You will see that there are different price lists for men and women. From the age of 20 to 55 women pay on average about 200 CZK more per month than men. After 55, the price for men is more expensive.
The minimum duration is six months. For a 25 to 35 year old looking to work for a year, the costs will be:
Men 14,400 CZK to 16,800 CZK
Women 18,000 CZK
Coverage is for treatment up to 2 million CZK (60,000 Euro). The representative said that the offer is “about the same as for Czech citizens”. There were two limits. The coverage includes acute dental treatment only up to 5,000 CZK and 5,000 CZK for prescription medicines.
It was possible to find someone to answer the questions in English. However, when asked why there was a difference, the telephone consultant was vague. At first, she said it was for statistical reasons, then pregnancy; then she said it was because all private insurance companies charge women more.
Slavia’s tariff is straightforward. They offer comprehensive medical coverage for 14,400 CZK for one year. The coverage includes:
- outpatient care
- treatment in hospital
- emergency dental care
- repatriation of remains
- for children up to 15, check-up and injection in a scope equivalent to the public health insurance; treatment for diabetes
- Care during pregnancy and birth
- “Necessary and emergency” dental care
- Institution and diagnostic care
While the information is straightforward, as soon as I asked if they spoke English they hung up on me; if you’re have any questions, you’ll have to do like us and speak with them in Czech.
Maxima offers two tarrifs: Standard and Premium and both provide a year’s coverage including the Schengen area. Standard is 14,400 CZK. Premium is 19,200 CZK. There is some information here.
Standard: Total limit of care is 1,5 million CZK. The limit for repatriation is 300,000 CZK. For acute dental care it is 5,000 CZK.
Premium: 2 million CZK. Repatriation is up to 300,000 CZK. Acute dental care is 15,000 CZK.
I wasn’t able to get an English speaking operator for Maxima either, but at least they didn’t hang up. Suffice to say, you will need to speak Czech with them as well.
They offer coverage with a minimum of four months. The monthly rate is 1,250 for a minimum of four months, so a year’s coverage costs 15,000 CZK.
On their English page there is a PDF of terms and conditions which goes into the coverage in more detail. (See Article 4, page 3 of the downloadable document). Below is a summary of the coverage:
- medical expenses
- additional costs for medically necessary transportation
- repatriation of remains
- dental care
You can purchase the insurance by contacting the insurance companies directly or by going through a broker. On Koněvova Street there are a number of broker outlets beside or across from the Office of the Department Migration and Asylum Policy (Koněvova 32, Pragu 3). They have the logos of the insurance companies all over them, so they are easy to idenity.
One of the advantages of using these brokers is that they are conveniently located. Many people spoken to have said that they were able to have the insurance finalized the moment they handed over the money and signed the paper. Communication in English can be limited.
As mentioned before, the broker Hamilton Hudson has English speaking staff. Its director is New York native Samuel Fleischman, who has over twenty years experience in the industry, including a decade in the Czech Republic. For English-speaking expats, the advantage of Hamilton Hudson is that for the same price they get someone who speaks English, has worked closely with the industry, and can provide a referral service of doctors who speak English.
Contracted Doctors and Hospitals
Even when you’re insured, it does not mean you are entitled to medical treatment everywhere. The doctor or hospital you visit has to be contracted with your insurer. The websites for the insurers should provide a list contracted medical facilities (seznam zdravotnických zařízení).
Below is a table with the number of hospitals and GPs in Prague contracted with the various companies. (BA means ‘by appointment’. It will only be given to clients at the outlet.)
|VZP||VZP has contracts with all the state medical facilities, including: Motol, FN Thomayerova, FN na Bulvoce, FN Všeobecná, na Frantíšku, Vojenská||597|
|Slavia||3 (Motol, FN Thomayerova, FN na Bulvoce)||0|
|Maxima||4 (Motol, FN Thomayerova, FN na Bulvoce, FN Všeobecná)||BA|
|Victoria Volkbank||6 (Motol, FN Thomayerova, FN na Bulvoce, FN Všeobecná, na Frantíšku, Vojanská)||BA|
‘FN’ means fakultní nemocnice (faculty hospital, a hospital connect to a university).
UNIQA said clients would contact Coris to find contracted doctors. The doctors and hospitals are only for outside Prague.
Getting a straight answer regarding this issue is difficult. No one at the Ministry of Health picks up their phone and answers from insurance companies are either ‘Yes, foreigners pay’, ‘No, they don’t’, or ‘I don’t know.’
The best answer we got was from VZP. If a patient has to pay upfront and is reimbursed later, he or she doesn’t pay.
Things to remember when buying your insurance:
- Make sure the insurance is in accordance with the Czech Residency of Foreigners Law.
- Weigh the cost against the coverage. Insurance is no good if there are no hospitals or doctors in the area. Check the list of medical facilities contracted with the insurer.
- See what time frame is offered. Some insurers offer only a year. Others have coverage by the month.
As always, we’d like to read your opinions and experiences.
Related Articles (note: these articles from last year contain outdated information that has been updated in the above article):