Health system and insurance
Entitlement to health services is primarily based on residency and means, rather than on your payment of tax or pay-related social insurance. Any person regardless of nationality who is accepted as resident has eligibility to health services. Depending on their circumstances, short-term visitors to Slovakia may be entitled to health services that are free or subsidised. If you have a medical card, you are entitled to: free GP services, prescribed drugs and medicines, subject to a charge for each item prescribed, public hospital services, dental, optical and aural services, maternity and infant care services, community care and personal social services. If you do not have a medical card, you are entitled to free public hospital services but you may have to pay in-patient and out-patient hospital charges.
You are also entitled to subsidised prescribed drugs and medicines and maternity and infant care services. There are certain general health services that are available to people on the basis of their need or health status rather than on whether they have a medical card or not. People who qualify for the long term illness status are entitled to get the drugs and medicines for the treatment of that illness free of charge. Child health services are available to all children. Certain visitors may be entitled to free public health services. In particular, people from other EU/EEA member states or Switzerland who are visiting Slovakia temporarily for example, on holiday or on business are entitled to medical care if they become ill or have an accident. Some categories of people are entitled to medical cards under EU rules. People coming to live, work or study in Slovakia for a longer period or who retire to Slovakia are likely to be regarded as living here as ordinarily residents.
Other visitors to Slovakia are not entitled to avail of free or subsidised public health services except in cases of hardship. In general, if they have to use health services, they must pay the full economic cost of those services. Your entitlement to health services is mainly based on residency and means, rather than on your payment of tax or pay related social insurance. Your nationality, in itself, does not determine your entitlement but there are specific rules covering EU/EEA nationals and Swiss nationals. If you have an entitlement to healthcare in another EU/EEA member state or Switzerland, you may have an entitlement to healthcare in Slovakia under EU rules. If you are visiting Slovakia temporarily you can apply for a European Health Insurance Card which covers medical care if you become ill or have an accident. You should bring your European Health Insurance Card with you when you are travelling to Slovakia. If you are a dependant of someone who is not an EU/EEA or Swiss national, the same rules about ordinary residence apply to you. In other words, the fact that someone who is not a EU/EEA, or Swiss national has established eligibility for health services here does not mean that their non-resident dependants are also entitled to health services in Slovakia.
If you are here for a shorter period, you are regarded as a visitor and you do not have any entitlement to free or subsidised health services. Asylum seekers are given medical cards for the period during which their application for refugee status is being considered. If you get refugee status, then you are regarded as ordinarily resident and you come under the usual rules for entitlement to health services. If you are not in this situation and you have been living and working in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland, your entitlement to health services when you return is decided under the rules applying to EU nationals. If you have been abroad on a short-term contract, you continue to be regarded as ordinarily resident. If you are not ordinarily resident and you are not entitled to health care under any of the circumstances described above, full economic cost for any services provided may apply.
Learn about the health care in Slovakia including conditions and criteria for choosing your insurance provider