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Changes in health insurance

In 2023, nationwide regulations regarding health insurance for doctoral students have changed. The changes apply to all doctoral students, who until now were registered for insurance by JU (and the state paid the contributions), regardless of when they began their education, including those "on an extension". Please read the following information carefully.

The new regulations are the result of a change in the law made by the Polish Parliament and apply to all public universities in Poland. The Doctoral School of Exact and Natural Sciences has made every effort to determine the correct interpretation of the current legal status and explain it in an easy-to-understand way. However it is the responsibility of each doctoral student to determine his/her own status.

The changes will take effect from the new academic year, i.e. October 1, 2023.

Below we explain what the insurance status of a doctoral student will look like, depending on his or her life situation:


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Citizens of PL/UE/EFTA

In order for the university to register you for insurance, you must meet these 2 conditions at the same time:

  1. You must be:
    1. a citizen of Poland, or 
    2. a citizen of another EU/EFTA country, or 
    3. the holder of the Pole's Card (Karta Polaka)
  2. And at the same time, you cannot be subject to insurance obligation for any other reason (e.g., due to employment, running a business, "under the coverage of your parents/grandparents/spouse" ...)

The university may register you for insurance only in the specified cases. In other situations, you should be registered for insurance by the relevant entity (e.g., employer, parents/grandparents/spouse).

Note: The university does not register doctoral students eligible for insurance in an "automatic" manner (because university employees are not able to determine the individual insurance status of each person or whether there are other grounds for insurance). Therefore, it is necessary to take appropriate steps (described in Procedure A).

The university cannot register individuals for insurance who should be insured under a different eligibility. There can be many situations like this, but the most common cases for Poles are:

  • persons under 26 years of age – they are usually insured "with a parent", if the parent works or receives a pension, or possibly with a grandfather/grandmother,
  • persons who are employed - their employer is responsible for their insurance,
  • persons whose spouse has their own insurance eligibility (meaning, for instance, they are employed) - in this case, the spouse is the one who registers for insurance,
  • persons running their own business - self-employed individuals pay their own contributions,
  • persons who are on disability or retirement benefits - contributions are deducted from their benefits.

The above examples cover only the most common cases. It is possible that your situation is different. Before applying for insurance through the universities, make sure that someone else should not insure you.

If you are a citizen of another EU/EFTA country, you need to determine whether you are entitled to insurance in your country. Each country has slightly different regulations in this area. 

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If you know that you should be insured by the university, and not by another entity, then:
  • If you are receiving a scholarship - complete the Scholarship Declaration, in item I, 1) Ieave sentece: "I am not subject to health insurance coverage due to any other reason".
  • If you are not receiving a scholarship (meaning you are on an "extension") - complete the form "Zgłoszenie siebie do ubezpieczenia zdrowotnego na UJ" (available in Polish) on the website: >>
    There, you will also find a form for registering family members ("Zgłoszenie członka rodziny osoby ubezpieczonej na UJ").

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If you are insured in a country other than Poland within the EU/EFTA, then you have two options:

Minimum option:

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – gives you the right to access medical care in emergencies (meaning when a doctor determines that providing you with assistance is necessary to prevent your health from deteriorating before you return to your home country).

  • How to get the European Health Insurance Card?
    You can get an EHIC card in the country where you are insured. It is valid only with your ID.
If you know before your departure that you will need to regularly use medical care (for example, due to a pre-existing condition), this card WILL NOT be sufficient.

Extended option:

Form S1 – gives the right to receive medical care to the same extent as those insured in Poland, including treatment of chronic conditions and other medical services.

  • To obtain Form S1, contact the health insurance institution in the country where you are insured.
  • Register the Form S1 you receive with the NFZ (National Health Fund) in Poland. You will receive a document that you will need to show when accessing medical care in Poland.
  • Note that you will have the same rights as persons insured in Poland, not the rights of those insured in your country.

Remember that if over time you find a job in Poland and become insured here, you will lose your insurance coverage in your home country. In that case, you will need to use the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or register the Form S1 issued in Poland in your home country.

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Non-EU/EFTA citizens

Until now, non-EU/EFTA citizens were registered for insurance by the university, and the state paid the contributions for them. The new regulations have changed this situation. The state will no longer pay contributions for non-EU/EFTA citizens, so the university has no legal right to report them for insurance. 

If you are not a citizen of an EU/EFTA country, you can by insured by employer or by spouse employed in PL/EU/EFTA (also by parent employed in PL/EU/EFTA, but only if you are under 26) Otherwise, you must insure yourself. You can either use the public insurance provided by the National Health Fund (NFZ) or purchase private insurance.

You can either use:

  • use the public insurance provided by the National Health Fund (NFZ) [Procedure C]
  • or purchase private insurance (check the information below).

