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Poland – Health Insurance

In this article, we will explore the details of the health insurance system in Poland, including what it covers, how to join it, and the benefits of international private medical insurance for expats living in Poland.

Health Insurance Requirements in Poland

Health insurance is mandatory for all residents in Poland. Every Polish citizen, as well as foreign nationals legally residing in Poland, are required to have health insurance.

State Health Insurance System in Poland

The Polish health insurance system is called the National Health Fund (NFZ), and it covers a wide range of medical services, including hospital treatment, outpatient treatment, prescription drugs, and rehabilitation. The system is funded by contributions from employees and employers, as well as from the government.

The NFZ covers a range of medical services, including:

  • Specialist consultations and examinations
  • Hospital treatment
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitation
  • Dental treatment (limited coverage)
  • Pregnancy and childbirth care
  • Emergency medical services

Some services, such as cosmetic surgery and experimental treatments, are not covered by the NFZ.

Applying for State Health Insurance System in Poland

To apply for health insurance in Poland, you must first register with the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS). This can be done at any ZUS office. Once you are registered with ZUS, you will automatically be enrolled in the NFZ and will receive a health insurance card.


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Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Visit the nearest ZUS office and fill out an application form for health insurance.
  2. Provide your personal information, including your name, address, and national identification number (PESEL).
  3. Provide information about your employment status and income.
  4. Provide your bank account information for making contributions.
  5. Once you are registered with ZUS, you will automatically be enrolled in the NFZ, and you will receive a health insurance card.

Advantages of Private Medical Insurance in Poland

While the NFZ provides comprehensive health insurance coverage to all residents, some expats living in Poland may prefer to have additional coverage through an international private medical insurance plan.

Here are some advantages of international private medical insurance:

  • Greater choice: With private medical insurance, you have a wider choice of doctors, hospitals, and medical facilities. You can also choose to receive medical treatment outside of Poland, which may be important for expats who travel frequently.
  • Shorter wait times: Private medical facilities often have shorter wait times for appointments and procedures compared to the public system.
  • Additional coverage: International private medical insurance plans may cover additional services that are not covered by the NFZ, such as vision and dental care, mental health services, and alternative therapies.
  • Language support: International private medical insurance plans often offer language support services to help expats who may not speak Polish fluently.

It is important to note that private medical insurance plans can be expensive, so it is important to weigh the benefits against the costs before making a decision.

In summary, health insurance is mandatory for all residents in Poland, and the National Health Fund provides comprehensive coverage for a wide range of medical services. Expats living in Poland may also benefit from additional coverage through an international private medical insurance plan, which can offer greater choice, shorter wait times, and additional services. When considering private medical insurance, it is important to carefully consider the costs and benefits before making a decision.


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