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Przekierowanie do polskiej wersji podstrony English version of site

Work in EU/EFTA Member States

General information

In the European Union (EU), you can work in one or more Member States at the same time. However, you can pay health insurance contributions in one country only. This is known as the principle of being subject to only one legislation.

If you work in more than one country, you must confirm where you are supposed to pay health insurance contributions. Contact the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) or, if you are a farmer, the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund (KRUS). The Social Insurance Institution or the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund will determine in which country you are insured and issue a decision.

The country in which you will pay your health insurance depends on your situation in Poland before you start working or conducting an economic activity abroad.

When you are not insured in Poland

Are you not insured with health insurance in Poland and are you starting working in another European Union (EU) Member State or are you starting your economic activity there? You are then bound by the country's health insurance regulations from the moment you start working or conducting an economic activity.

If you want access to healthcare, register for insurance coverage in that country. If insurance is not compulsory in the country concerned and you opt out of it, this means that you cancel your access to free healthcare.

Please note. If you work abroad, your relatives cannot register you as a family member for health insurance in Poland.

When you are receiving a pension in Poland or if you have voluntary health insurance

Are you receiving a pension or paying voluntary health insurance contributions in Poland? Once you start working or conducting an economic activity in another EU Member State, your Polish insurance will no longer apply to you. If you want access to healthcare, register for insurance coverage in that country.

When you have health insurance in Poland as an employee or entrepreneur

Are you working or conducting the economic activity in Poland and another Member State of the European Union or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) at the same time? Contact the Social Insurance Institution and ask them to determine in which country you should pay your contributions. The Social Insurance Institution will issue a decision stating which country will pay for your treatment.

Posted employees

If your employer has posted you to work in another EU or EFTA Member State for a maximum of 24 months, then you are covered by health insurance from the National Health Fund. Your employer must obtain an A1 certificate from the Social Insurance Institution, which confirms your status as a posted employee.

Civil service and diplomacy

If you are a civil servant and your employer has posted you abroad to work, then you are covered by health insurance from the National Health Fund. This also applies if you are travelling to a conference, training, military manoeuvres or exercises. Your employer must obtain an A1 certificate from the Social Insurance Institution, which confirms your status as a posted employee.

If you are a member of the diplomatic and consular corps and you work in another EU or EFTA Member State, then you are covered by health insurance from the National Health Fund.

When you are registered with the employment service in Poland as an unemployed person

Are you registered as unemployed in Poland? As soon as you start working in another EU or EFTA Member State, you are bound by the health insurance provisions in that country.

If you want access to healthcare, register for insurance coverage in that country. If insurance is not compulsory in the country concerned and you opt out of it, this means that you cancel your access to free healthcare.

When you are insured in Poland as a family member

Are you insured in Poland as a family member and are you starting working or are you establishing an economic activity in another country? From then on, you are bound by the health insurance provisions in that country.

If you want access to healthcare, register for insurance coverage in that country. If insurance is not compulsory in the country concerned and you opt out of it, this means that you cancel your access to free healthcare.

The insurance institution in the country where you live or work may require proof of your previous insurance in order to:

  • grant you the entitlement to benefits,
  • cover you with the legislation of the country concerned,
  • insure you compulsorily,
  • exempt you from insurance.

That institution is obliged to apply to the National Health Fund itself for proof of your health insurance periods.

Provide the name of the provincial branch of the National Health Fund. Then the institution will send the request. Electronic document circulation is currently being introduced in the European Union. Institutions, including the National Health Fund, exchange data using a secure electronic network.

If you work abroad and are still entitled to insurance from the National Health Fund, then you can choose one of the following three documents:

  • European Health Insurance Card
  • S1 document
  • DA1 certificate

European Health Insurance Card

Who is entitled to the EHIC for work-related travel?

You can get the EHIC for work-related travel if you are:

  • an employee posted to work by your employer,
  • a person who is working in several Member States,
  • a member of the diplomatic and consular corps or a civil servant,
  • an unemployed person registered with an employment service who is travelling abroad to look for work.

The EHIC will confirm your entitlement to medical treatment during your stay in the EU or EFTA Member State to which you have been posted or where you are looking for work. Under the EHIC, you will be entitled to:

  • necessary and unplanned treatment,
  • treatment under the public healthcare system of the country concerned,
  • the treatment provided so that you do not have to return to Poland before the end of the posting and you can continue your stay in health-safe conditions.

The scope of benefits is decided by your doctor, who will assess your health condition and determine the extent of treatment, considering the length of your planned stay.

Please note. If you have obtained treatment during a work-related stay and have returned to Poland, you may continue free treatment abroad only with the authorisation of the National Health Fund.

Important! 

