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Polish blog - European health insurance from Poland

How to obtain European insurance card? Am I eligible?


Every citizen of European union who is eligible for health insurance in their country can obtain, free of charge, a European health insurance card.


Here I explain who can obtain a European health insurance card from Poland. How to do it, where and how much does it cost.


What is a European health insurance card?

It is a plastic card that you can obtain in every country in European union. It looks exactly the same in every country. With this card you can travel for holiday or for a longer period of time, e.g. as an Erasmus student, to another EU country and when you get ill you can go to a doctor in any country in EU. You show this card and the doctor will then cost you the same amount of money as for the local people. So for example if you have the EU health insurance card from Belgium where maybe you have to pay some money to see a doctor but you use your European health insurance card in Poland and in Poland it is free to go to a doctor (if you have insurance), then you do not pay because you follow the rules of the country where you are and not the same rules as in the country from where you obtained your European insurance card.


On the other hand if you have your European insurance card from Poland but go to Belgium where you have to pay for a doctor, then you have to pay BUT you pay the same amount of money as local people not as if you came without any insurance so the cost ill be reduced. With this card you are just treated as the local citizen. As far as I know if this situation takes place you should take a bill, after you pay for the doctor, and after your holiday present it in Poland and the Polish health insurance should give you the money back because in Poland you would not pay anything for a doctor. But in reality I am not sure if they would give you money back. They always try to save as much for themselves as possible.


A European health insurance card looks like this

example European health insurance card UK


In Poland a European Health Insurance Card is called Europejska Karta Ubezpieczenia Zdrowotnego (EKUZ)



How to obtain a European health insurance card from Poland and who can obtain it?


1. The health insurance card is not distributed depending on the nationality but on eligibility to the Polish health exaple EKUZ European insurance card from Polandinsurance. In Poland every adult who works with a contract has the health insurance paid by the boss. Part of your earnings, no matter if you want or not, goes every single month towards your insurance. Therefore, even if you are a foreigner, you can still apply for the European health insurance card if you go for holiday to another European country. But you cannot quit your job in Poland and then go around Europe travelling with this card, it will stop working even if you apply when you have a job and then quit it and go travelling. The EU insurance card in Poland is distributed only to the people who are eligible for the Polish insurance.


2. Another option in Poland to be insured even without working is to register in the national job office in Poland as an unemployed. Then from the moment you arrived to the job office and register you will receive to your hands a document that says you are insured. This is the job office that will pay (I guess through the taxed of other working people, sadly). But it is convenient if you loose your job. I am not sure if a foreigner can register in the Polish job canter as a jobless. Maybe only after obtaining the Polish nationality but I'm not sure about this rule.


3. Concerning children, all people who are eligible to the health insurance in Poland and have children and they still study until the age of 26 (only if they still study) parents share their insurance, it is automatic, you don't pay more from your salary. You pay for yourself and it is somehow split to cover all children. Pretty cool. Then every child can also get the European health insurance card from Poland.


4. Students who have a Polish insurance and go to another country as an Erasmus student can apply for a long term EU health insurance card. Then you will obtain it for one semester and not for some days or weeks as it is in case of holidays trips.


5. For all unlucky people who are not covered by the Polish insurance, because maybe they are foreigners living in Poland but not working or have Polish nationality but live in another country, it is still Possible to get the Polish insurance and then the EU travel insurance card. The Polish health insurance company, called NFZ, accepts payments from people who want to pay for their Polish insurance. For the moment it costs around 350 PLN per month, around 70 Euro per month to get the Polish insurance. So no matter if you are a foreigner or Polish living abroad you can pay this amount of money every month to NFZ and you will be insured in Poland. Then you can also apply for the European health insurance card.


So to sum up

How and who can obtain the EU travel insurance card


1. Work in Poland with an official contract and then apply free of charge for the EU insurance card. It is given immediately to your hands. You arrive to the office, they check in their computer if you have the insurance and you get the card within one minute. Don't forget to fill in the application that is available outside the door. You can fill it in while waiting for your turn to enter.


2. Unemployed people registered in the Polish job office get a free insurance in Poland


3. All children of insured parents in Poland get a free insurance.


4. Students who go abroad for any period of time as an Erasmus student get a free EU insurance card.


5. Pay every month money to the Polish insurance company and get the Polish insurance.