Health insurance of persons outside EU/EFTA member states staying in Poland.
Persons who are not citizens of a EU/EFTA member state may sign for compulsory or voluntary health insurance in the National Health Fund on the basis of the following documents:
- a visa for the purpose of performing work activities,
- a temporary residence permit, excluding a temporary residence permit due to circumstances requiring short-term stay,
- a permanent residence permit,
- a residence permit for a long-term resident of the European Communities,
- a residence permit granted for humanitarian reasons
- a permit for tolerated stay;
this right is also available to persons who have been granted refugee status in the Republic of Poland or subsidiary protection or persons eligible for temporary protection.
Voluntary health insurance in the National Health Fund may cover persons not being citizens of a EU/EFTA member state who are:
- Students and participants in PhD studies studying in Poland and graduates serving a compulsory internship in Poland,
- members of religious orders and alumni of clerical and theological seminaries, postulants, novices, and junior monks of religious orders or their equivalents who reside in Poland on the basis of the aforementioned documents,
- persons serving an adaptational internship (an internship for foreigners applying for the right to practise the profession of a nurse/midwife),
- persons attending Polish language courses and preparatory courses for studying that are referred to in higher education laws (courses for foreigners).
Family member being a foreigner
A family member signed for health insurance may also be a foreigner. However, he/she must be a foreigner residing in the territory of Poland and in the territory of an European Union member state or a EFTA member state. However, such a person may be signed for health insurance only when this person is not entitled to obtain health benefits in Poland pursuant to EU provisions relating to the co-ordination of social security systems.
How much does voluntary medical insurance in the National Health Fund cost?
The monthly premium always amounts to 9% of average remuneration in the enterprise sector along with profit-sharing payments. Information about the amount of average remuneration is published every quarter by the Central Statistical Office (GUS). The average amount of remuneration in the 2nd quarter of 2018 was 4,521.08 PLN.
If we decide on voluntary medical insurance and we have irregularly paid premiums so far or had a break in the insurance period, we may have to pay an additional fee in the amount depending on the length of the break:
- from 3 months to 1 year – 20% of income assumed as a premium assessment base,
- above 1 year to 2 years – 50% of income assumed as a premium assessment base,
- above 2 years to 5 years – 100% of income assumed as a premium assessment base,
- above 5 years to 10 years – 150% of income assumed as a premium assessment base,
- above 10 years – 200% of income assumed as a premium assessment base.
In special justified cases, the head of the relevant branch of the National Health Fund may exempt us from the fee or split it into favourable instalments. Many persons also try to bypass these fees by signing a contract of specific work from which the premium is paid and then by deciding on voluntary insurance. The penalty is counted from the last break in the payment of premiums. The good news is that we may deduct health insurance premiums from tax (as persons employed on a full-time basis), so a large part of money will return to our wallet. To put it more precisely, we may deduct as much as 7.75% of the premium assessment base in the tax return (the entire amount of health insurance premium is 9%). However, we must remember to retain premium payment proofs – this is our obligation.
How to arrange voluntary insurance? How much does the health insurance premium cost?
You just need to visit your branch office of the National Health Fund (NFZ) with a filled-in application (download here), an identity document and a document confirming the last insurance period (their detailed list can be found here). After submitting the application and paying the fee (if any), you will sign a contract. Then you have to visit the relevant branch of the Social Insurance Company (ZUS) and submit a filled-in ZUS ZZA form there within 7 days. Then you will have to pay the due premium to ZUS’s account and to submit a ZUS DRA statement to ZUS’s branch office by the 15th day of each month. If you decide to terminate the contract, you also do so in writing in NFZ’s branch office.
Remember that, when entering into a contract, you are obliged to report all members of your family who are not covered by the insurance policy in any other respect. You will not pay any extra fee for this.
Employment contract and contract of specific work – insurance premium to be paid by the employer
For persons employed under an employment contract, the health insurance premium amounting to 9% of earnings is paid by the employer on our behalf. The same goes for a contract of specific work – this type of co-operation entitles us to use NFZ’s benefits, too.
The employer paying the NFZ insurance premium for us is certainly the most convenient option – we do not have to remember about premiums or transfer payments by ourselves. We can check whether premiums are duly paid by means of the eWUŚ system.
Work without a full-time job – the lack of entitlement to NFZ
If you happen to lose a full-time job and you cannot hope for a contract of specific work, you lose the right to services offered by public health care units. What to do in such a situation? How to recover insurance in NFZ? You can do it in a few ways.
Private medical care is not everything
Indeed, the purchase of a private policy is as simple as ever – we can sign for the programme along with a member of our family (e.g., our husband employed in a large corporation or even our partner, because private medical insurance companies offer their services not only to families) by paying a few dozen zlotys per month.
It is worth remembering that private medical care will ensure access to specialist doctors and potentially also medical diagnostic services. But what if we are suddenly hospitalised, break our leg while skiing or participate in a motor accident? In such cases, we have to pay for all hospital services from our own pocket. And these are large amounts – cutting out a vermiform appendix costs minimum 4,000 PLN, an urgent broken leg operation costs almost 5,000 PLN, and a life-saving operation after a heart attack may cost up to 20,000 PLN.
The lack of a full-time job – how to take out private insurance in NFZ?
There are a few alternatives to become covered by insurance once again:
- you may register your own business activity,
- you may remain a freelancer and take out voluntary insurance in NFZ,
- in certain situations, you may use the insurance policy of a member of the nearest family. You may be covered by the insurance of your spouse, parents or grandparents, provided that you reside in a common household.
Individual business activity – how much does the NFZ insurance premium cost?
As a sole trader, you have to pay the social insurance premium by yourself – HERE you will check the amount of the premium for the year 2018. Those who register their first business activity are allowed to pay the discount premium of approx. 460 PLN per month, but this option is available only for the first two years. One of the elements of this amount is health insurance, which allows the insured to use NFZ’s services.
For a person making their first steps in the business world and only starting to build his/her network of business partners, these costs usually prove too high. It is mainly because of these costs that the person is often uninsured for months and years.