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Moving back to Poland - Healthcare

6 Feb 2018 #1
My in-laws are Polish citizens, but lived in Canada for 35 years. They want to move back to Poland. My mother in law is 60 and my father in law is 62. When they move back, how soon can they be covered by the Polish Healthcare system?
kaprys 3 | 2,503
6 Feb 2018 #2
It pretty much depends on their situation.
You need to be insured to use the healthcare system so you should be employed, unemployed but registered at the job centre (and ready to start working) or retired. You may also pay private insurance - about 400 zł per month.

Are they entitled to the Canadian pension? Did they work in Poland before moving to Canada? If so they probably contributed to the system so even if their Polish pensions are really small, they may be entitled to free healthcare. Check with their local ZUS. If he's 62, he hasn't reached the retirement age in Poland. Check the Polish Canadian agreement concerning pensions.
terri 1 | 1,665
6 Feb 2018 #3
Best way is to get private health insurance, as currently they may not be covered by any form of insurance.
If they can prove (with documentary evidence) that they have ever worked in Poland, they will be entitled to a pension from ZUS. This needs to be sorted out.
O WELL 1 | 158
6 Feb 2018 #4
I just got NFZ insurance also in Poland because my wife got Ameratura.Not much but 450 pln a month as she only had worked in Poland for 4/5 years before moving to US plus 75pln each for growing up 2 children.I as a husband who has not attained retirement age was still covered because of her.But I still use medicover as a back up.
OP Jimoosh
7 Feb 2018 #5
Thanks for your messages. My mother in law worked for a little while in Poland before moving to Canada (she is Polish citizen... but not resident because she's still in Canada). She is 60 years old, so I think she can apply for Pension in Poland. When they move back to Poland, will they have to wait a certain amount of time before she is covered by healthcare... or is she automatically covered in Poland as soon as her Polish pension is approved?
DominicB - | 2,709
7 Feb 2018 #6
Why don't they call or write the NFZ office in the town to which they will be living to get a definitive answer? Straight from the horse's mouth.

I don't know what you expect from this forum. You are obviously withholding important information and framing the question in a way so that you get the answer you want to hear, so any answer you get would be worthless. Your in-law's are obvious an exceptional case, so any general answer would not apply to them.
O WELL 1 | 158
7 Feb 2018 #7
or is she automatically covered in Poland as soon as her Polish pension is approved?

As per in my wife case she did have to go to NFZ to apply after when pension was approved which took only 12 days and when I applied on her behalf with all the papers took around 3 weeks.She does have to apply physically though.Also dont forget this was in a relatively very small town in eastern Poland,where everyone knows everyone and things tend to move faster.

Infact reminds me of my sister in laws case she was 48 and is a green card holder in states without health insurance there got NFZ paid operation for hernia in Poland,it was way cheaper for her to come to Poland and get it done.
kaprys 3 | 2,503
7 Feb 2018 #8
First she has to apply for pension at her local ZUS. She needs to contact them to find out what she needs to provide. Now the question is whether your in-laws have kept their Polish documents. Perhaps they're archived somewhere but again every case is different so you need to do it yourself.

If she gets the pension, her healthcare will be covered.
O WELL 1 | 158
7 Feb 2018 #9
Kaprys:My wife did not have any documents and the company she worked for had long gone over 3 decades.As far as I remember off hand she had to get notarised letters by her ex boss and some collegues who worked with her.Its not impossible but can be done.
kaprys 3 | 2,503
7 Feb 2018 #10
Provided she can prove her employment. Your wife could.
There are such cases. For example, lots of archived documents were destroyed in the flood in 1997. So ZUS needs to take such cases into consideration. But all of this takes takes an effort.

Believe me, I've heard of several people who have had problems with proving things to ZUS or with clerks making mistakes in estimating their okresy skladkowe and they're Polish.
terri 1 | 1,665
8 Feb 2018 #11
Just something aside. It is worthwhile to try and determine if anyone is entitled to a Polish pension no matter how large or small as this entitlement will give you certain benefits. It is imperative that you seek advice from the Pension office ZUS in the area in which she was last resident. They will tell you exactly what is needed. You will need the whole history, dates of employment, names of firms/locations and how much she earned. You could contact them before they move back to Poland.

However, do consider another angle. Once you are a pensioner in the Polish system, they will ask you to complete the annual Polish tax return and there maybe complications if, for example, you receive monies from other sources (say a pension from Canada).
O WELL 1 | 158
8 Feb 2018 #12
Don't know about Canada but the US social security is adjusted accordingly. I don't know the formula as my wife is not eligible to apply for one here. She does get 450 plus 150 pln for kids from last sept in Poland .
perkujki 4 | 26
8 Feb 2018 #13
Contact ZUS. Apply for a pension. They will take in to account the years worked in Canada. With few years worked in Poland, the pension will be reduced. However, once or if, your mother is approved, she will gain NFZ and then her spouse. Expect to be able to document work in Canada and Poland. From the USA we will use Social Security statements. Make sure they are still citizens. Do they have valid passports. There were certain periods of time when gaining citizenship elsewhere, voided Polish citizenship.
12 Feb 2020 #14

How's Poland compared to Sweden and Germany?

Can Poles and others here who have lived in Sweden and Germany compare them with Poland? Is it true Germany's like the UK and US - a rat race, working long hours, bad healthcare? I know Sweden has a great life/work balance, and even musicians and singers can get a grant there to do what they like best. What about Poland? What about safety? I know Malmö's unsafe but I'd rather go to a town like Umeå. Same for Germany and Poland - I'm looking at Rzeszow, Lublin, Wroclaw, Aalen, Regensburg, Nürnberg, etc.

