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…
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:
- Obvezno zdravstveno osiguranje – public basic health insurance
- Dopunsko zdravstveno osiguranje – public or private supplemental health insurance
- Dodatno zdravstveno osiguranje – private supplemental health insurance
Obvezno 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. Private insurers tend to offer multiple options.
Here are 5 insurers that allow you to sign up online for dopunsko:
- HZZO – Starts from 70 kuna per month
- Allianz – Starts from 45 kuna per month
- Croatia Osiguranje – Starts from 60 kuna per month
- Hrvatska pošta – Starts from 70 kuna per month
- Uniqa – Starts from 65 kuna per month
- Wiener Osiguranje – Starts from 45 kuna per month
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:
- Parents with 3 or more children under 18 years
- Students younger than 18 years
- People with certain disabilities and mental illnesses
- Victims of sexual violence from the Homeland War (Domovinski Rat)
- Families who have an income lower than 1.563 kuna per month per person in the household
- Individuals who have an income lower than 2.000 kuna per month
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 called “osnovna lista”)
- Prescription medicines from the additional list of medicines (list B called “dopunska lista”), 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 a 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 that 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!”.
How to check the status of your dopunsko
If you are unsure of the status of your dopunsko state health insurance (if you got it through HZZO), you can always check your policy on the HZZO web site here. All you need is your OIB number. This page will tell you if your policy is valid or not.
Other types of health insurance in Croatia
Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. We can recommend one if you contact us.