In Poland, if you’re ill or you just want to go through some medical examination, the first thing you have to know is that in order to do so, you need to be insured through the Polish National Health Fund (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia). It allows you to benefit from all the medical services from health care providers who have contracts for health services with the Polish National Health Fund. How can you do this? Well, it’s simple.

If you are a citizen of any EU or EFTA state and you are a happy holder of any kind of a valid health insurance in your home country, the job is done. All you have to do is go to an NFZ approved doctor and show your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a replacement certificate.

If you’re not a citizen of before mentioned countries, or you don’t have any valid health insurance from your country, there are two ways of obtaining it. To make things easier for you let us call them compulsory health insurance and voluntary health insurance.

Compulsory health insurance

You will automatically obtain health insurance under the following conditions:

1. Being employed in Poland – if you’re legally employed, the employer is obliged to notify the National Insurance Service (ZUS) that he is proud to have you in their company. Then, your employer’s responsibility is to pay a monthly contribution to the Polish National Health Fund (NFZ). From now on, you can visit all the health care providers contracted to the NFZ. If you’re self-employed you have to pay a contribution by yourself (it is a part of ZUS that you should pay every month).

2. You’re a family member of the insured – family of a member who could benefit from health care services on the same basis as the insured, are:

  • wife or husband;
  • child under the age of 18 or under the age of 26 in they continue their education or with no age limit (if a child holds a judgement of severe disability);
  • parents and grandparents – if they stay in the same household as the insured;

3. Refugees (refugee status must be considered in Poland) and foreigners under the subsidiary protection and integration program in consultation with the county family assistance centre.

4. Unemployed – registered at the employment office (insurance may be extended to family members of the registered unemployed if they are not insured).

5. Children attending school – in the care provided by the school, even if their parents stay in Poland is not legal.

Voluntary Health Insurance

If you’re not eligible for the compulsory health insurance you need to fill out the registration form and deliver it to your regional Polish National Health Fund office.

If you’re not an EU citizen don’t forget to bring a passport and one of one of the following documents:

  • visa allowing you to work in Poland;
  • residence permit for a fixed period;
  • permit to settle;
  • residence permit;
  • tolerated stay;
  • evidence of refugee status granted in Poland or the use of temporary protection on its territory.

Once you get the confirmation issued by NFZ you just have to…fill out another form – this time for the National Insurance Service, and deliver it personally or by post to one of its offices (you can find a blank and translated example here.

Right after you’re done, the last thing you have to do is to register the members of your family and put them on your insurance, unless they’re already holders of Compulsory health insurance. To do so you just have to…that’s right – fill out another form (it can be found here together with filled and translated example) and then deliver it to the local National Insurance Service office.

From now on you will have to pay the contribution to the account of National Insurance Service (you will be given one after you complete the registration process) before every 15th day of each month. You always pay for the previous month, so don’t get confused! The exact amount of the contribution will be given to you at the National Insurance Service Office.
And that’s all folks!

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