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To do this, you will need to prepare the appropriate documents and make arrangements with the National Health Fund (NFZ) and Social Insurance Institution (ZUS), and then a monthly contribution, which currently amounts to PLN 55.80. Detailed step-by-step instructions can be found below:

Stage 1: National Health Fund (NFZ)

  1. Prepare the following documents:
    1. doctoral student status certificate (you can get it from the office of your Educational Program) - it is valid for 30 days from the date of issue,
    2. a photocopy of the page of your passport that contains personal data (cover the photo, it is not required),
    3. a photocopy of the current Polish visa or temporary residence permit in Poland (cover the photo),
    4. a photocopy of confirmation of residence in the Małopolska province, i.e., official confirmation of registration (more information about registration of residency here),
    5. e. a photocopy of a document confirming that you have been assigned a PESEL number,
    6. f. optionally, a photocopy of a document confirming deregistration from the last insurance (it's called "ZUS ZWUA" form).
  2. Download >>this application and fill it in either on a computer or by hand legibly in printed capital letters. The application can only be submitted in Polish. English translation >>is available here. Don't fill it out. You must submit the document in Polish language.
  3. Download >>this document, print and sign.
  4. Go to the Provincial Branch of the National Health Fund (NFZ) in Kraków (8W Wadowicka Str.) and submit all documents from points 1-3 at the application registry office.
  5. Send an email for its verification to:
    1. In the subject line, write: „POTWIERDZENIE ADRESU E-MAIL DO WNIOSKU UD”, Copy + paste this subject line.
    2. In the body, write: „W DNIU enter date of application here ZŁOŻYŁEM/WYSŁAŁEM WNIOSEK O UBEZPIECZENIE DOBROWOLNE – MÓJ NR TEL. enter your phone number here – (enter first and last name here).
  6. The office will reply to this message when the insurance contract is ready to be signed.
  7. When you receive this information, visit the same branch (8W Wadowicka Street) to sign the voluntary insurance agreement.
    1. The office will prepare the agreement in the Polish language. You can read the English translation >>here. Do not print this template.

Stage 2: Social Insurance Institution (ZUS)

After signing the agreement with the National Health Fund (NFZ), you must report it to the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS). You have 7 days to do so.

  1. 1. It's best to start by creating an account in the PUE ZUS service. Having an account in PUE ZUS is not mandatory, but without it, every month you will need to send a letter to ZUS or go there in person.
    1. You can create account here: >> (website in Polish). You can find a detailed guide on how to create an account here: >>Baza wiedzy ZUS (website in Polish). You will need a "Profil Zaufany" (trusted profile). 
  2. Fill out >>the "ZZA" form. You can do it either on a computer or by hand legibly in printed capital letters.
  3. Go to ZUS (to the Customer Service Hall) with the Agreement and the filled ZZA form. The nearest NFZ office is ZUS Łagiewniki branch (Zakopiańska 33 Street). Register your application. You will receive a individual bank account number to which you need to transfer the contribution (55.80 PLN) every month
  4. From this point on, every month, you must pay the contribution and send the ZUS DRA form via PUE ZUS. If you do not wish to create a PUE ZUS account, you can send the form by regular mail or deliver it to ZUS in person.
Whenever you need to use public health care (e.g., to go to a doctor, ER, hospital) you must have FIVE documents with you: 1) the contract with the National Health Fund (NFZ), 2) ZZA form proven by ZUS, 3) proof of payment of the last contribution, 4) student ID, 5) passport. 

Insurance for family

The rate of PLN 55.80 per month applies only to PhD students. You cannot register your family for this insurance. If your spouse also wants insurance, they can, but the contribution will be higher. It is calculated quarterly and at present (September 2023) it is PLN 662.88 per month. Children can also be registered for this insurance – this will not increase the contribution amount.


Unfortunately, most offices in Poland only provide services in Polish or have a limited number of employees who speak English. Also, some websites and documents are available only in Polish. If an English version of the document is available, we have tried to find it and post it. 

To start with, we encourage you to use online translation tools for websites (e.g., Google and Bing). If that proves insufficient, you can contact the PhD Student Association at 

You can consider the offer from an insurance company. In order to apply for temporary residence in Poland, you must have insurance with a minimum coverage of 30,000 EUR. 

Remember that insurance is not the same as a medical package. Medical packages allow you to use private medical visits, but they do not cover the costs of treatment in public hospitals. This means that in case of an accident, they won't cover the costs of rescue operations and treatment.

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All doctoral students

  • If your university registered you for health insurance, you will remain insured for an additional 4 months after completing your doctoral studies (i.e., submitting your doctoral dissertation).
  • If, as a citizen of a non-EU/EFTA country, you independently insured yourself with the National Health Fund (NFZ), you can still use the doctoral student rate for an additional 30 days after completing your studies (i.e., submitting your doctoral dissertation).

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The Act of November 16, 2022 amending the Act on the Professions of Physician and Dentist and Certain Other Acts amended the Act of August 27, 2004 on health care services financed from public funds.

Until now, all doctoral students were registered for insurance by the university, but their contributions to the NFZ were paid by the state. After the change in the law, the university will be able to register only those students and doctoral students from PL/EU/EFTA who have no other rights to insurance. Doctoral students from outside the mentioned countries cannot be reported for insurance by university.