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Health cover for a married couple in Poland



Firefly 1 | 15    
11 Aug 2017  #1

I intend living in Poland in early 2018, My wife was born in Poland, I was born o/s. We have both duel citizenship, and I will be receiving a ongoing pension fund from overseas. The question arises about medical cover, will my wife be covered and as such will I be covered because we are married.

I have spoken to ZUS etc and they keep referring me to somewhere else, I understand you cannot buy public health insurance, or must I purchase private cover etc... would appreciate any advice... thanks in anticipation


kaprys - | 393    
11 Aug 2017  #2

You may pay dobrowolne ubezpieczenie zdrowotne to NFZ (National Health Fund). It's connected with ZUS. It entitles you state funded health cover. It costs around 400 zł per month.

How about contacting your country's embassy in Poland to check what your options are?
OP Firefly 1 | 15    
12 Aug 2017  #3

Thanks for your response kaprys. It seems a lot of money to pay 800zl per month for 2 people for public cover....I did write to the consulate but they didn't respond... one thing which is so common in poland is getting the run around, they always refer you to somebody else, nobody seems to know.
terri 1 | 1,245    
12 Aug 2017  #4

The fact that you get passed around like a parcel that nobody wants to help is a fact of life in Poland.
You can of course search for private medical cover to cover you and your wife for everything, but that will cost you more depending on your state of health.

On the other hand, you do not have to have private medical insurance, but try getting anything done (such as an operation even a tooth extraction) and then you will see how much that will cost you. You have to calculate what is most beneficial for you. If you set aside 800 pln a month in a bank account and use that to fund your future health worries, you maybe better off. However, remember if you fall ill, they will want the money before they treat you.
delphiandomine 87 | 15,827    
12 Aug 2017  #5

It seems a lot of money to pay 800zl per month for 2 people for public cover

100 euro/month for comprehensive healthcare sounds like a bargain to me.
MDF    
12 Aug 2017  #6

Basicaly, if you get medical cover from any source (work, contract, dobrowolne ubezpieczenie) and your spouse has no source of medical cover (i.e. they're not, for example, registeted as unemployed person), they have right to marital social security (or whatever it's called in English). Just ask for ZCNA form at ZUS.
OP Firefly 1 | 15    
13 Aug 2017  #7

100 euro/month for comprehensive healthcare sounds like a bargain to me.

Yes, if you are flush with funds its cheap, tell a person on 1500Zlote a month wages its cheap...there must be a way a person on a polish passport (non eu) with a personal identity card can assess cheaper medical cover.. remember its only public cover not private.

[quote]Basicaly, if you get medical cover from any source (work, contract, dobrowolne ubezpieczenie) and your spouse has no source of medical cover (i.e. they're not, for example, registeted as unemployed person), they have right to marital social security (or whatever it's called in English). Just ask for ZCNA form

zus

MDR.... Partner lived in Poland for 35 years has lost her work papers. Records from government records have been destroyed.

There must be a way that a person living in Poland (not a tourist or on business) can assess free public care health cover.
cms 9 | 1,070    
13 Aug 2017  #8

Nobody full time and legal is on 1500 wages - that is well under the minimum wage.

But I agree is not cheap - in Germany my private healthcare was 105 euro a month - it was a few years back but even with inflation I doubt it's much different.
OP Firefly 1 | 15    
13 Aug 2017  #9

Thanks cms this is NOT private cover, but public cover... the public system is not that crash hot in Poland, you don't mind seeing a doctor privately but to be served a bill for heart surgery is something else... the notion of banking 400 od zl a month and using this as a medical fund has some merits.
kaprys - | 393    
13 Aug 2017  #10

@Firefly
If you are employed you don't need to pay dobrowolne ubezpieczenie zdrowotne. Part of your wages covers health insurance. Also if you are registered in urząd pracy as unemployed your health insurance is covered.

I don't know how old you and your partner are so I don't know if you can register there.

