Medicine in Slovakia
As is common in many places, the basic model for medical services in the West is medical insurance. And Slovakia is no exception to this.
Everybody is required to be insured should they want medical treatment at any time. This included both children and adults. Of course, there are different terms of insurance in Slovakia, for Slovaks and foreigners and for adults and children.
On the basis of available insurance, citizens of Slovakia are entitled to free medical care, as well as many related health care services. A number of medications covered under insurance are sold for a symbolic price due to limited availability or high production costs.
Health care conditions are governed by the Act on Health Insurance, which allocates:
- public health insurance
- individual health insurance
Public health insurance
Public health insurance may be either mandatory or voluntary depending on personal circumstances.
Mandatory public health insurance is required in the following cases:
- if a person has permanent residence in the Slovak Republic (citizens and non-citizens of Slovakia)
- if a person has no permanent residence in the Slovak Republic, but at the same time:
- works or is an entrepreneur in the Slovak Republic
- is classified as a refugee
- is a foreign student
- is a foreigner, who is detained or imprisoned within the territory of the Slovak Republic
- is a dependent of an insured person born in another EU country
- is a young foreigner without a legal guardian (i.e. a legal minor), for which the court has determined a place of custody
Voluntary public health insurance applies to persons who do not work and are not entrepreneurs in the Slovak Republic, who are also not registered with the local employment office. Such persons must pay for their own insurance at their own discretion.
Individual health insurance
Individual health insurance does not include life insurance. The scope and conditions of such insurance is determined by the contract between the insurance company and the insured.
There are two basic forms of individual health insurance.
1. The insurance of medical care services
This type of insurance provides coverage for medical expenses incurred due to illness, injury or pregnancy.
This type of insurance can also cover preventive checkups, the cost of medicines and medical goods (glasses, dentures, splints, etc.), additional services in hospitals (private rooms with improved comfort, dental care) and medical expenses when traveling outside of Slovakia.
An exact list of covered services can be seen in the insurance contract.
The insurance of foreigners is also covered here, if they do not fall under any category that requires them to be insured under a public health insurance policy.
2. Health insurance with payment of the sum of the insurance
This type of insurance is usually made through a commercial insurance company as a separate contract or as an adjunct to life insurance.
On the basis of this agreement, the insurance company agrees to compensate the insured person any incurred expenses up to the value of the policy and under the specified conditions. The amount of compensation is stipulated in the contract.
Typically, with this type of insurance, the insured person first pays all costs associated with medical care, and receives the relevant documents. Then they must provide these documents to the insurance company. After that, the insurance company compensates the costs incurred to the insured person.
So, as a foreigner, which should you choose?
There is a bounty of information to help you decide in the section: Insurance for foreigners in the Slovak Republic.