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/how to travel around europe with polish health insurance? obtaining ekuz in 2023

How to travel around Europe with Polish health insurance? Obtaining EKUZ in 2023

Living in European countries scares many people precisely because of the cost of medical services. Unfortunately, this is undeniably true. It is not surprising that some immigrants even return to their home country for some time to take advantage of the treatment costs available here. For example, in CIS countries the prices for medical services are many times lower than in Europe, so Polish residents return to their home countries to see a dentist, have a planned operation or undergo a course of treatment. However, those who pay taxes in Poland receive health insurance, which covers some health expenses.

But what if you have Polish insurance and you need to visit one of the EU/EFTA countries? Will you have to pay a large sum of money to get a new insurance? Today we will tell you how to avoid unwanted expenses and save hundreds, maybe even thousands of euros. Enjoy the article!


What is EKUZ?

EKUZ (Eurorejska Karta Ubezpieczenia Zdrowotnego) is a special insurance system for people who are in the territory of the European Union and the European Free Trade Association. Due to this system, foreigners who have left Poland for other European countries will be able to receive free medical services.

If you are a foreigner and you are legally staying on the territory of the Republic of Poland, and you are working, studying, retired, have received refugee status or additional protection from the state, then you can count on receiving the European Health Insurance Card absolutely free of charge. The maximum period for which such a card is issued is 5 years. However, it all depends on the group of people you fall into. For example, those who have pension benefits get the card for 5 years, and employed people can get such insurance for 36 months.

EKUZ can be obtained if you have traveled to another European country for such purposes as:

  • Travelling/tourism

  • Shopping

  • Work and business trips

  • Studying

You may be refused if you plan to travel to other countries with EKUZ insurance for urgent medical treatment. Moreover, you will not be provided with services that can be postponed until you come back to Poland, e.g. cosmetic services. However, if you have chronic diseases that require constant treatment/receipt of medication, but you are travelling to another country not for the purpose of treatment, you will receive all services free of charge.

It is worth understanding that the European Health Insurance Card is a signed act between the EU and EFTA countries. Therefore, each country may have slightly different conditions. One of the exceptions to this agreement is that it does not apply to the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.


Real case study about who can get EKUZ and why

Foreigner «X» is a citizen of Ukraine, is legally in Poland (has a residence card), is officially employed at a local baby food company and pays all taxes and fees, including NFZ (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia). Accordingly, foreigner X has Polish insurance. This foreigner has some friends in Spain who invited him to visit them in the summer to spend a holiday together. When foreigner X came to Spain to visit his friends, he got a bad toothache and went to the doctor. With EKUZ health insurance, this foreigner will be able to receive medical services in Spain absolutely free of charge


What is required to obtain an EKUZ? Step-by-step instructions

To begin with, the European insurance card is divided into two types:

  • For short trips (tourism, traveling, visiting relatives, etc.)

  • For long trips (work, business trips, study, etc.)

Depending on the purpose of your trip to another country, the process of obtaining EKUZ will be slightly different. But in general, the whole process of obtaining this insurance is as follows:

→ Filling in a special form.As we have already written above, there are two types of EKUZ. If you are going to travel to another country for a small amount of time, you need to download and print this form. But if you are going to another country for a business or work trip, you need to download this form. After you have downloaded and printed this form, you should start filling it out. Fill in all the necessary data, among which is the PESEL number. If you don't have it, don't worry, you can just fill in your passport details. The printed form must be signed at the end of the page in a special field.

Here you can see what the completed EKUZ application form looks like for the purpose of work, and here for the purpose of tourism.

→ Collecting the necessary documents.

  • Students will only need to provide a student ID card.

  • For those who work, it is necessary to take the A1 form from the ZUS portal.

  • It is also necessary to provide documents confirming legal stay in Poland (biometric passport/visa/residence card).

→ Sending all scanned copies to the NFZ Foundation. When you have collected all the necessary documents and made copies of them, you should send them by email to the NFZ fund in your place of residence. You can find all the addresses of NFZ funds here.

→ Waiting. If you have done everything correctly, the official waiting time for the card is 3 to 5 days from the moment the application is received by the NFZ staff. You can receive the EKUZ card itself at your NFZ branch or order it by post. It all depends on which method of receiving the card you have previously indicated on the form. We recommend that you choose the "pick it up myself" option (it will be quicker).

The EKUZ card looks like this:

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The decision whether or not to apply for a health insurance card in Europe EKUZ is always up to you. But you should realize that it is completely free of charge and will only take you a few days to apply for it. But the savings with this card can be enormous. If you are planning to travel to other EU countries, we recommend you to think about getting EKUZ.

Our agency aksis will help you with EKUZ in the shortest possible time. We will help you with the documents, filling in the form and provide you with advisory support at every stage of the service.

Protect yourself from unnecessary problems and unwanted expenses together with aksis!


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