If your partner used to work in Poland, contact ZUS to help you find the documents. They should do it. Depending on how long she worked, she may be entitled to a state pension. Even if it's really small, she will be entitled to free healthcare (assuming she is old enough to get a pension).

Dobrowolne ubezpieczenie zdrowotne is an option only to people who don't or can't work/ don't want to or can't register as unemployed in urząd pracy or work on the so-called umowa o dzieło (junk job contract that doesn't cover your health insurance).

Btw, if you pay taxes in Poland you get most of the money back in your zwrot podatku the following year.
terri 1 | 1,245    
13 Aug 2017  #11

Best advice for private medical care is to search online or ask people/friends/acquaintances who they would recommend. Compare prices.
Unfortunately, if you don't work legally and are therefore not covered by standard ZUS cover, you will have to pay. You will not be covered under ZUS if you don't work, but can pay a voluntary contribution (as stated above) or you can search for your own medical cover.

The fact of having a dual-citizenship and settling in Poland as a full-time resident - does not entitle you to ZUS cover, you must fund your own medical contributions. If you do not have medical cover and need treatment, the hospital will send a bill, which if unpaid, could result in bailiffs being sent in.
delphiandomine 87 | 15,827    
13 Aug 2017  #12

Yes, if you are flush with funds its cheap, tell a person on 1500Zlote a month wages its cheap

A person on 1500zł/month wages will have health insurance provided as part of their employment contract.

There must be a way that a person living in Poland (not a tourist or on business) can assess free public care health cover.

Why should you get it for free when I have to pay quite a lot of money for it?

MDR.... Partner lived in Poland for 35 years has lost her work papers. Records from government records have been destroyed.

They worked for 35 years and didn't keep records for when pension time came? Sorry, but that seems insane to me, especially after the economic change when employers simply vanished.
OP Firefly 1 | 15    
13 Aug 2017  #13

Thanks Terri, Kaprys, Delphiandomine for your responses, now

Why should you get it for free when I have to pay quite a lot of money for it?

Well Delphiandone, A self funded retiree prepared to spend his final years in Poland is a plus for Poland, I'm not after a free ride, but just basic medical cover, most countries offer free public medical cover for there citizens, especially in retirement, I have as a dual citizen have full rights except access to medical cover. For a retiree a cover of over 400 zl a month seems excessive, I'm sure you don't pay 400zl a month to ZUS for your public cover... with regard to previous work records, this is what has happened, my partner has lost her work passbook and ZUS claim the records were destroyed as a result of flooding.(previous employer no longer exists)

In other countries pensions are paid on residency and has nothing to do if you worked or not. In Poland its accessed on your working history, although some people like men of the cloth are exempt from this test.

You would almost be tempted to save the 400zl and use it when your sick
kaprys - | 393    
14 Aug 2017  #14

pl.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/social-security/totalization-agreement/

I don't know if you're from the US but if you are, the link might be helpful. If you are from another country, contact the Polish embassy in your country or your country's embassy in Poland.

I think they should have most detailed information concerning your problem.
Harry 79 | 13,421    
14 Aug 2017  #15

I'm sure you don't pay 400zl a month to ZUS for your public cover

Personally I pay about 1100zl a month to ZUS and about 400zl of that is for healthcare.

There must be a way that a person living in Poland (not a tourist or on business) can assess free public care health cover.

There isn't and frankly there shouldn't be. The system works because people fund it.
terri 1 | 1,245    
14 Aug 2017  #16

If anyone feels that a Polish resident (i.e.e living in Poland) who has not contributed a bean (or a zloty) to the Polish Health care system is entitled (as of right) to free medical cover then he should SURELY go with his proposition to the Chairman (i.e. the person who rules the country). I am sure that the Polish Government would pass an Ustawa to this effect immediately.

