My 5 year old son has a chronic condition which requires annual examinations.
As with every chronic condition and private health insurance in the Czech Republic – you can’t manage it through your health insurance provider, so we have to pay for all the examinations ourselves. And here is the unpleasant finding – it is absolutely legal to charge foreigners several times more for the usual examinations, actually it is up to the hospital how much it will ask you to pay. Yes, you got it right, there are 2 types of prices – Czech public health insurance companies pay the smallest one and foreigners from non-EU countries the greatest. From our practice: once we say we are Russian nationals seeking non-urgent outpatient services that our insurance company doesn’t cover – the price usually triples (not quadruples or is multiplied by 10, maybe we should be grateful for that).
The math of managing my son’s megaureter is cruel – return tickets Prague-Moscow, a week’s stay and examinations in a top-notch Filatov’s Hospital still cost us less than going to a doctor in Prague.
But with the coronavirus outbreak we don’t have the fly back option any longer.
For the time we have been living here I have payed more than 350 000 czk in taxes for my public health insurance with VZP (that I barely use) and about 60 000 czk for my son’s private health insurance with PVZP. And my little one still is not entitled to the care he requires. If that isn’t discrimination – what is?
Daniil and his wife Mila were studying in Prague.
In 2017 Mila became pregnant with twins and the spouses got an expensive private health insurance for pregnancy and childbirth with Maxima. Unfortunately, a routine ultrasound showed that the baby boy had developed a life threatening condition and the twins had to be delivered early at 29 weeks.
One day of NICU at the Podoli hospital cost on average 28 000 czk, so the insurance limit of 100 000 czk for the kids’ hospital stay ran out in the first couple of days (the maximum available limit on the market at that time was 300 000 czk or 10 days of hospitalization max). All private health insurance companies refused to insure the preemies, the expenses for the postnatal care from 20/1/2018 to 14/2/2018 quickly escalated to 1 622 548 czk.
InBaze organization helped to organize a fundraiser to partly cover the hospital bill.
Ukrainian citizen O.B. has been working in Prague since October 2007 and as every working foreigner was eligible for public health insurance with VZP.
Later that year O.B. got pregnant, but unfortunately her son arrived early and required extensive care in the NICU of the Podoli hospital. O.B. didn’t have permanent residence permit so her son couldn’t be insured by VZP, and the only option for him to get any insurance was through a private insurance provider. But every single private health insurance company refused to insure the newborn because of the existing medical complications.
Hospitalization from birth till 5/5/2008 resulted in a total of 682 158 czk.
Source: Pl. ÚS 2/15
Ukrainian citizen O.K. has been employed in Czech Republic since 2008. During 2012 she found out she was expecting a baby, but due to pregnancy complications she had to take sick leave since 17/12/2012. Her medical condition didn’t allow her to work so the employer didn’t prolong her work contract which ended on 31/1/2013.
As O.K. didn’t have permanent residence permit, along with losing her job she lost right to participate in public health care system. Her high-risk pregnancy didn’t allow her to find another job and get back the public health insurance with VZP she has been dutifully paying for the previous 5 years, neither could she fly back to her home town nor get a private health insurance. O.K. applied for the permanent residence permit on 18/3/2013, her application was approved on 19/6/2013 and she and her newborn son became eligible for public health insurance. But the costs of prenatal care since 1/2/2013, delivery and hospital stay for both herself and her son O.K. had to pay herself.
Source: Pl. ÚS 2/15
J.A.Y. had private health insurance with PVZP. He had a sudden mental breakdown, and as his condition was considered harmful for others he was hospitalized for 40 days in Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital against his will. The insurance company rejected the claim of 64 000 czk for the hospitalization saying that mental health management is excluded from insurance coverage.
The case went to court, 6 years later Constitutional court of the Czech Republic ruled in favor of the hospital and PVZP.
Source: I.ÚS 3536/14
K.S. was officially employed, thus she was entitled to a public health insurance and had one with VZP. Unfortunately, her baby girl was born several months early and stayed in Motol hospital NICU from 6/8/2009 till 2/10/2009. K.S. didn’t have permanent residence permit yet (which foreigners from non-EU countries obtain after 5 years of residing in Czech Republic) so her daughter wasn’t automatically eligible for public health insurance with VZP and all private health insurance companies refused to insure the preemie.
K.S. applied for all possible residence permits for her kid on 26/08/2009 – long-term residence, permanent residence for reasons worth special consideration and international protection. Her daughter has been granted asylum and with it public health insurance, but the Motol hospital still sent her the bill of 223 161 czk for neonatal care for the period 6/8/2009 – 25/8/2009 as the public health insurance company VZP refused to pay the costs for the timeframe before K.S. applied for international protection.
It took 7 long years till High Court of Justice finally declared, that as long as K.S. applied for permanent residence permit for her daughter, although she was declined it in 15/4/2011 under reasons of being granted asylum, her daughter should have been publicly insured from the moment of birth till 15/4/2011 and the bill goes to VZP.
Source: 33 Cdo 2039/2015
A coffee break gone wrong resulted in half a cup of freshly brewed coffee landing on my newborn’s leg. Me and my husband have immediately put the baby under cold running water and called 155 to ask for further instructions – 4 minutes later an ambulance was standing in front of the house. We called the insurance company (we have signed the most expensive contract on the market with PVZP) the same day and the assistance told us we are good.. only to call us back 2 days later saying that they had changed their minds and we will be denied any compensation because the insured person (4 months old baby) hasn’t done everything possible to prevent the insured event.
The Vinohrady hospital took our side and wrote a letter where it disagreed with the insurance company, appealing to common sense and asking them to reconsider the case. We wrote another official request, mentioning that not only there is no such paragraph in the contract saying that the compensation can be denied because it was the insurer’s fault, but there simply can’t be one as The Immigration Law §180j article 6 clearly states that proper medical health insurance for foreigners must have full unconditional coverage for trauma.
Don’t know what worked but 4 days later we got another call from the assistance saying that my baby girl’s treatment will be fully payed for, no explanations or excuses for stealing one week of our lives given.