Health insurance is absolutely essential, even if you feel perfectly fine at the moment. Apart from providing psychological comfort and assuring access to health care in emergency situation, it has another, formal important aspect for foreigners. If your application for residence permit doesn’t include the documents confirming that you have health insurance, it will likely result in negative decision regarding your stay in Poland.
Those who are employed based on an employment contract (PL „umowa o pracę”) or a contract of mandate (PL „umowa zlecenia”) should not be worried about that, as they are subject to compulsory health insurance in the National Health Fund (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia – NFZ). This also applies to self-employed, registered unemployed, and family members of an insured person. Similarly, students and PhD students are insured on a compulsory basis, if they are not entitled to health insurance in another way. The exceptions are, however, foreign students who are not citizens of an EU/EFTA member state – but they can still apply for health insurance on a voluntary basis.
What is voluntary health insurance at the NFZ and who can apply for it?
If you do not belong to any group of insured people, you can sign a voluntary insurance contract with the NFZ. You will get the same access to healthcare services as a compulsorily insured person. Foreigners can apply for voluntary for health insurance, including:
- persons residing on the territory of the Republic of Poland on the basis of a work visa, a temporary residence permit (excluding the temporary residence permit that was granted due to circumstances requiring a short-term stay), a permanent residence permit, a residence permit for EU long-term resident, a residence permit for humanitarian reasons, a permit for tolerated stay;
- persons who have been granted refugee status in the Republic of Poland or subsidiary protection or persons enjoying temporary protection on its territory (note: persons with refugee status or subsidiary protection participating in the Individual Integration Program (Indywidualny Program Integracji – IPI), are subject to compulsory health insurance);
- students and participants in PhD studies, as well as graduates serving a compulsory internship in Poland who are not citizens of an EU/EFTA member state;
- members of religious orders and alumni of clerical and theological seminaries, postulants, novices, and junior monks of religious orders or their equivalents who are not citizens of an EU/EFTA member state, if they reside in Poland on the basis of a visa, a temporary residence permit, a permanent residence permit, a residence permit for EU long-term resident, a residence permit for humanitarian reasons, a permit for tolerated stay, or have been granted refugee status in Poland or subsidiary protection or are enjoying temporary protection on its territory;
- persons on the adaptation traineeship;
- persons attending Polish language course and preparatory course for studying in Polish, referred to in the regulations on higher education, who are not citizens of an EU/EFTA member state.
You can always purchase private health insurance. In many cases, however, the NFZ insurance is necessary, especially if you want to avoid the high costs of emergency medical care.
Remember! In case of coronavirus, COVID-19 testing and treatment are free of charge for everyone in Poland, regardless of the country of origin, citizenship, insurance type, or the lack thereof.
How much you pay
The amount you pay every month for voluntary NFZ insurance changes quarterly depending on the average salary in the enterprise sector. It’s always 9% of it, though. For example, the average monthly salary in the first quarter of 2020 was 5 367,68 PLN, so in the second quarter of 2020 (April-June) you pay 483,09 PLN a month for insurance.
If you’re a non-EU student, you pay 55,80 PLN a month.
Where and how to do it
Go to the local department of NFZ, relevant to your place of residence. In Warsaw, the main NFZ office is located near the Central Railway Station at Chałubińskiego 8 Street.
Important! If you wish to sign or terminate the voluntary health insurance contract during the coronavirus pandemic, you have to send your application by regular post to the address of the relevant NFZ department. To find the contact details of the Mazovian Department of NFZ visit the department’s page.
You can check the main NFZ website to find a step-by-step guide (in Polish) on how to apply for voluntary health insurance and the information in English for foreign students.
Get it done with us!
Need assistance with submitting your application for voluntary health insurance at the NFZ?
In the time of coronavirus, our Help Center for Foreigners will help you remotely! Send an e-mail to: [email protected] and put „Voluntary insurance NFZ” in the subject line.
The assistance we provide is free of charge.
The „Get it done” series is co-funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund National Program within the „CPC III” project.
The sole responsibility for the opinions expressed lies with the author, and the European Commission and the Ministry of Interior and Administration are not responsible for the use of the information provided.