  • If you are an employee posted to work in the United Kingdom, please read the rules that apply after 31 December 2020 under Brexit tab.
  • If you are not a citizen of an EU Member State, you cannot benefit from free treatment with an EHIC in the following countries: Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Denmark.

How to obtain the EHIC?

Check the ‘EHIC’ > ‘How to obtain an EHIC’ tab.

If you are travelling for work, please select:

  • Application – for work-related travel

Application for the EHIC for work-related travel [PDF, 291 KB]

What documents to submit with the EHIC application

Attach one of the following documents appropriate to your situation to your application:

  • if you are a posted employee or if you work in several countries at the same time, A1 certificate issued by the Social Insurance Institution or the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund,
  • if you are an unemployed jobseeker, U2 document issued by the employment service;
  • if you work in diplomacy, information from your employer about being posted to a diplomatic or consular post.

Check in the ‘EHIC’ tab:

  • how to submit the application
  • how long you have to wait for your card.

When does the EHIC for working people expire?

The card will be issued for the period stated in one of the documents attached to the application:

  • A1 certificate,
  • U2 document,
  • information from the employer.

How to obtain treatment under the EHIC

If you need medical assistance, take your EHIC, identity card or passport with you and go to the nearest public healthcare facility in your country of stay. Show the documents to the doctor or facility administration.

You can only obtain treatment from a public healthcare provider. If you are confused about where to apply, please see the ‘Rules in individual countries’ tab. You will also find contact details for the local authority that will help you.

Please note. The doctor must personally see the card and check whether it complies with the template set out in EU legislation. Providing the card number alone is not enough.

If you do not have the EHIC and you need to obtain treatment, check how to get a document replacing the EHIC under the ‘Holidays in EU/EFTA Member States’ 'Travelling without the EHIC’ tab.

Legal basis

Article 19 of Regulation (EC) No. 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the coordination of social security systems,

Decision No. S1 of the Administrative Commission for the Coordination of Social Security Systems of 12 June 2009 concerning the European Health Insurance Card.

 

S1 document

Who is entitled to the S1 document

We issue an S1 document to:

  • persons who move permanently to an EU or EFTA Member State other than Poland.
  • people who have been posted to work abroad for 12 months or more.

How to obtain the S1 document?

  1. To obtain the S1 document, download and complete:

APPLICATION FOR AN S1 DOCUMENT FOR A PERSON TEMPORARILY TRANSFERRING HIS/HER PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES TO ANOTHER EU/EFTA MEMBER STATE – opens in a new tab [PDF 488KB]
 

  1. Attach one of the following documents to your application:
  • if you are a posted employee or if you work in several countries at the same time, A1 certificate issued by the Social Insurance Institution or the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund for a period of at least 12 months,
  • if you work in diplomacy, information from your employer about being posted to a diplomatic or consular post for a period of at least 12 months.

Please note. As a posted employee, consular or diplomatic employee, you do not need to declare a change of residence for us to issue the S1 document. We expect such formal notification of a change only from persons who are changing their place of permanent residence.

  1. Send the application to the appropriate provincial branch of the National Health Fund.

Contact details of provincial branches of the National Health Fund

An authorised person can also submit the application on your behalf.

Please note. If you have family members travelling with you, the institution in the country to which you are going will verify who, according to the legislation of that country, can be a family member and will ask for such documents.

When does the S1 document expire?

We will issue the S1 document for the period stated in one of the documents attached to the S1 document application:

  • A1 certificate,
  • information from the employer.

Please note. If you interrupt your stay abroad and return to Poland, inform the provincial branch of the National Health Fund which issued your S1 document. We will shorten its validity to the day of your return to Poland.

What if you receive a notice stating that the S1 document has been issued, but there is no S1 document in the envelope?

If you receive a notice stating that the S1 document has been issued, but without this document, it means that we have sent the S1 document electronically to the institution you indicated in your application.

In this case, you must contact the institution and obtain from them a local document that confirms your entitlement to benefits.

How to obtain treatment under the S1 document

To be able to use the S1 document, you must first register it in the country where you live.

If we have issued a paper document or sent it electronically to an institution of the country concerned, contact that institution to determine how the S1 document is to be registered.

Once you have registered, you will receive a country specific document to produce at the healthcare facility.

Each Member State determines the registration process independently.

You can only obtain treatment from a public healthcare provider. If you are confused about where to apply, please see the ‘Rules in individual countries’ tab. You will also find contact details for the local authority that will help you.

Please note. Once you have received your S1 document, you are still entitled to obtain full treatment in Poland.

 

DA1 certificate

Who is entitled to the DA1 document

The DA1 document will confirm your entitlement to treatment arising from an accident at work or occupational disease.

It is only required in countries where the consequences of an accident at work or occupational disease are treated in a separate healthcare system. This is the case in Germany, Austria or Belgium, for example. In such countries, the EHIC card is not enough if the treatment is related to an accident at work.

