System of public health insurance
Extent of medical care covered by health insurance companies
Medical care covered by health insurance companies:
Healthcare provided within the system of public health insurance and covered by the funds of
this insurance system includes:
out-patient and (hospital) care,
emergency and rescue service,
provision of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and instruments (e.g. diagnostic
instruments, but also therapeutic and medical supplies, e.g. hearing aids for the deaf,
bandages etc.) and dental products,
spa cure, care in specialized sanatoria and health resorts for children,
medical preventive care,
transportation of patients, reimbursement of travel expenses,
assessment physician service (to a certain extent only),
examination of a deceased and the autopsy.
Medical procedures provided by physicians who have signed a contract with one of health
insurance companies -be it out-patient services or hospital treatment- are fully covered by
these insurance companies; physicians with such contracts are not entitled to require any fees
from insured patients. However, if a patient has no health insurance, doctor is obliged to
require the payment for medical service provided irrespective of the fact, whether he/she
concluded a contract with one of the insurance companies or not.
Health care co-financed by the patient:
Insured persons co-finance some medical procedures and also medical supplies or instruments
the price of which exceeds the level defined by law. These include e.g. some dental
procedures, a portion of spa cure and especially payment of some pharmaceuticals. The price
of some pharmaceuticals is fully covered by insurance companies, other pharmaceuticals are
co-financed by patients. Every category of pharmaceuticals must include at least one which is
fully covered by insurance companies; as regards the others, physician shall advise a patient
in advance that he/she will be paying certain amount, when collecting a pharmaceutical in a
Pharmaceuticals and medical supplies (devices) provided in the course of hospital treatment
are fully covered by insurance companies.
Medical care covered by patients
Medical and health care which is not covered by the system of public health
insurance and which must be paid directly is defined by law. Such care includes e.g.
plastic surgeries, selected dental procedures or acupuncture.
Funds of the public health insurance system are not used to cover some procedures
and medical examinations carried out in the personal interest of the insured or of
other person. These are procedures which do not have a direct curative effect and
which do not aim at preserving or improving the state of health of the insured. These
procedures include e.g. medical check up for the issuance of a driving license,
medical examinations required by an employer to employ a person, certificate on
one’s health fitness for studying etc.
Contractual health insurance
Aliens who do not meet the conditions of the public health insurance system can effect a
Long term contract on health insurance
This type of insurance can be underwritten by aliens who are staying in the CR
based on a visa valid for more than 90 days or a visa for a long term stay. Of course
only in case that they are not included in the system of public health insurance (i.e.
they are not employed by a Czech employer).
The level of benefit payment in case of an insurance event can reach a maximum
limit of an insurance contract for CZK 1 000 000. This necessarily contains an
accident insurance, which includes:
insurance for the case of death due to an accident,
insurance of permanent consequences of an accident,
period of necessary cure of accident consequences.
Detailed information about accident insurance can be found on the website of
Hasičská vzájemná pojišťovna.
Funds of a long term contractual health insurance are used to cover the following
types of care:
costs of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies (the coverage is at the same level as in
case of persons included in the system of public health insurance with the exception
of hearing aids, electric wheelchairs and myo-electric prosthodontics),
costs relating to transportation of a person to a health care facility.
Extent of health care covered by a long term health insurance contract is defined by
General Insurance Terms and Conditions of the Universal Health Insurance
Company (VZP), which include a list of types of care not covered by a long term
contractual health insurance.
Health insurance of aliens covering comprehensive care is effected for the period of
6 to 12 months, it is paid in Czech Crowns in advance for the whole period insured.
Terms and conditions under which contractual insurance is effected, the extent of
insurance benefit and the rights and obligations of the ensured and the insurer, as
well as the method of premium payment are defined by the General Terms and
Conditions of insurance issued by the VZP.
Health insurance of aliens covering comprehensive care – see the website of VZP.
If an alien is granted permanent stay in the CR or if he/she finds a job with a Czech
employer (thus being included in the system of public health insurance), he/she is
obliged to report this fact to the insurance company because the company is not
obliged to examine, whether the premium has not been paid twice - i.e. based on the
insurance contract and also based on the law on public health insurance. The fact
that the insured has been included in the public health insurance system does not
automatically result in the termination of insurance contract and in itself is not the
reason for returning a portion of the premium. In such case insurance can be
terminated by the agreement of contractual parties only.
Short term contract on health insurance
Health insurance of aliens covering emergency care
The extent of health care covered by a premium of a short term contractual health insurance is
defined by General Terms and Conditions of Insurance and by an insurance contract.
This type of insurance is appropriate for aliens who are staying in the CR for a period of time
shorter than 365 days, e.g. as tourists or temporary employees. Insurance contract can be
signed as a standard health insurance contract, extended health insurance contract or health
insurance contract of athletes who take part at competitions or who engage in hazardous
This type of insurance covers:
costs of necessary and emergency treatment in the CR and transit countries on the way
to the CR,
costs of acute dental treatment up to he limit of one insurance event,
costs o repatriation of the insured to his/her home country,
costs of transportation of the body of the insured to his/her home country in the case
of his/her death.
