What health care plans are available in the Czech Republic?

99% of the population have public health insurance. This includes Czech citizens, foreigners from the EU, foreigners from countries outside of the EU with permanent residence permits, and any employed foreigners.

Less than 1% of the population (60 000 – 80 000 unemployed foreigners from non EU countries who don’t have permanent residence permits yet) don’t meet the criteria for enrollment and can only have private health insurance. Among those are 12 000 – 14 000 children of employed residents and taxpayers, who are already contributing to the public health insurance system and have public insurance themselves. If adult foreigners have a theoretical option of becoming employed and enrolling into the public health insurance system, children have no such way out and they totally depend on what private health insurance provides them with.

Why is a typical private health insurance insufficient?

It is suitable for healthy people only as it doesn’t cover for any already existing health problems and won’t cover a variety of freshly discovered ones because of the tiny limit of 190 eur (5000 czk) for medical assistance devices/prescribed medication for the whole period of insurance.

A few examples:

  • A software engineer is moving to Brno from Minsk with his daughter, who has type 1 diabetes. The PVZP health insurance, just like any typical Czech private health insurance, won’t cover any of her diabetes-related treatment (neither emergencies like diabetic coma nor regular checkups or everyday insulin injections) because she had diabetes before moving to Brno.
  • A software engineer is moving to Brno from Minsk with her daughter. 3 months later she is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The PVZP insurance will pay for diabetes-related emergencies and regular check ups, but not for regular injections/sensors (30 000 czk a year) or insulin pump (100 000 czk) after the tiny limit of 190 eur (5000 czk is exhausted). Besides, PVZP can terminate the insurance contract any time.
  • A software engineer is moving to Brno from Germany with her daughter who has type 1 diabetes. Her girl is fully covered by public health insurance, the pump/insulin/sensors are paid for by the insurance.

More stories/pitfalls of private health insurance here.

How does it work in other EU countries for children of employed non-EU citizens?

All other EU countries let children enroll into the public health insurance system.

24 countries have children enrolled free of charge, 2 countries (Croatia and Hungary) ask them to pay minimal monthly premiums. 

Is there a better private health insurance option?

The only private health insurance that offers coverage for pre-existing conditions and doesn’t have a 5000 czk limit on prescribed medication is PVZP Exclusive. Such insurance is priced proportionally to the severity of a pre-existing condition. While parents of a healthy 5 year old are requested to pay 30.000 czk/year (1 176,49 eur), parents of a 5 year old with type 1 diabetes will be asked to pay 250 000 – 400 000 czk/year (9 805,83 eur – 15 689,33 eur).

Is this situation in violation of some law?

It sure is. It violates the Convention on the rights of the child, Art. 24 and European Social Charter, Art. 13 and Art. 17.

The Petition Committee of the European Parliament has also found the complaint #0056/2021 filed on this matter admissible.

Does any Czech political party support your cause?

Piratska strana answered our call for help. Petr Třešňák and František Kopřiva suggested enrolling all children with long-term residence permits into the public health insurance on condition their parents pay for them as OBZP. Later the same suggestion was brought up by the senators Václav Láska, Ivo Trešl and Ondřej Šimetka.

The final decision was to take place 13.07.21. It was sabotaged by ANO, SPD, Social-Democrats and Communists and the monopoly of PVZP was established instead.

Helping children is a good thing, but won’t this open the Czech Republic to the threat of medical tourism?

It won’t, as only children with long-term residence permits will get public health insurance. A child can apply for a long term permit if his parent is employed in the Czech Republic, and the decision process generally takes 1 year. Those are impossible conditions for any medical tourism to take place.