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.
A registration for compulsory health insurance is obliged for foreign citizens who have been granted a permanent stay in Croatia, citizens of other European Union (EU) Member States, European Economic Area Countries (EEA - Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway) and Switzerland who have been granted temporary stay in Croatia, provided that they are not covered by compulsory health insurance in home country. Compulsory health insurance or citizens of a country that is not an EU/EEA/Switzerland with temporary stay in Croatia, unless otherwise stated by European Union Regulations on the coordination of social security systems, international treaty on social security, or special bylaw.
Aliens on temporary stay in Croatia, whose right to compulsory health insurance or health care is not ensured on another basis, will submit a registration for compulsory health insurance with a regional office of the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (the CHIF) according to their place of stay, within eight days from the date on which the temporary stay was granted and will be liable to pay contributions for compulsory health insurance.
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.
Regular education students attending high school and higher education regular students older than 18 years of age who are Croatian citizens and have permanent or temporary residence in Croatia, or Croatian citizens with permanent residency in another EU/EEA State/Switzerland with an approved temporary residency in Croatia, acquire the status of insured persons, given that they do not possess health insurance in another EU/EEA State/Switzerland, as well as legal aliens with approved permanent residence permit in Croatia. They are allowed to exercise this right maximum until the end of school year, or the end of academic year in which they have finished their education, not exceeding the total of eight years on that grounds, if the right to compulsory health insurance is not exercised on any other basis.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
Access to health care is provided to students who have compulsory health insurance in EU/EEA State/Switzerland, 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 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.
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.
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.
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, Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey.
Students who are compulsory health insured in some of the aforementioned 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. 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 CHIF.
In order to register with the CHIF, students should report to the CHIF’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 CHIF 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 CHIF 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 CHIF. The monthly health insurance contributions are 529,69 Kuna per month (around 70 EUR), for which the appropriate Tax Department of the Ministry of Finances sends money orders to the students’ registered places of temporary residence in Croatia.
How to access health care services in Croatia
EHIC holders or persons with compulsory health insurance in Countries with health care agreements with Croatia may contact 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 CHIF (HZZO):
Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO)
Margaretska 3,10000 Zagreb
Phone: +385 1 4806 333
Fax: +385 1 4812 606
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Web address: www.hzzo.hr
European Emergency Number 112
112 is European Emergency Number and it is available everywhere in the EU, free of charge. You can call it from both fixed and mobile phone to contact any emergency service; ambulance, fire brigade or the police. Operators in emergency call centers can help you in the domestic language or in English or French. It is good to know 112 is also in use as an emergency number in Switzerland and South Africa and is available worldwide on GSM mobile network.