Medicine and insurance in Slovakia

As in all civilized countries, in Slovakia there is compulsory medical insurance.  By law, every resident of Slovakia must be insured.  In general, medicine in Slovakia is at a good level.  Insurance is divided into state and commercial.  The overwhelming majority of Slovakians use, of course, state insurance, where the government or the employer pays for the insurance.  If a foreigner does not have a residence permit or permanent residence, then commercial insurance must be paid for independently.

Who can use state insurance?

  1. The able-bodied citizens of Slovakia, who have official employment.  Insurance is paid by the employer.
  2. Preferential citizens of Slovakia: unemployed and job seekers;  pensioners;  disabled people;  temporarily disabled for health reasons;  militarymen;  women on maternity and child care leave.  Insurance paid by the state.
  3. Foreigners who have a residence permit or permanent residence, and who work under an employment contract.  Insurance paid by the employer.
  4. Foreigners with a residence permit or permanent residence, who are private entrepreneurs, are obliged by law to pay insurance premiums in the amount of 63 euros / month (each year the amount slightly increases by 0.5-2 euros / month)
  5. Children of a foreigner – an entrepreneur who have a residence permit or permanent residence for family reunification.  Insurance is covered by the state.  The entrepreneur pays insurance only for himself, children are insured automatically, regardless of their amount.

Advantages and disadvantages of state insurance:

  1. Insurance covers almost everything: observation by specialists, hospitalization and all types of operations, pregnancy management, observation of newborns, rehabilitation.
  2. The minimum and maximum amount of insurance premiums is limited.  You can trace a certain loyalty to people who have a high income.
  3. Most medical services in Slovakia are provided free of charge.  Surcharge is made for some prescription drugs, dental services and medical devices.
  4. Optional medical procedures such as cosmetic surgery, sterilization, medical treatment abroad are not covered by insurance.
  5. Whis state insurance there is no need to pay for a visit to the doctor, with subsequent compensation from the insurance company, as in some cases with commercial insurance.
  6. State insurance makes it possible to contact almost all doctors in Slovakia, since they all have contracts with state insurance companies.
  7. There are limits on payment for medical services in case of serious cases when surgical intervention or other expensive treatment is needed.  If the limit does not cover the total cost for treatment, then you need to pay extra on your own.  To increase the limits and increase the coverage of insurance claims, you can buy additional insurance.

Companies that can get state insurance:

  1. Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa
  2. Dôvera zdravotná poisťovňa, a.s.
  3. Union zdravotná poisťovňa, a.s.

Commercial Health Insurance

Commercial insurance can take advantage of persons who do not yet have permanent residence, but are legally in the country: the owner of the company;  a foreigner who has a residence permit for family reunification, which does not work officially;  student with a residence permit.  Such insurance differs from state insurance in that it does not cover all medical expenses.  Commercial insurance is usually packaged.  The more expensive the package, the more coverage.  The cheapest ones usually cover only emergency, emergency medical care.

Companies where commercial insurance can be issued:

  1.  Union poistovna, a. s.
  2.  AXA Assistance
  3.  Maxima, a.s.
  4.  Ergo poistovna, a.s.

A certain advantage of the commercial insurance is that for its registration it is not necessary to go to the office of the insurance company.  It is enough to contact the insurance agent, remotely fill out and send the necessary application forms online, and pay the insurance premium for the details of the insurance company.  Many agents are interested in finding new customers for their company.  Many of them speak Russian.  This will facilitate the selection of the right insurance package for the client.  In other cases, this can lead to unpleasant situations, when at the right time it may turn out that a person has purchased a completely different package that does not cover the medical expenses that are necessary at the time.