There is not enough money in ZUS to cover the expenses of people who have contributed to it throughout their working lives.I am sure therefore that there will not be enough to cover people who have NOT contributed a zloty to it.
MDF    
14 Aug 2017  #17

>MDR.... Partner lived in Poland for 35 years has lost her work papers. Records from government records have been destroyed.@Firefly

It matters when pension ("emerytura") is involved, but doesn't matter for social security. The only important thing is whether *at the moment* a spouse is paying insurance fee. If they do, their partner could be insured as spouse of payer.
terri 1 | 1,245    
14 Aug 2017  #18

If the Polish wife is currently working in Poland and is paying ZUS contributions, then there is a possibility that a spouse may be insured. This has to be checked with ZUS. If she is not currently working and paying ZUS contributions, it is very unlikely that they will be insured.

It may make a difference if the wife is entitled to an old-age pension (emerytura) from ZUS as her contributions entitle her to this. This has to be checked with ZUS. The best advice I can give is to write down logically the whole story on paper with dates, go to a ZUS office and enquire. Chances are that the whole case is not being presented to ZUS and they cannot make a decision as they do not know the full facts.

I have dealt with a ZUS office in Krakow and they have been extremely helpful.
OP Firefly 1 | 15    
14 Aug 2017  #19

Thanks, Terri, mdf, kaprys, Harry for your input.

I am sure that the Polish Government would pass an Ustawa to this effect immediately.

Love your sense of humour, we would get along well..

There isn't and frankly there shouldn't be. The system works because people fund it.
@ Harry

No one is asking for a free ride, a self funded retiree returing to Poland is a big plus for the local economy, I am technically a polish citizen and although I would not claim a pension, receiving public medical cover is not too much to ask...most countries provide free medical cover for there citizens, you say the system couldn't fund it, well its has to fund potentially every person in the EU.
delphiandomine 87 | 15,827    
14 Aug 2017  #20

most countries offer free public medical cover for there citizens, especially in retirement, I have as a dual citizen have full rights except access to medical cover.

I'm not sure where you're getting the impression that most countries offer free public health cover - that's certainly not the case in many EU countries. For instance, the German or Dutch systems require even retired people to pay monthly insurance fees, while others like the UK system are checking to make sure that you have history in the UK, which includes paying tax.

For a retiree a cover of over 400 zl a month seems excessive, I'm sure you don't pay 400zl a month to ZUS for your public cover

Most of us pay 9% of our salaries for health insurance. I repeat - why should you get it for free when we pay 9%? Would you prefer to pay 9% of your income?

you say the system couldn't fund it, well its has to fund potentially every person in the EU.

No, it doesn't. The Polish system is an insurance based system, similar to the Netherlands and Germany. You have to contribute to get something from it.
OP Firefly 1 | 15    
15 Aug 2017  #21

No, it doesn't.
@ delphiandomine

yes it does, if a person from a eu country visited poland and fell ill he could access the polish medical system for free.

a 2% levy based on taxable income is charge in some countries, people on whom are unemployed or retired are exempt.. the bottom line is that a self funded retiree returning to Poland is of great economic benefit to the country, he should be treated the same as his counterpart here.
cms 9 | 1,070    
15 Aug 2017  #22

No - that is not the way the EHIC thing works. You get equivalent treatment to the locals but in cases wheee they would pay then you pay too (e.g. For prescriptions). It is also intended for non residents though this is of course difficult to enforce.
delphiandomine 87 | 15,827    
15 Aug 2017  #23

yes it does, if a person from a eu country visited poland and fell ill he could access the polish medical system for free.

No, he couldn't. He would have to prove that he has health insurance from his own country first. You cannot get the card that proves it (the EHIC / EKUZ in Polish) without having health insurance. For instance, if you don't pay for health insurance in Germany, you can't get the card.

a 2% levy based on taxable income is charge in some countries, people on whom are unemployed or retired are exempt..

Yes, and in others, the charges are quite high. Again, it's a real struggle to see why I should pay 9% of my income for healthcare simply so someone that has never contributed to the Polish social insurance system (you) can benefit.

the bottom line is that a self funded retiree returning to Poland is of great economic benefit to the country, he should be treated the same as his counterpart here.

