Though Croatia has a modern public healthcare system and foreign nationals who are employed or have permanent residency in Croatia are eligible for Croatian national health insurance (see "The Healthcare System"), many expats choose to see private doctors. It's also possible to supplement national healthcare with private healthcare.
Choosing private healthcare is a good option for expats who are not eligible for national healthcare and for patients who want easier access to specialists and a wide range of services. Wait times can be decreased at private clinics, although this is not always true.
Many people who choose private healthcare simply pay out of pocket, meaning they are personally responsible for paying their bill in full. For many expats, private healthcare services in Croatia are much less expensive than what they would pay for similar services in their home countries. Though costs vary from clinic to clinic, an office visit to a general practitioner or a specialist generally costs around 300 kuna. Of course, additional treatment or services will cost more.
In addition to public health insurance, there is also private health insurance available at very affordable rates. Generally, you pay a monthly fee for a package that includes a predetermined number of annual doctor's visits and health services. However, expats may not be eligible for private health insurance unless they have permanent residency in Croatia.
When choosing private insurance, be sure to consider your healthcare priorities, your budget, and your current healthcare providers. Usually private clinics do not accept every type of private insurance, so if you already have a doctor that you particularly like, verify which insurance plans he or she accepts.
Private insurance providers include:
Many insurance companies offer extended travel insurance and expat insurance. This is an excellent option for individuals who are traveling to Croatia or another country and want full coverage while at home and abroad. There are many insurance companies that offer travel and expat insurance, so spend some time comparing plans to determine which plan is best for you. Be sure to consider the length of time you will be abroad and the flexibility the plan provides. You might also choose to work with an insurance broker, who will help you find a plan meets your needs.
There are several collective or group buying websites in Croatia that offer deals on goods and services at significantly reduced prices. Several of these websites run very affordable deals for private health services, such as systematic checkups, specialist exams, blood tests, and more. It may seem strange at first to snag a deal on something like a gynecological exam, but plenty of people have done it, and the savings are usually significant. The downside is that a specific clinic offers the service, so you may have to go to a doctor you are not familiar with to take advantage of the deal.
The process is simple. You just purchase the deal online with a credit card and take your confirmation code or receipt to your appointment.
Collective buying websites with health deals in Croatia include:
With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation to Zagreb is an essential step. As far as healthcare is concerned, your local social security scheme won’t be accompanying you to your host country and, once abroad, you might be surprised by the care system you find in Croatia. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover!
EasyExpat.com works in partnership with APRIL International to provide specific insurance solutions for travelling or staying outside your country of nationality.
Designed for either short or long stays, APRIL International’s insurance policies offer protection against any problems that might arise before departure or during your time in Croatia: cancelling your trip, medical expenses following an illness or accident, needing to be repatriated, causing damage to a third party or losing your luggage.