I'm in advertising and graphic design but also a singer/lyricist.
Lyzko 29 | 7,269
12 Feb 2020 #15
An intriguing question!
Having myself spent time in both countries, living for almost a year and a half in Germany some years back, I'd conclude that Sweden is doing economically better than either country. Through daily blogging and chat, I keep abreast of things in the above countries, relying too on local colleagues from each of the three.
12 Feb 2020 #16
What I don't like about Germany is the beurocracy, needing to pay like 3 rents in advance and lots of papers just to rent something.

Is Sweden the same? In the Netherlands there were housing companies renting off rooms and you could reserve one without a hassle, just as long as you pay 1 rent + 1 deposit.
Lyzko 29 | 7,269
12 Feb 2020 #17
I take it you're an EU national, yes? Well then, bureaucracy is part of what makes Europe what it is today.
I'm not a fan particularly, yet in terms of health care, the Nordic countries have the US beat by a country furlong!
12 Feb 2020 #18
Yes, I'm a EU national. I have a chronic autoimmune issue and allergies so good healthcare is important. In my country healthcare is very spotty in quality but at least the wait times are never more than a week for a specialist and you go to your GP without an appointment (it takes 15 min to 1.5 hour waiting time depending how many patients came before me).

I don't really like working in these huge multinational companies in BPO/outsourcing and call centers. I'd prefer working in an advertising agency/design studio or a start up.
Tacitus 2 | 1,189
13 Feb 2020 #19
Yeah, healthcare in the Nordic countries is as good as it gets. Though I would argue that the German system is fairly decent as well. Keep in mind though that living expenses in Sweden can be quite high, and the taxes are also very high. A friend of mine lived in Sweden for one year, and while he enjoyed it, it was a very expensive pleasure.
13 Feb 2020 #20
Sure, it's crazily expensive! I think language is very important for fitting in anywhere. As a Bulgarian Polish has the most familiar lexicon. However, the case system is a huge mountain to climb.

Surprisingly, Sedish grammar is closer to Bulgarian with 0 cases and definite articles at the end of the words but I have to learn every word. For reading/writing Swedish might be slightly harder than both PL and DE though but it has shorter compound words than German which has crazy 3-word compound words the length of a sentence.

For sounding, I like both Swedish and Polish more than German. ;) At least German's better than Dutch.

Germany as a country has the advantage of being close to Poland while having much higher wages. If I go to Sweden a trip to Polska would require a boat or a plane...but the nature there sure beats German one. German infrastructure/streets are worse and dirtier than Polish ones it seems.
Tacitus 2 | 1,189
13 Feb 2020 #21
That seems like a generalization. Poland has probably more new roads, since it build a lot of them with EU funds, but so does Germany particulary in East Germany. Considering the number of cars (domestic and foreign drivers) on German roads, I would argue our streets are pretty good.
Lyzko 29 | 7,269
13 Feb 2020 #22
The Scandinavian languages, with the exception of Finnish, all share with Bulgarian and Romanian the same "Balkan" features of a noun clitic which is attached to any such word as a suffix. "Museu(l)" = THE museum in Romanian, literally "Museum-the" etc....

The grammar of Swedish is of course closer to English syntax by in large than to Bulgarian, even to Dutch and German which both employ hypotaxis, unknown in Swedish or in English:-)
14 Feb 2020 #23
Oh there's a 4th option - the English-speaking Channel islands. The good things of Britain (Victorian houses, fish and chips, a language I already know so I can do non BPO jobs as well) plus much more sun (I think more than Berlin even!). They're also safer than the UK I think.

The more I think, the more I consider Poland and the Channel islands. I like German and Swedish culture but they're less authentic now and I bet they're fed up with foreigners.
mafketis 24 | 9,187
14 Feb 2020 #24
4th option - the English-speaking Channel islands

Not sure if you can just move there.... there are a lot of restrictions on residency....
Atch 16 | 3,275
15 Feb 2020 #25
the English-speaking Channel islands.

You do know how tiny they are don't you? How do you intend to support yourself? Very few jobs and the cost of living is very high. In one of your other posts you mentioned heath care. Nothing is free on the Channel Islands except emergency services.

Not sure if you can just move there.

Up till 31 December this year he can as he's an EU citizen. If he moves there before the end of this year he can apply to remain after Brexit. Otherwise he'll have to go through a new immigration process.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
15 Feb 2020 #26
Up till 31 December this year he can as he's an EU citizen.

They're not part of the EU, so that part of his plan is scuppered ;) There's no freedom of movement between them and the rest of the EU, same with the Isle of Man. If you're (for instance) from the Isle of Man and you and your parents don't have a connection with the UK, you get a special note in your passport saying that you can't benefit from freedom of movement provisions.

They can move to the UK freely, but I'm not even sure if they've got freedom to move to Ireland or not.
Atch 16 | 3,275
15 Feb 2020 #27
There's no freedom of movement between them and the rest of the EU, same with the Isle of Man.

You do not need immigration permission to live in Jersey if you are:

a British citizen;
a European Union (EU)/European Economic Area member;
the holder of an EEA family permit; or
a Swiss national.

Same with Guernsey.

There's a difference between just going to live there I think and settling there permanently ie becoming domiciled there and buying property there. I know you can't just move to Jersey and buy a house but you can move there and rent for example.

But of course this will change with Brexit.

I'm not even sure if they've got freedom to move to Ireland or not.

The Channel Islands are part of the Common Travel Area so they can and that arrangement will continue after Brexit.
15 Feb 2020 #28
Is the healthcare in Poland good? Also, I have this idea that both Germans and Poles are overworked and stressed. I don't like that most job offers in Poland are in places like call centers and outsourcing.
18 Feb 2020 #29
Is No-Spa (Drotaverine) OTC in Poland.

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