Health insurance in the Czech Republic is provided through the country’s Social Health Insurance (SHI). The SHI requires all businesses to provide workers membership in one of several health insurance funds, to which both employers and employees contribute. Additionally, the Czech government provides contributions for the unemployed so that essentially the population is universally insured.
All international students are required to hold proof of medical coverage upon entering the Czech Republic. The type of insurance that students are required to hold differs between the following: EU students, non-EU students staying for less than 90 days, and non-EU students staying for longer than 90 days.
For students from EU countries, and several other European countries (for full list, see our Czech Republic Visa Insurance [web address not yet created] page), the Czech government only requires a certified E 128 health form or European Health Insurance Card. Holding one of these two documents will ensure students necessary and urgent medical care; students will be treated the same as citizens of the Czech Republic. Keep in mind that over-the-counter medications must be paid for out-of-pocket and that patients are expected to pay user fees for doctors’ visits and other health services. These expenses are small, however, especially in comparison to other European countries.
Students not from the European Union who are staying in the Czech Republic for less than 90 days are required to carry a travel health-insurance plan.
Students not from the European Union who are staying in the Czech Republic for longer than 90 days are required to carry private health insurance. The Czech National Bank has issued special licenses to companies authorized to sell insurance. Students must carry an insurance plan that is licensed by the Czech National bank; the government encourages students to consult their local Czech embassy or consulate to verify that insurance meets this requirement.
Whether you receive public or private healthcare, the Czech Republic offers a network of hospitals, health care facilities, and private practices that will meet your primary or secondary needs. It is simply up to you choose the right health insurance plan for you. Be sure that your plan matches up with your specific visa requirements and that it covers you for the duration of your time in the Czech Republic.