What is “dopunsko” and why you should have this health insurance

If visiting a doctor within the HZZO network, filling prescriptions or getting non-basic health services like specialty blood tests at the hospital, you’ll be asked “Imate li dopunsko?”, which means “Do you have dopunsko?”. If you reply that you do not have it (“Nemam”), you’ll likely get this response…

via GIPHY

I’ve grown quite tired of getting this response, so I broke down and signed up for it. Truthfully, we should all have dopunsko. Let’s start from the beginning.

In Croatia, there are three types of health insurance:

  1. Obavezno zdravstveno osiguranje – public basic health insurance
  2. Dopunsko zdravstveno osiguranje – public or private supplemental health insurance
  3. Dodatno zdravstveno osiguranje – private supplemental health insurance

Obavezno is the mandated basic public health insurance that you probably already have if you live here. You must have it to get dopunsko. Dopunsko and dodatno are optional supplemental health insurance policies. If you want to read about dodatno, the highest level of health insurance, hop over here. For more on dopunsko, proceed…

What is dopunsko health insurance?

Dopunsko is a supplemental health insurance policy above and beyond your regular health insurance. It is defined by the Zakon o dobrovoljnom zdravstvenom osiguranju (Law on voluntary health insurance).

If you have only the state health insurance through HZZO, you’ll still be required to make a co-payment in the following situations WITHOUT DOPUNSKO:

  • Visiting a doctor
  • Filling prescriptions
  • Anything that requires you to go to the hospital including, but not limited to:
    • Non-basic blood and diagnostic tests
    • Specialist appointments
    • Emergency care

Where can I get dopunsko and what does it cost?

Dopunsko is offered by HZZO as well as by private insurers. The price varies depending on the insurer, the additional benefits you choose and your age. The private insurers tend to offer multiple options.

Here are 5 insurers that allow you to sign up online for dopunsko:

PBZ also offers this supplement through Generali, which is a good option if you already have a bank account with them. You’ll need to sign up at a bank branch. Their policy starts from 60 kuna.

Most insurers will give you the option to pay monthly, or to pay annually in one lump sum.

Organ donors and frequent blood donors qualify for a free supplemental policy through HZZO. To qualify, females must make 25 blood donations and males must make 35 blood donations. Once you have donated the minimum number of times, take your blood donation booklet to the HZZO offices and request your free supplementary health insurance.

In addition to organ and blood donors, the following groups also qualify for free dopunsko through HZZO:

What does dopunsko cover?

It reduces or eliminates the co-payment for health services and medications. It is important to check the exact benefits with each insurer.

The standard inclusions for dopunsko are:

  • Health care for services of doktor opće medicine (family medicine doctors) in state clinics
  • Health care for services of gynecologists in state clinics
  • Health care for services of dentists in state clinics
  • Specialist-consultative health care
  • Daily hospital
  • Daily hospital surgeries
  • Laboratory, radiology and other specialist diagnostics
  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation service in clinics
  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation services at home
  • Hospital treatment
  • Orthopedic and other aids on the basic list
  • Dental aids due to the basic list
  • Prescription medicines from the basic list of medicines (list A)
  • Prescription medicines from the additional list of medicines (list B), if agreed
  • Medical treatment abroad if it is approved by the HZJZ

Why should I get dopunsko health insurance?

If you need regular healthcare, then you should absolutely have this supplemental insurance. If you have kids, you should have policy for yourself and for each child. I don’t know much about kids, but I hear they tend to get hurt and sick with frequency.

I’ll admit, it took me nearly 7 years to get on board with dopunsko. I figured that since I don’t have kids or any serious health problems, then it didn’t make sense to pay 70 kuna per month when my monthly out-of-pocket health care costs are less than that.

I’ve since learned that is not a good reason at all. If my greatest fear of getting hit by a car in a crosswalk comes to fruition, then dopunsko will save me from paying a single kuna at the hospital.

What happens after I sign up?

You’ll receive an insurance card in the mail. When you go to the doctor or pharmacy next, you’ll present this new card so you can avoid or reduce the co-payment.

A little tip: You may get asked if you have the orange card (“narančasta kartica”) instead of “dopunsko”. The reason is because the HZZO supplement card is orange. However, the supplement cards with private insurers vary in color.

Next time you get asked “imate li dopunsko”, you can say emphatically “IMAM!”.

via GIPHY

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8 thoughts on “What is “dopunsko” and why you should have this health insurance

  1. Shane
    April 18, 2019 @ 7:23 pm

    Hi Sara

    I was just wondering if foreigners are eligible to apply for this dopunsko through HZZO if they are only on a family remuneration(spousal) visa for one year as a third party national and are not yet citizens?

    Kind regards

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      April 27, 2019 @ 12:05 pm

      Hi Shane,

      Anyone living legally in Croatia that is insured can apply for dopunsko through HZZO. It is not only for citizens.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  2. Garrett
    May 14, 2019 @ 5:11 pm

    That’s great. I wasn’t aware of it. It looks like I can sign up straight through the mzaba app for zagrebačka bank as well. Thanks for the post.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      May 15, 2019 @ 10:38 am

      Hi Garrett,

      Glad the post was helpful and thanks for following!

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

  3. Boris
    June 13, 2019 @ 7:30 am

    Hello Sara

    We are three brothers and my wife, Croatian citizens for my grandfather and we want to buy a house in Croatia and live there, but we are between 55 and 65 years old without the possibility of starting work and without the possibility of paying a basic insurance of the state. Can we have medical attention if necessary? Is there a way to start with some kind of coverage of a single minimum payment for all of them together considering that we would be below the level of a basic income?

    Regards.

    Boris from South America

    {reply}

  4. Tetyana
    October 20, 2020 @ 10:04 pm

    Hi Sara! my husband and I are applied for residence based on a 1-year prepaid rental. It will take us another week or two to get an answer from police and till that moment we will not be able to sign for HZZO. The thing is that I am 8 month pregnant and we desperately need this insurance asap. My question is how long does it take to get insurance once we get our residence. And may be you know what is the cost of giving a birth in public hospital as a tourist in case if we will not be able to get insurance before the due date? We are planing to give a birth in maternity hospital in Split.

    Thank you in advance!
    Tetyana & Brian

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      October 21, 2020 @ 7:22 am

      Hi Tetyana,

      Signing up for HZZO can go quick. However, receiving your card can take some time. When you go to sign up for HZZO, I would explain to them the situation so that you can get everything you need. Your HZZO insurance is all tied to your OIB, so that and your residence card should be all that you need.

      I only know of people giving birth here who already have residence, none as foreigners. I think the out of pocket may be high, but not as high as the US (to compare in case you are from the US).

      If you need anything else, please let me know. 🙂

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

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