You can receive a DA1 document if:

  • you have an A1 certificate issued by the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) or the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund (KRUS), which confirms that Polish legislation applies to you,
  • on the day of the accident, you were insured with accident insurance in Poland and were registered for health insurance with the National Health Fund,
  • your employer, or a body specified in national legislation on accidents at work, has decided that the incident has been classified as an accident at work,
  • the Social Insurance Institution has granted you a pension for an accident at work or occupational disease.

Please note. When you work without this confirmation, you risk having to pay the full cost of treatment if you have an accident.

The scope of benefits is decided by your doctor, who will assess your health condition and determine the extent of treatment, considering the length of your planned stay.

Please note. If you have obtained treatment during a work-related stay and have returned to Poland, the National Health Fund must provide authorisation for the continuation of such treatment.

How to obtain the DA1 document?

  1. To obtain the DA1 document, download and complete Application for a DA1 document (pdf, 22 kB).
  2. Attach to your application:
  • a document which proves that your accident has been recognised as an accident at work, or that you have an occupational disease;
  • a document which describes the consequences of the accident at work or occupational disease;
  1. Also attach one of the following documents to your application:
  • if you are a posted employee or if you work in several countries at the same time, the A1 certificate issued by the Social Insurance Institution or the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund,
  • if you work in diplomacy, information from your employer about being posted to a diplomatic or consular post,
  • if you are receiving a pension, a document confirming that you have been granted a pension for an accident at work or occupational disease.

Please note. If you wish to obtain a DA1 document in connection with moving your residence to a country where treatment for accident consequences is provided in a separate healthcare system, formally declare the change of residence.

  1. Send the application and the documents to the appropriate provincial branch of the National Health Fund.

Contact details of provincial branches of the National Health Fund

An authorised person can also submit the application on your behalf.

When does the DA1 document expire?

You can obtain a DA1 document:

  • with no time limit when we issue it in connection with your change of residence,
  • for the duration of the benefits provided,
  • for 30 days if the treatment is still ongoing.

Please note. If you have obtained treatment during a work-related stay and have returned to Poland, the National Health Fund must provide authorisation for the continuation of such treatment.

 

You will lose your entitlement to the EHIC, S1 document or DA1 when, among other things:

  • the posting period indicated on your A1 certificate or that indicated by your employer if you are a consular and diplomatic employee, ends,
  • the posting terminates,
  • you become employed in the country where you were looking for work with your U2 document,
  • you lose your entitlement to benefits in the National Health Fund, e.g. due to termination of employment.

Your entitlement to use the EHIC, S1 document or DA1 will then end:

  • on the day your posting ends or is terminated,
  • on the day you start working in the country where you have looked for work with your U2 document,
  • 30 days after you lose your entitlement to benefits.

Please note! When you use EU documents without authorisation, you must then reimburse the medical costs. By doing so, you expose yourself to the risk of debt collection proceedings.

Information about the loss of the entitlement to healthcare benefits by a person who uses the EHIC [PDF, 204 KB]

Information for employers

When you post your employees to work abroad, make sure they have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with them.

Advantages of the EHIC for an employee

The EHIC will confirm the employee's entitlement to medical treatment during their stay in the EU or EFTA Member State to which they are posted. Under the EHIC, they will be entitled to:

  • necessary and unplanned treatment,
  • treatment under the public health system of the country concerned,
  • the treatment provided so that the employee does not have to return to Poland before the end of the posting and they can continue their stay in health-safe conditions.

The scope of benefits is decided by a doctor who will assess your employee’s health condition and determine the extent of treatment, considering the length of their stay.

How to obtain the EHIC for an employee

An employee may apply for the EHIC themselves. They may also authorise the employer to do so.

Such authorisation should include:

  • the details of the person authorising,
  • the details of the person who has been authorised to make the application on behalf of the employee, including the number of the identity card or other document with a photograph,
  • information about the authorisation to apply for and collect the card.

If you have such authorisation, you can:

  • sign the EHIC application (on behalf of one employee),
  • send a list of your employees posted to work abroad and a list with the details of their family members with whom they are travelling, registered for health insurance.

The list should include:

  • the first and last names of the employees and of their family members,
  • PESEL of the employee and their family members,
  • the current address of the employee’s place of residence in Poland,
  • the country to which the employee is posted,
  • posting period,
  • information about an accident at work or occupational disease.

Send the application or letter to the provincial branch of the National Health Fund.

Contact details of provincial branches of the National Health Fund

Please note. If you have an accident at work and the country you are working in requires a special document to treat the consequences of the accident, check the ‘What documents can you obtain when you work abroad and are insured in Poland – DA1 document’ tab.

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