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Health insurance rules applicable in the case of short-term or long-term stays in the Slovak Republic


Information on health insurance for a short-term and long-term stay, procedures and obligations applicable to obtaining health insurance coverage.
  1. What do Union citizens need to prepare?
  2. What should citizens expect?
  3. Insurance card
  4. Who can citizens consult when they do not know what to do?
  5. What sanctions are applicable for non-compliance with obligations?

1. What do Union citizens need to prepare?

You may only be insured in one EU Member State – EU social security coordination rules.

1. short-term stay, tourist /person insured in another Member State;

  • health care based on EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) – apply for the card at your health insurance company (in the country of insurance)

    You have access to health care provided by health care providers that have a contract with health insurance companies, under the same conditions and at the same price (health care provision in Slovakia is in most cases free of charge) as persons insured in Slovakia. 

EHIC does not cover:

  • planned health care abroad
  • health care provided by providers without a contract with health insurance companies
  • health care that is not covered by public health insurance
  • patient co-payments for medicinal products, medical devices, dietary foods
  • other expenses (travel expenses for unplanned return home)
  • commercial medical expense insurance – consult your commercial insurance company about the extent of your expense coverage
2. long-term stay;

3. employee;

4. compulsory public health insurance applies to persons who have concluded an employment contract and upon meeting the condition of earning the minimum wage;

5. self-employed person carrying out self-employed activities or holding a trade authorisation under Section 10b(1)(b) and Section 10b(2) and (3) of Act No 580/2004 (only in Slovak) or holding a license, authorisation, permit to carry out activities under special acts;

6. other examples:

  • obtaining the right of permanent residence in Slovakia – compulsory public health insurance applies as of the date you obtain permanent residence;
  • if you receive pension from Slovakia and you are not insured in another EU country.

2. What should citizens expect

Procedures and obligations relating to the start of applicability of health insurance:

  • Submit an application for insurance to the health insurance company;
  • as soon as possible, no later than 8 days from when the situation occurs;
  • freedom of choice of a health insurance company – at present the following health insurers operate in Slovakia:
  1. Dôvera zdravotná poisťovňa, a. s.
  2. Union zdravotná poisťovňa, a. s.
  3. Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa, a. s.
  • Submit the following forms and documents with the application for insurance:
  1. identity card for foreign citizens or self-adhesive label in the passport;
  2. employment document indicating the agreed monthly wage/licence, concession license (self-employed persons);
  3. birth registration number (if applicable);
  • approval of the application for insurance.
  • After submitting your application for insurance, the health insurance will notify you of its receipt and the commencement of health insurance coverage.
  • Once approved, the insurer will issue you an insurance card and, if you have applied for it, also a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
You must notify the health insurance company of any change (address, employment, change of name, termination of insurance) no later than within 8 days.

3. Insurance card

The health insurance company will provide you with information about contract doctors, hospitals as well as the scope of health care to which you are entitled under your public health insurance. Make sure to get this information in advance (before visiting a doctor, medical facility, specialist doctor), as not all doctors have contracts with your health insurance company. In such a case, doctors or health care providers may require you to pay the full costs of treatment.

  • After receiving the card, check whether your details (name, date of birth) are indicated correctly, if not, resolve any issues with your health insurance company.
  • Always carry the card with you, as you will be required to present it at every medical visit and at a pharmacy to get prescription medicine.
  • In the event of a loss, notify your health insurance company immediately and request a new card.
  • Monitor the validity of your insurance card, as your doctor, hospital or pharmacy will not accept an invalid card.

4. Who can citizens consult when they do not know what to do?

If you are insured in Slovakia, we recommend you to contact your health insurance company.

Supervision over the provision of health care and the activities of health insurance companies is provided by the Health Care Surveillance Authority.

The Health Care Surveillance Authority also fulfils the role of the National Contact Point for cross-border health care in the Slovak Republic (NCP).

The NCP provides insured persons with the following information:

  • rights and entitlements to cross-border health care;
  • reimbursement of cross-border health care;
  • possibilities of dispute settlement in line with Slovak and European legislation;
  • upon request, insured persons can obtain general information as well as individual information through the NCP portal.

You can also use the portal to search for a specific health care provider in the Slovak Republic and find information regarding specialisations, license or permit, contact details and barrier-free access.

5. Sanctions for non-compliance with obligations:

The Health Care Surveillance Authority may impose a fine of EUR 331 on the insured person for:

  • failure to notify the health insurance company of all changes within 8 days;
  • failure to notify the employer of the relevant health insurer upon the commencement of health insurance coverage and change of a health insurer;
  • failure to submit an application for insurance to the health insurance company within 8 days from the occurrence of the facts establishing the right to health insurance.

The health insurance company has the right to claim from the insured person reimbursement of the costs for provided:

  • health care if it was demonstrably provided as a result of breaching the treatment regime;
  • health care if it was demonstrably provided as a result of the use of alcohol or another addictive substance; this does not apply in the case of a minor insured person who is placed in a rehabilitation centre for drug addicts and other addicts on the basis of a court decision, health care from a third party if the accident or other damage to health of the insured person was caused by the third party’s unlawful conduct;
  • health care after expiry of public health insurance if the insured person failed to fulfil the notification obligation;
  • emergency medical care if the person failed to submit an application for insurance despite being obliged to do so.

Last modified: 18. 8. 2021
Publication date: 7. 10. 2020

The responsible person:

Health Care Surveillance Authority
+4212 2085 6102