Health care insurance in Croatia includes basic, additional and private health care insurance. Basic health care insurance is mandatory and consists of the right to health care and the right to financial benefits, including compensation of salary during sick leave or maternity leave. Additional and private health care insurances are voluntary in which the beneficiary contributes a monthly insurance premium.
Health care for foreigners in Croatia should be provided under the same conditions as for Croatian citizens. However, for now, it mostly depends on each case individually. The important fact to note is whether the country of origin has or has not signed the Agreement on Social Security with Croatia. Croatia co-ordinates the social security system with 8 non-EU countries in total through international agreements on social security: Australia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Canadian Province of Quebec, Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey, but not all of the agreements on social security with mentioned countries regulate entitlement to health care services.
In case a bilateral agreement on social security exists, the country of origin’s local health insurance authority must issue a document as a basis for the third-country national to be entitled to medical protection while in Croatia.
For citizens of countries with which Croatia has an agreement on social insurance in place, the proof of health insurance is considered to be:
- A European Health Insurance Card, accepted by the Croatian Health Insurance Fund
- A patient’s certificate issued by the Croatian Health Insurance Fund
- A regular certificate of a foreign health insurance agency or
- Any other proof provided under the agreement on social insurance.
If third-country nationals have been issued a certificate of a foreign health insurance agency or any other proof provided under the agreement on social insurance with a validity period shorter than the planned duration of their stay upon the expiration of validity of the certificate in question, they are obliged to present a new one or contact the competent office of the Croatian Health Insurance Fund, in order to establish their rights to health insurance for the remaining time of their stay.
If third-country nationals cannot obtain any of the above-mentioned proof when applying for the first temporary stay permit or they are nationals of countries with which Croatia has not concluded an agreement on social insurance or the agreement does not regulate health care, they are obliged to submit a travel insurance certificate. Moreover, upon their arrival in Croatia and upon having been granted a temporary stay permit, they are obliged to procure a health insurance policy from the Croatian Health Insurance Fund.
From July 1st 2013 (the date of the Croatian accession to the European Union) former bilateral agreements with the EU Member States were replaced by EU regulations on the coordination of social security systems. These regulations apply in all 27 Member States of the EU. Also, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein as Member States of the European Economic Area (EEA) apply EU regulations for coordination of social security systems with Croatia starting from April 12th 2014, whereas Switzerland applies them since January 1st 2017.
EEA citizens (except citizens of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) need to present their European Health Insurance Card. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is issued free of charge and allows anyone who is insured by or covered by a social security scheme of the EU to receive medical treatment in another Member State for free or at a reduced cost, if that treatment becomes necessary during their visit. EHIC can be used in all EU countries with all contracting health care providers. It will cover for the treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers the treatment for pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care (as long as you did not go abroad to give birth). EHIC is not travel insurance and does not cover the expenses of healthcare services at private health care providers. It does not cover travel costs of the return to your home country, after the occurrence of the insured event, nor any costs of planned medical treatments.
Generally, there are two kinds of health insurance. One is travel health insurance for the purpose of short-term stay and visa issuance, and another is health insurance under the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO) for the purpose of temporary and permanent stay.
Travel health insurance (third-country nationals)
Applicants for travel visas for one or two entries have to provide proof of health insurance - a policy of appropriate and valid travel health insurance covering the entire period of their stay in Croatia. An appropriate and valid travel health insurance covers the costs that might occur during a foreigner’s stay in Croatia in regard to the return to his/her homeland due to health reasons, urgent medical assistance, and/or urgent hospital treatment.
Applicants for multiple-entry visas have to provide proof of health insurance - policy of appropriate and valid travel health insurance covering the period of their first stay in Croatia. Furthermore, applicants for travel visas for an unlimited number of entries have to fill out a statement regarding health or travel health insurance for subsequent visits (declaration on travel medical insurance for subsequent visits). Applicants are obliged to take out travel health insurance with an insurance company in the country of their stay. If that is not possible, travel health insurance needs to be taken out in another country. Natural or legal persons from Croatia inviting the applicant can, on their behalf, take out travel health insurance with an insurance company from Croatia. The lowest sum insured must be in HRK equivalent to 30,000 EUR.
Health insurance with the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (third-country citizens and EEA nationals)
During their stay in Croatia, all foreigners with temporary stay and permanent stay must have health insurance. Registration to the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance should be within 8 days from the approved temporary stay in Croatia.
If a foreigner is employed, his/her employer will register them to health insurance. The application process for employed foreigners in the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (as well as the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute) is the same as application procedures for employees who are Croatian nationals. If not, the foreigner needs to register personally at the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (or buy an insurance policy at a private insurance company).
If the foreign researcher is not employed at a Croatian research organisation, the procedure to register with the HZZO is the following:
- Upon arrival, the foreigner needs to submit an application to register the temporary stay at the police directorate or police station, where they will be issued a registration number (evidencijski broj) upon approval of the temporary stay;
- On the basis of this registration number the HZZO office will register the person and issue a relevant confirmation, which entitles the foreigner and binds the HZZO to full health insurance coverage;
- After the payment of the payment orders, a third country national shall afterward receive payment orders for monthly payments of the health care contributions and will be entitled to full medical care in Croatia.