I think you overstate the benefits. That person also has potentially very expensive health care to pay for, particularly if they require long term treatment.
kaprys - | 393    
15 Aug 2017  #24

@Firefly
Can you give us some information concerning yourselves so that we could actually help you?
Have you and your partner reached the retirement age in Poland?
If you haven't, do you intend to work in Poland?
What country do you live in? Perhaps there is some sort of agreement between Poland and your country that entitles you to free medical care in Poland.
Harry 79 | 13,421    
15 Aug 2017  #25

although I would not claim a pension, receiving public medical cover is not too much to ask

You can't claim a pension: you haven't paid into the system in order to have one to claim. Frankly even at 400zl per person you'd be getting subsidised healthcare. That's how a flat-fee system works, people who are older and thus far more likely to need healthcare have the costs of their healthcare subsidised by younger people who need less healthcare but still pay the same. In most cases this averages out over a person's lifetime (e.g. when I'm old I will get the benefits of the years when I paid the same but used the healthcare system less) but in your case you'll be getting the cheap years without having paid the expensive ones.
OP Firefly 1 | 15    
16 Aug 2017  #26

Thanks kaprys for your help and others who have given there advice. will get back to you on that.

I think you overstate the benefits.

Frankly even at 400zl per person you'd be getting subsidised healthcare.

Now delphianomine and Harry.. with thats the type of attitude thats exactly why Poland will never advance to the next level, this typical dated mentality reminds me of the old communist thinking...understand that not everyone moving to Poland will set up a tent at the nearest hospital waiting for the next available bed to have a major operation, Have you heard of the term "risk management" as opposed to red tape. Self funded retirees no matter what you say is a big plus for the polish economy, every zlote spent is a boost to the food and service industry, The Brits didn't jump up and down when 2 million poles landed on there shores, no mention of a burden to the health system, some poles seem to have a please give mentality...sometimes you have to share and give..
delphiandomine 87 | 15,827    
16 Aug 2017  #27

understand that not everyone moving to Poland will set up a tent at the nearest hospital waiting for the next available bed to have a major operation

Nope, but they might well get a form of cancer that requires treatment with expensive drugs that the NFZ can barely afford. The risks increase with age, and the cost of your treatment will be at the expense of everyone else in Poland. There are news reports weekly about how the NFZ system is struggling to cope, and you want free healthcare from the same pot?

Have you heard of the term "risk management" as opposed to red tape.

Risk management very much means not allowing retired people to get free healthcare if they've never paid into the system.

Self funded retirees no matter what you say is a big plus for the polish economy, every zlote spent is a boost to the food and service industry,

Self funded retirees are still a strain on the system if they get free healthcare here.
DominicB - | 2,259    
17 Aug 2017  #28

a self funded retiree returing to Poland is a big plus for the local economy

Not particularly. Healthcare costs could well exceed whatever they contribute to the economy, and a retiree who finds a measly 400 PLN a month for health insurance burdensome is not likely to contribute all that much to the local economy in the first place.

In any case, disabuse yourself of the idea that they are going to throw a parade in your honor upon your return. If that's the attitude you are going in with, you are not going to have a fun retirement.
OP Firefly 1 | 15    
17 Aug 2017  #29

Risk management very much means not allowing retired people to get free healthcare if they've never paid into the system.

OMG, Your comments confirm my belief that Poland will never advice to the next level when people have this type of mentality, Poles moving to other countries enjoy the same benefits of the local people, it seems only in Poland that a Polish citizen returning and retiring in Poland is treated differently, I'm not entering Poland in a ambulance heading for the nearest hospital..Self funded retirees have a positive impact on the Polish economy.. Don't worry about a few retirees returning to Poland, its the refugees from war torn Syria etc who will king hit the polish medical system.
DominicB - | 2,259    
17 Aug 2017  #30

@Firefly

It sounds like you are going to have a very hard time adapting to everyday life in Poland. Perhaps you should consider retiring in a place that is more welcoming to self-funded retirees. Like Costa Rica or Nicaragua or Cambodia or the Philippines?




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