- Hans Weber
- February 28, 2024
The State stops paying for 200,000 refugees
The state will automatically stop paying health insurance for about 200,000 Ukrainian refugees of working age in the coming weeks. 150 days will have passed since they arrived in the Czech Republic and received temporary protection, which is the time the lawmakers believe it would take for them to find work and for the state to stop paying for their care.
For Ukrainians, this means only one thing: they must contact the insurance company and prove whether they are still entitled to be covered by insurance or whether someone else will pay for them.
“I expect that this will increase employment, which was the aim of the law,” Tom Philipp (KDU-ČSL), chairman of the VZP board, said. But enforcement can be problematic, especially if it turns out that the person who officially became the debtor has long since left the Czech Republic.
The authorities do not have precise information on the movement of people. However, the debt will be erased if they can prove that they have crossed the border. But debtors will not lose access to healthcare.
They have eight days to check in
But it’s better to avoid the hassle. After 150 days, Ukrainians have eight days to contact their insurance company, ideally electronically, to avoid queues at branches.
Refugees can apply to the VZP via a form at www.pomocukrajine.vzp.cz, which will be available on July 21. Those who arrived shortly after the outbreak of the war will be affected next week.
These people between 18 and 65 must prove whether they are caring for a child, studying, or registered as a jobseeker with the employment office.
In this case, the state would continue to pay for their insurance. Children and the elderly remain covered by the state and do not have to report anything.
Nothing has changed for the 43 000 Ukrainians who have already found a job in the labor market. They either pay the contributions themselves, or their employer does it.
A law brought about the change in the rules called lex Ukraine 2. In addition to getting refugees to find work, it is also supposed to save insurance companies money for those who are no longer in the Czech Republic.
Initially, the state intended to cover care automatically for one year for everyone.
In March, VZP’s health care for Ukrainian refugees amounted to CZK 65 million; in April, it was CZK 150 million.
According to estimates, VZP expects to spend around CZK 4 billion on refugees this year. More than 82 percent of the arrivals are children and women.