Necessary documents for the registration to the Croatian Health Insurance Fund are:
- Original and a copy of a valid travel document (including the page with the relevant visa)
- Original and a copy of the confirmation of residence
- Original and a copy of the temporary stay permit (biometric residence card)
- Confirmation on the submission of the application for a temporary stay (containing registration number, evidencijski broj) and
- Confirmation on OIB identity number.
Third-country nationals pay Croatian health insurance 417 HRK per month (approximately 55 EUR). It is possible to pay it at once one year prior to their stay in Croatia (a total of approximately 5,000 HRK / 650 EUR). Money order is received at the HZZO office while registering. Afterward, HZZO informs the Tax Administration of the Ministry of Finance which then issues and sends monthly payment orders (uplatnica) to foreigner for the next year of insurance during his/her stay in Croatia.
EEA nationals also receive payment orders (uplatnica) from the Tax Administration of the Ministry of Finance in the amount of 417,00 HRK per month for the duration of their stay only.
Upon the extension of a temporary stay, it is necessary to inform the HZZO about it and bring the new approval of a temporary stay or the biometric residence card for inspection.
Family members of a researcher on a temporary stay cannot be insured on the basis of the researcher’s insurance (i.e. employment). This is only possible when the researcher’s family members have a permanent stay in Croatia or are EEA citizens with a temporary stay in Croatia.
In Croatia, foreigners are also entitled to full medical care and need to have health care insurance. After registration to the Croatian Health Insurance Fund, every foreigner needs to choose his/her general practitioner or a family doctor. A general practitioner or a family doctor is the first point of contact for any illness except for emergencies. He or she will direct you to specialists when needed. You can choose a doctor who has a contract with the Croatian Health Insurance Fund and will provide you with health care services free of charge (contribution for participation costs of healthcare services amounts to 10,00 HRK), or you can choose a doctor who has not concluded a contract with the Croatian Health Insurance Fund and will charge you provided health care services in full amount.
Croatian hospitals provide a high level of medical care to their patients. In case of a medical need, you should contact the hospital which has a contract with the Croatian Health Insurance Fund, as they will provide health care services for free. But in order to use their services, you will need a referral from your general practitioner or a family doctor. For hospital treatment you will be charged with the amount of participation in healthcare costs per invoice, which can amount to a maximum of 2.000 HRK in total, i.e. 100 HRK per day.
The same rule applies when choosing a dentist - you can choose the one with a contract with the Croatian Health Insurance Fund and will provide his dental services for free (contribution for participation costs of healthcare services amounts to 10 HRK), or you can choose the one who has not concluded an agreement with the Croatian Health Insurance Fund and will charge provided health care services in full amount.
Hospitals in Croatia
|University Hospital Centre Zagreb||Kispaticeva ul. 12, 10000 Zagreb||www.kbc-zagreb.hr|
|Clinical Hospital Dubrava||Avenija G. Susak 6, 10000 Zagreb||www.kbd.hr|
|Childrens Hospital Zagreb||Klaiceva 16, 10000 Zagreb||www.kdb.hr|
|Children's hospital Srebrnjak||Srebrnjak 100, 10000 Zagreb||www.bolnica-srebrnjak.hr|
|Clinic for Traumatology||Draskoviceva 19, 10000 Zagreb||-|
|Orthopaedics Clinic||Salata 7, 10000 Zagreb||www.mef.unizg.hr/ortopedija/o-naslovnica.htm|
|General Hospital Sveti Duh||Sveti Duh 64, 10000 Zagreb||www.kbsd.hr|
|University hospital Sisters of charity||Vinogradska cesta 29, 10000 Zagreb||www.kbcsm.hr|
|Vuk Vrhovac University Clinic for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases||Dugi dol 4a, 10000 Zagreb||www.idb.hr|
|University Hospital for Tumors||Ilica 197, 10000 Zagreb||www.kbcsm.hr/klinike/klinika-za-tumore/|
|University Hospital for Infectious Diseases Dr Fran Mihaljevic||Mirogojska 8, 10000 Zagreb||www.bfm.hr|
|University Psychiatric Hopsital Vrapče||Bolnicka cesta 32, 10000 Zagreb||www.bolnica-vrapce.hr|
|Polyclinic for the Rehabilitation of Listening and Speech Suvag||Ul. kneza Ljudevita Posavskog 10, 10000 Zagreb||www.suvag.hr|
|General Hospital Dr. Josip Bencevic||Andrije Stampara 42, 35000 Slavonski Brod||www.bolnicasb.hr|
|General Hospital Zadar||Boze Pericica 5, 23000 Zadar||www.bolnica-zadar.hr|
|General Hospital Varazdin||Ivana Mestrovica bb, 42000 Varaždin||www.obv.hr|
|Clinical Hospital Split||Spinciceva 1, 21000 Split||www.kbsplit.hr|
|Clinical Hospital Rijeka||Krešimirova 42, 51000 Rijeka||www.kbc-rijeka.hr|
|General Hospital Dubrovnik||Dr. Roka Mišetića 2, 20000 Dubrovnik||www.bolnica-du.hr|
|Clinical Hospital Osijek||Josipa Huttlera 4, 31000 Osijek||www.kbo.hr|