Having bought insurance with minimal coverage (only emergency cases), it makes sense to be treated at home, and in Slovakia, to turn to medicine only in emergency cases.  If the commercial insurance covers emergency cases and regular visits to the doctor, then it is necessary to find your own doctor who has an agreement with this insurance company.  Such a list is always on the website of the insurance company.  Therapist is better to choose geographically closer to your place of residence.  With him it is necessary to conclude an agreement.  In the future, this will be the only doctor to whom a person will address for all questions on his health, so to speak, “doctor of first contact”.  If the therapist sees that you need to contact a highly specialized doctor, he gives direction to such a specialist.

Clinics in Slovakia

In Slovakia, there are only 44 clinics.  Large multidisciplinary clinics are located in large cities such as Bratislava and Košice.  In terms of their provision, clinics in Slovakia are not inferior to the hospital from the movie about Doctor House.  There are almost all expensive diagnostic equipment, comfortable wards, and even helicopter pads on the roofs of clinics that are actively involved in medical aviation, and not just for show.  At times, there are not enough narrow specialists, as many go to work in Austria and Germany with salary rates 3-5 times higher than in Slovakia.

Reception of patients is carried out through the emergency department or at the direction of the attending physician.  In situations where emergency care is not required, admission to the hospital is carried out on the so-called waiting list.

Ambulance is free for owners of state and commercial insurance (if it is included in the package of commercial insurance).  Comes pretty quickly.  In Slovakia, it is customary to give way to an ambulance.  This is done by all, without exception, even in large traffic jams.  A group of well-equipped doctors who can really help in an emergency situation comes to the challenge.  Ambulances are also well equipped.  If you call an ambulance without any insurance, she will arrive and will provide emergency medical care, or quickly take you to the clinic, but such a call will cost 120 euros.  A paid X-ray of 30 euros.

Medicines in pharmacies are sold strictly on prescription and are partially or fully compensated by the insurance company.  Antibiotics, for example, can only be obtained by prescription.  OTC medicines have a higher price.

Dentistry in Slovakia is not covered by the usual state or commercial insurance and is paid separately.  Through the public health system, only routine checkups are available.  Treatment, installation of crowns and bridges is carried out for a fee.  Therefore, many foreigners go to their homeland for dental treatment.  There is an opinion that, for example, in Ukraine, dentistry is much higher quality than in Slovakia.  It is much cheaper.

In general, medicine in Slovakia is at a good level.  The system of compulsory insurance works.  People are interested in having a formal job to receive medical care.  The system “first a therapist, and then a narrow specialist” saves the narrow specialists from the queues, and gives an opportunity to concentrate on treating real patients, and not on those who diagnosed themselves, after sitting for half an hour on the Internet.


If you are looking for a doctor, see the list at the Doctors and Dispensary Department.

Contact medical institutions in Slovakia can be found here.


  1. Emergency call: 112 (most convenient for foreigners, for foreign language communication)
  2. Emergency medical care: 155
  3. Rescue service (Chain of Life Foundation – Reťaz Života): 0850 111313 (the telephone that the doctor and nurse answer 24 hours a day can help you with first aid before the ambulance arrives. They speak Slovak, but in the future  and establishment of a foreign language telephone service).


  1. Emergency medical service in Zilina region: 041/5110 438, 7233 383 (V.Spanyola), 041/5693666 (Osloboditeľov).
  2. Emergency medical services in the Bratislava region: 02/63833130 (Strečnianska), 02/48279257 (Ruzhin clinics).
  3. Ambulance service Presov: 051/773 2220, 773 3444
  4. Emergency medical service Nitra: 037/654 5288, 651 4259
  5. Emergency medical service Trnava: 033/553 6103
  6. Ambulance service for Banska Bistrita: 048/414 6666
  7. Trencin Ambulance Service: 032/652 3444, 656 6333
  8. Kosice ambulance service: 16,183

We wish you good health!  With good insurance in Slovakia, there are as few reasons as possible to use it!

We offer for viewing a video on the topic “Medicine in Slovakia”, where Tatiana shares our experience of dealing with medicine in Slovakia:

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