Health Insurance in the EU, the EEA and Switzerland

The following basic rules apply to the provision and payment of medical treatment provided to Czech citizens in the territory of any of the Member States of the EU or the EEA or Switzerland, which are subject to the above-mentioned regulations:

The principle of equal treatment – a Czech citizen abroad is provided with health care under the same conditions and at the same prices as local citizens.

The principle of single applicable legislation – an EU national is always subject to the legislation of a single Member State. If a person carries out gainful activities on a long-term basis, he/she has to be insured in the country in which he/she conducts them. All dependent family members are insured together with the self-employed person.

Migrating workers having health insurance in the Czech Republic make the same co-payments for some services or medicaments as local citizens and can receive health care in publicly funded health care facilities. When claiming medical treatment, it suffices to show the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), or a replacement document such as the Provisional Replacement Certificate. The multilateral provision and payment of health care among EU Member States is based on the principle of “mirror reflection”, which means that the same conditions apply to all countries.

Example

I am an artist paying health insurance contributions as a self-employed person in the Czech Republic. I am leaving for France to stage a three-week exhibition. What are my duties towards my health insurance company? Do I have to continue paying the contributions to my health insurance company in the Czech Republic if I am going to work outside the Czech Republic?

If you are going to work in a Member State of the EU, the EEA, or Switzerland temporarily – which applies to France in this example – you will be subject to its social security legislation, which also governs health insurance, according to Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

If you work abroad temporarily (for up to 24 months), you are not required to deregister from the health insurance scheme in the Czech Republic. As a citizen of the Czech Republic having health insurance with one of Czech health insurance companies you are the holder of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which is valid in the 28 EU Member States as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway (EEA), and Switzerland.

If you need medical treatment in another Member State, you are entitled to receive medical treatment covered to the necessary extent under the same conditions as local citizens, including the level of the patient’s co-payment. This care will be provided at the expense of your health insurance company in the Czech Republic. To prove that you are insured in the Czech Republic you can submit the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or its Provisional Replacement Certificate issued by your health insurance company. Since the care is provided only to the necessary extent, it is advisable to take out a travel medical insurance policy before your departure abroad.