Detailed guide: Healthcare for UK nationals living in Poland

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This guidance will be updated if anything changes to how you get state healthcare in Poland.

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Poland has an insurance-based healthcare system. If youre not insured, you may be charged for using state healthcare services.

UK nationals usually access the Polish healthcare system in one of these ways:

  • paying insurance contributions to the Polish state health system state through their employer
  • paying voluntary insurance contributions to the Polish state health system directly
  • taking out private health insurance
  • using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) for temporary stays
  • registering an UK-issued S1 form with the Polish state health system

Healthcare if you live and work in Poland

If youre employed, monthly insurance contributions to the National Health Fund (NFZ) are taken from your salary before youre paid.

If youre self-employed or not working, you can pay voluntary insurance contributions directly to the National Health Fund each month. You cannot do this if youre registered as unemployed in Poland.

Your dependants will be covered by your insurance if they do not have their own.

You may be entitled to an Polish EHIC for travel, including visits to the UK.

You may also have the right to apply for a UK S1 if you start drawing a UK State Pension.

How to register

First, register as a resident at the administrative offices of your provincial authority.

You then need to register with the National Health Fund.

If you work for a Polish employer, theyll register you.

If youre self-employed or not working, go to your regional branch of the National Health Fund.

Find out what documents you need to bring from the National Health Fund website.

Show ID and proof of your insurance when you visit a doctor.

How much youll pay

Monthly contributions cost 9% of your salary if youre employed.

If youre self-employed or not working, monthly contributions are based on national average salary.

State health services are free if you pay insurance contributions, but you need to pay for some prescription medicines.

You can use some private health facilities for free if the facility has a contract with the Polish state health system.

If your UK employer has sent you to Poland temporarily (posted workers)

A posted worker is someone who is employed or self-employed in the UK, but temporarily sent to another European Economic Area (EEA) country.

UK posted workers can access healthcare in Poland using a UK-issued EHIC or an S1 form if Poland opts in to posted worker arrangements as a part of the agreement with the EU. Poland needs to confirm this by the end of January 2021.

If Poland does not opt in to posted worker arrangements, you may need to do one or more of the following:

  • join a local healthcare scheme
  • cover the cost of your healthcare with private health insurance

HMRC has a helpline for National Insurance enquiries from non-UK residents. They can answer questions about posted worker status and explain which documents you will need to get healthcare while posted.

UK-funded healthcare: getting and using an S1 form in Poland

Theres different guidance if you have an S1 as a posted worker.

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if youre a Polish resident and receive a UK State Pension.

You may also be entitled to an S1 form if youre a frontier worker (someone who works in one state and lives in another). You must contact HMRC National Insurance enquiries to find out if youre eligible.

If youve been living in Poland since before 1 January 2021, you may also be entitled to an S1 if you receive some other exportable benefits.

Once you have an S1 form, you must register it on the Polish system.

This will mean you and your dependants will be entitled to healthcare in Poland on the same basis as a Polish citizen.

Youll also get:

If you moved to the EU before 1 January 2021, youll have access to the NHS in England when youre visiting.

Dependants and family members may be classified differently in Poland than the UK.

Check with the local authorities when you register your S1 form.

How to get an S1 form

If you have a UK State Pension, you must request an application form by phone from NHS Overseas Healthcare Services.

NHS Overseas Healthcare Services
Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 1999
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 3pm

How to use an S1 form in Poland

You must register your S1 form with the National Health Fund.

Once registered, youll get a certificate confirming your registration with NFZ. This shows that youre entitled to healthcare on the same basis as a Polish citizen.

Studying in Poland

You can use an EHIC or GHIC to get medically necessary healthcare until the end of your study period.

Moving back to the UK

If you return to the UK youll be able to use the NHS like any other UK resident.

Read more about using the NHS when you return to live in the UK.

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