During their stay in Croatia, all international students with temporary residence must have health insurance. Regulated health insurance is the prerequisite for being granted temporary residence.
Compulsory health insurance registration is not required for foreign nationals with temporary residence in Croatia for the purpose of secondary or higher education who can provide proof of insurance against the risk of incurring medical expenses during their stay in Croatia. They are obligated to personally cover their health care costs.
Compulsory health insurance registration is not required for foreign nationals with temporary residence in Croatia for the purpose of higher education if their stay is related to youth mobility programmes, general student exchange agreements, inter-university agreements and other programmes and initiatives carried out by the relevant education and science body, on condition that these programmes include health care provisions.
European Health Insurance Card
Access to health care is provided to students from European Union countries during their temporary stay in Croatia through the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which is issued by their national health insurance providers.
The EHIC is issued free of charge. It enables access to medically necessary health care in EU member countries, taking into account the nature of medical services rendered and the expected duration of stay. The EHIC is used directly with health care providers who have a contract with the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (CHIF), under the same conditions and at the same cost as for Croatian insurance holders.
In the event of unforeseen illness, injury or accident, the EHIC enables access to health care that cannot be postponed until the holder’s planned return to the home country. The costs are covered by the national health care provider in the holder’s country of permanent residence, and the holder is obligated to cover only the participation fees in Croatia, if they are mandatory for Croatian insurance holders as well.
Medically necessary health care includes treatment related to chronic or pre-existing conditions, unless the express purpose of travel to Croatia is to obtain treatment (such as high blood pressure control), as well as health care related to pregnancy and childbirth, unless the express purpose of stay in Croatia is childbirth. Necessary medical treatment also includes services such as dialysis, oxygen therapy, or asthma treatment; however, arrangements should be made with relevant health care facilities in advance.
The EHIC does not cover the costs of planned medical treatment or health care services with private providers. Also, the EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. It does not cover costs such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, return flights to the home country, or stolen or lost property.
Access to medically necessary health care in Croatia is not covered for EHIC holders from Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway: they are obligated to personally cover all costs of health care provided in Croatia.
Countries with health care agreements with Croatia
Croatia regulates the issue of health care for foreign nationals during their stay in Croatia through agreements on social security signed with the following countries:
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey
Students from the above mentioned countries are recommended to contact their public health insurance provider before arriving in Croatia in order to obtain the document which enables them to receive health care in Croatia.
The right to health care is realised as foreseen in the social security contract received by each student. Health care is provided to foreign nationals in the same way and under the same conditions as Croatian insurance holders: within the network of physicians and health care institutions of the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO - Hrvatski zavod za zdravstveno osiguranje). International students have to cover only the participation fees, if these are prescribed by Croatian laws.
Countries without health care agreements with Croatia
Students from countries which do not have social security agreements with Croatia (or if students are unable to obtain the document foreseen by the social security agreement) are obliged upon entry into Croatia to become insured with the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO).
Registration is not required in cases described above.
In order to register with the HZZO, students should report to the HZZO’s appropriate branch office. Students should present their student identification number, which is issued to each student at the central police station upon applying for temporary residence. The HZZO will then temporarily register the student and issue a certificate. This certificate must then be presented at the central police station before students can be granted temporary residence.
Once temporary residence has been granted, the HZZO issues a document based on which the student attains the right to full health care within the network of physicians and health institutions of the HZZO. The monthly health insurance cost is approximately 400 Kuna per month (around 55 EUR), for which the appropriate Tax Department of the Ministry of Finances sends money orders to the students’ registered places of residence in Croatia.
Visiting students funded by Ministry of Science, Education and Sports
The Ministry of Science, Education and Sports covers the health insurance expenses for all foreign nationals that are grant receivers of the Ministry, if so foreseen in the grant contract.
Erasmus students staying temporarily in Croatia are exempted from paying the fee for compulsory health insurance in Croatia. They may use international health insurance from their home country or choose to be insured at the health insurance company of their choice.
How to access health care services in Croatia
General health care services can be accessed by selecting a primary health care physician, whereas health care on other levels (e.g. hospital, specialist examinations) can be accessed by way of a reference document (uputnica) issued by the selected physician.
EHIC holders may register with any primary health care provider who has a contract with the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (CHIF).
Students are recommended to first visit the student clinic for a consultation and advice on choosing a physician. Information about the locations of student clinics is available at each higher education institution.
For all additional information regarding health insurance, please contact the HZZO:
Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO)
Margaretska 3,10000 Zagreb
Phone. +385 1 4806 333
Fax: +385 1 4812 606
Web address: www.hzzo.hr