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Health insurance

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Health insurance

Foreign researchers and their families visiting and living in Poland can access the Polish state-funded healthcare services:  

  • as employees when healthcare contributions are paid by the employer,  
  • as doctoral students with the health insurance covered by the university/institute,  
  • having a voluntary insurance in the National Health Fund (NFZ) or from a private insurance provider,  
  • during temporary stays/visits, on the basis of the European Health Insurance Card,  
  • registering the S1 document issued by another EU country (e.g. posted workers, family members),  
  • when insured as family members of employees in Poland.  


In Poland having health insurance is obligatory. When applying for a visa to Poland and legalising your stay in Poland, you always need to present an insurance coverage document.  

Individuals insured in the National Health Fund (NFZ) can use state-funded healthcare services which are mostly free-of-charge with rare exceptions, for example in case of some dentistry services. 

As a general rule, people working in Poland on the basis of an employment contract (umowa o pracę) and a contract of mandate (umowa zlecenia), regardless of their nationality, are subject to compulsory health insurance. This means that the monthly insurance contributions are paid by the employer in the rate of 9% of the salary basis, subtracted each month.  


In case of employees having a specific work contract (umowa o dzieło) the employer is not obliged to cover their insurance so they have to buy their insurance individually either in NFZ or in a private insurance company. 

All PhD candidates in Poland, regardless of nationality, are subject to the health insurance to be covered by the higher education institution unless they are insured on another basis, for instance as employees or family members. 

This means that the doctoral candidates have access to the public healthcare services free-of-charge. The right to use the services ends only after 4 months following the graduation or termination of the education.  

In Poland, an insured employee has an obligation to report his/her family members to be covered by the health insurance under their employment contract. The family members are children and spouses, as well as parents and grandparents on condition that they live in a common household with the employee. In order to report the family members, their personal data have to be given to the employer. If you change employers, you have to report your family members to the new employer. Adding family members does not result in paying additional or higher contributions. 

In case you are not covered by the compulsory health insurance, you have to sign an individual insurance agreement either with the National Health Fund or with a private insurance company/medical service provider. It should be stressed though that the NFZ option is the most beneficial as it covers all state-funded medical services and any related hospital treatment.