How to obtain health insurance in Poland?
Public healthcare in Poland is financed through the National Health Fund (in Polish: Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia, or NFZ). All persons employed in Poland, including foreigners, are obligated to pay health insurance fees, which are deducted from their salary. This is usually done by the employer. Being employed (insured with ZUS/NFZ) allows foreigners to insure their family members as well.
If a person staying in Poland is not obligated to be insured, they can still apply for public health insurance if they wish to do so. In this case, they must sign an agreement with the NFZ and, after that, submit a document called ZUS ZZA to the Social Insurance Institution (in Polish: Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych, or ZUS).
In terms of private healthcare, insurance plans vary between providers, so it is best to look into the offers of multiple health insurance companies before making a decision. Please be advised the cheapest options only include basic services, e.g.: visits at general practitioners’ or certain specialist doctors. More advanced services, e.g. more complicated dentistry treatment, giving birth, operations or hospitalization, require more expensive insurance plans.
Private medical care
If you want to use private medical care, you need to sign a contract with private medical care supplier. The fees and terms vary, so it is best to check a couple of companies.
UW employees may purchase additional group insurance in PZU or PKO (Nordea Polska S.A.) and/or join a private health insurance program, TUW Pocztowy (LUXMED).
Information on additional group insurance and private health insurance can be provided by the Insurance Section of the Human Resources Office.
Human Resources Office
Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28
Kazimierzowski Palace, ground floor, room 1
- Group employee insurance PPlus
- Group health insurance TUW Pocztowy (LUXMED)
- private health insurance available for the University of Warsaw employees and relatives
- details and contact to coordinators at UW (in Polish only)
- two options: extended and complex (in Polish only)
- declaration of accession (in Polish only)
- conditions (in Polish only)
- refund rules (in Polish only)
- refund application (in Polish only)
- Group life insurance in PKO
- group life insurance available for the Univeristy of Warsaw employees (with the possibility to benefit from an equity fund from PKO Ubezpieczenia)
- different options (in Polish only)
- One-year accident insurance
How to make an appointment with a general practitioner?
To benefit from the public health service you must first register at a NFZ clinic, choose your general practitioner and nurse. It is best to sign up the clinic which is nearest to your place of residence or work. Make sure that the clinic is financed by NFZ or has an agreement with NFZ; a clinic should have an NFZ sign in front of the entrance.
In order to register, you will need to provide proof of identity (a passport or an ID card) and proof of health insurance (e.g.: payslip, in Polish: RMUA which can be obtained from the HR office or downloaded in SAP). After registering, you may schedule an appointment with a general practitioner.
Remember that only some doctors speak English, so you may not be able to register for the visit the next day. It is useful to take a Polish speaker with you as not all clinic employees speak English.
How to receive medical attention/treatment?
When it comes to public healthcare, in most cases it is not possible to make an appointment with a specialist by yourself. The first step is to visit a general practitioner’s office (in Polish: lekarz pierwszego kontaktu or lekarz rodzinny). If needed, they may give you a referral (in Polish: skierowanie) to see a specialist or to undergo further medical examination.
A referral is not required in the case of the following specialists:
- doctor – lekarz/doktor
- General Practitioner (GP) – lekarz pierwszego kontaktu
- pediatrician – pediatra
- dentist – dentysta
- nurse – pielęgniarka
- primary care center – przychodnia
- registration – rejestracja
- referral – skierowanie
- prescription – recepta
- pharmacy – apteka
- medication – lekarstwo / lek
- vaccination – szczepienie
- Emergency (room) – SOR / szpitalny oddział ratunkowy
- hospital – szpital
What to do in case of an emergency?
In case of an emergency or an urgent health threat (severe shortness of breath, sharp chest pain, severe allergic reactions, extensive burns, etc.), you can request help from the Emergency Medical Services – by calling 999 or 112. You may also go to the emergency room in the nearest hospital (in Polish: szpitalny oddział ratunkowy, or SOR).