More details on Health insurance of aliens covering emergency care – see the website of
Мedical care provided for free on the basis of international agreements
Aliens in the territory of the CR are also provided with health care (outside the
system of public health insurance) on the basis of international agreements
concluded between the Czech Republic and their respective home country.
These are primarily agreements on the provision of necessary and emergency
medical care in the territory of the CR. To be provided medical care (it must be
necessary and emergency care) an alien needs to prove that he/she is the citizen of
the state with which the agreement was signed. If he/she does so, the care provided
is covered by the Ministry of Health.
The CR has concluded bilateral agreements regulating the mutual free provision of
emergency medical care. The list of such states can be found on the website of the
Centre of Interstate Payments Centrum mezistátních úhrad.
Points of contacts in the CR for international agreements on social care.
There is a second type of new agreements on social care, which also include
provision of health care. Based on these agreements health insurance claim can be
transferred to the territory of another state which is a party to an agreement. To be
able to set up a claim in accordance with these agreements it is necessary to adhere
to certain administrative procedures. Generally it can be stated that the care provided
on the basis of such agreements is limited to necessary and emergency care only;
however extended care can also be provided upon a prior approval of a respective
health insurance company.
Every person traveling to the CR should contact respective bodies and inquire,
whether he/she meets requirements defined by the international agreement.
List of international agreements on social welfare is available at the internet address
of Česká správa sociálního zabezpečení (the Czech Social Security Administration)
or at the website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
Questions and answers concerning the extent of care which is covered by health
How do I know that a physician is not misusing my position of an alien, when asking me
to pay too much in cash? Haw can I defend myself?
In case that you are insured within the system of public health insurance, you cannot be asked
(except for exemptions defined by law) to pay in cash for the care provided.
In case that you are insured on the basis of an insurance contract, you are entitled to health
care that is to be provided in compliance with General Terms and Conditions of Insurance.
Mostly the health care is provided for free.
In case that you have visited a healthcare facility and you are required to pay for the care
which is covered by your insurance, it is necessary to contact your assistance service and of
course you have the right to refuse paying in cash. If you have already paid a required
amount, ask for the document proving the payment; this document should specify a medical
procedure which has been performed.
Justification of requiring direct payment for health care provided can be checked with the
insurance company (if you are the insured of VZP, then with its assistance service) and if the
payment was required unduly, you should claim the reimbursement of the amount by the
insurance company. Payment should always follow the provision of care.
If you have no health insurance, it is necessary to agree on conditions under which a health
care facility will provide treatment. Every health care facility has a price list of medical
How to pay for health care which is not covered by my health insurance?
Payment for health care which cannot be covered by the public health insurance
needs to be done directly in cash.
How to pay for pharmaceuticals? What should I do, if a pharmacy requires to pay in
cash for prescribed drugs?
If you are insured within the system of public health insurance, you are entitled to the
provision of pharmaceuticals. It is quite common that some drugs should be co-
financed by a patient. This supplementary payment is nonreversible. Eligibility of a
supplementary payment can be checked in the pharmacy (eventually in a doctor’s
office), namely by looking at the pricelist of pharmaceuticals.
If your health insurance is based on a long term health insurance contract, you are
entitled to pharmaceuticals and medical supplies at the same extent as person
insured within the system of public health insurance, with the exception of hearing
aids, electric wheelchairs and myo-electric prosthetics. It should be noted that in
accordance with General Terms and Conditions of Insurance of the VZP for a long
term health insurance you are obliged to pay in cash for drugs in a pharmacy. You
are entitled to reimbursement of these costs at any VZP branch office upon the
submission of a receipt (prescription verified by the pharmacy when supplying the
If you have a short term contractual insurance, drugs prescribed by a physician
during out patient treatment are not covered by the insurance. Drugs provided during
hospitalization are included in hospitalization costs and they are fully covered by
How to pay for emergency and rescue service?
Intervention of the emergency and rescue service in this case is a part of emergency
medical care and is covered by insurance.
What are the amounts of supplement payments for dental care? Do I have to pay for
all dental care provided by a dentist, or is a part of it covered by insurance?
If you are insured within the system of public health care insurance, dental care will
be provided for free to the extent defined by law (this applies to primary care only).
However you can also select procedures which are not covered by insurance and
which you will need to co-finance, or which you will have to pay for. The doctor is
obliged to inform you in advance about a supplement charge or the level of a
The situation differs in case that you have a health insurance contract. If it is a short
term contractual insurance, only acute dental care up to the limit of an insured event
If you have a long term contractual insurance, the care is covered by insurance only
in case of the treatment of consequences of an accident. However, you can effect
above standard type of insurance covering acute dental care up to CZK 5000.
Dental care which is not included in the Terms and Conditions of Insurance are paid
by a patient.