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This guidance will be updated if anything changes to how you get state healthcare in Poland.
If you live in Poland or move there before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare in Poland will stay the same for as long as you remain resident.
This guidance explains what you need to do in Poland depending on your circumstances.
Poland has an insurance-based healthcare system. If youre not insured, you may be charged for using state healthcare services.
At the moment, 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 UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for temporary stays
- registering an UK-issued S1 with the Polish state health system
The S1 form entitles UK nationals access to state healthcare on the same basis as a Polish citizen. Youre entitled to an S1 if you receive a UK State Pension or certain other benefits. Find out more about the S1.
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.
If you live in Poland or move there before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare in Poland will stay the same from 1 January 2021 for as long as you remain resident.
This means youll:
- continue to get state healthcare in Poland on the same basis as a Polish resident
- still be entitled to a 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.
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.
Currently, posted workers can use an EHIC or an S1 form to access Polish healthcare.
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.
There will be no changes to healthcare access for posted workers in Poland before the end of 2020.
You can continue to use your EHIC or S1 during this time.
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 you live in Poland and receive either:
- a UK State Pension
- some other exportable benefits
You may also be entitled to an S1 form if youre a posted worker or 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.
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.
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.
UK-funded healthcare using an S1 from 1 January 2021
If youre living in Poland before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare will stay the same from 1 January 2021 if youre either:
- receiving a UK State Pension
- receiving some other exportable benefits
- a frontier worker (someone who works in one state and lives in another)
This means that youll get:
- continued access to healthcare in Poland using your UK-issued S1 form
- a UK-issued EHIC for travel
- planned treatments in other EU countries via the S2 route
- access to the NHS in England, Scotland and Wales when youre visiting the UK
EHIC if you have a registered S1
You need to get a new UK-issued EHIC thats valid for travel from 1 January 2021.
Studying in Poland
If youre in Poland on 31 December 2020 because you study there, and your course continues beyond 2020, you need to apply for a new UK-issued EHIC.
Your EHIC entitles you to medically necessary healthcare until the end of your study period in Poland.
From 1 January 2021, your EHIC will only be valid in Poland. Make sure you have travel insurance to cover the duration of your course.
Moving back to the UK
If you return to the UK youll be able to use the NHS like any other UK resident.
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