Healthcare in Slovenia

Each country's health system is different and might not include all the things you'd expect to get free of charge from the NHS.

This means you may have to make a patient contribution to the cost of your care.

Visitors to Slovenia

Anyone who visits Slovenia or moves to the country has to register with the local police within 3 days. Failure to do so will result in a fine.

Most hotels and guest houses will do this as part of your check-in. However, if a person is self-catering or staying with friends, then they must register in person.

Finding help in an emergency

If you find yourself in a serious, life-threatening emergency, you should call 112. This number is free of charge and is also for the police and fire brigade.

Ambulance transportation is free in the event of an emergency or if a doctor has confirmed that it is needed. In all other cases, an individual must pay 90% of the costs of the ambulance transport.

Be aware that if you ask a hotel or travel representative to call a doctor, you may be treated privately. If you wish to be treated under the state system you must call 112 and ask for an ambulance to take you to the nearest state hospital.

Healthcare up until the UK leaves the EU

Emergency medical care is provided to anyone requiring urgent attention. You can expect to be charged in full for any care provided without an EHIC.

With the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) all emergency treatments are free under the Slovenian state health service. This includes admission to hospital and any surgery if needed.

You should always buy enough travel insurance and make sure you have access to funding to cover any medical treatment abroad.

Remember to keep all receipts and any paperwork (make copies if necessary) as they might be needed by you or your insurance company to apply for any refund.

Currently, your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) enables you to access the necessary state-provided healthcare in Slovenia at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free if you are staying there temporarily.

In non-emergency situations, an individual will be expected to contribute to the cost of their treatment. They will also be expected to pay for prescription medicines and any dental treatment.

EHIC does not cover certain costs, including:

  • private treatment
  • being brought back to the UK
  • mountain rescue services
  • cruises

Be careful if healthcare arrangements are made by a hotel or travel representative. They might reassure visitors that they can claim back whatever is paid out, but they are referring to private insurance and not the treatment given under the EHIC.

The Slovenian health system is based on statutory health insurance, which is regulated by national legislation and administered by the single insurer HIIS.

The health system is insurance based and contributions are compulsory for all residents of Slovenia.

Anyone who is not insured with the Slovenia health service and does not hold an EHIC, will need to secure private health insurance. Third country nationals without insurance cannot access non-emergency free state healthcare.

Those who do not have health insurance and require basic health care can contact an outpatient clinic for people without health insurance

EHIC does not cover residency of over 90 days in Slovenia, therefore, UK nationals living and/or working in Slovenia must follow the residency and insurance process described later in this document in order to access the same entitlements to healthcare as Slovenia insured residents.

People with pre-existing health conditions

If you have a pre-existing health condition, you should buy medical travel insurance before visiting Slovenia. You must tell the insurance company about any pre-existing health conditions you have, to make sure you can get the cover you need. If you have an EHIC, this will be valid until the UK leaves the EU but may not work after that.

If you have a pre-existing condition that will need treatment while abroad, ask your doctor in the UK for advice before you travel. Make sure you take with you any documents about your health condition or medication.

If you are travelling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment, see our section about seeking medical treatment in Europe.

Dentists

Non-emergency dental treatment is not covered by the EHIC card and you will be expected to make a payment.

Hospitals

Just like in the UK, you'll need to be referred by a doctor for any hospital treatment. Make sure you are referred to a state hospital as only these provide treatment free of charge. Even in a state hospital you will need a valid EHIC. Double-check you are not treated as a private patient.

In the state healthcare system, you have the right to insist your EHIC is accepted. You do not have to provide travel insurance details unless you choose to do so.

State primary health care is provided by a mix of state and private providers with concessions.

State providers include health care centres and health stations, institutions established and owned by local communities.

Private providers are individual health care professionals working individually or in group practices offering combinations of services and specialties. The patients can choose the primary care provider among those who have a contract with the HIIS and have the right to change them after a year. The personal physician plays the role of the gatekeeper since a referral is necessary to proceed to specialist and hospital care. The referral is not required in the cases of chronic diseases or long-term treatment.

Patients can select a private physician of their choice but must cover all costs out-of-pocket.

Specialist outpatient care is provided in hospitals or private health facilities, while ambulatory services are provided in the polyclinics affiliated with hospitals, in community health centres or in private specialists' offices.

Specialists can also work part time in private and state health centres, based on civil law contracts.

There are some private polyclinics, which may or may not have contracts (concession) with HIIS and, based on whether or not they hold a contract, paid either in the form of social insurance reimbursement, or as out-of-pocket payments.

EHIC does not cover private treatment, so individuals will need to make sure they are treated by a healthcare provider that has a contract with the HIIS. A list of HIIS-contracted and private healthcare providers is available on HIIS website (only available in Slovene).

Access to non-urgent health care services will attract a charge on the same terms as basic Slovenian health insurance.

Prescriptions

The HIIS (single insurer in Slovenia) maintains a list of 'positive' and 'negative' medications; 'positive' list medication prescribed is subsidised at 70%, while medication prescribed from the 'negative' list must be paid in full by you.

When using your EHIC, people of working age are charged 50% and pensioners are charged about 10%. Pensioners will have to declare they receive a UK State Pension in order to pay the lower rate.

Bringing your own medicines to Slovenia

Some prescribed medicines contain drugs that are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs legislation in the UK. This means that extra legal controls apply to these medicines.

You may need a personal licence to take controlled medicines abroad.

Specific requirements also apply to:

  • the information that you must take with you
  • how you carry your controlled medicines

Visit the GOV.UK website for more information on travelling with controlled medicines.

After the UK leaves the EU

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, your access to healthcare when visiting Slovenia is likely to change. If you are planning to visit Slovenia after the UK leaves the EU, you should continue to buy travel insurance so you can get the healthcare treatment you need, just as you would if visiting a non-EU country. If you are using an EHIC issued by the UK, this will still be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

Your healthcare entitlements will vary according to your insurance package.

The UK Government is seeking agreements with countries, including Slovenia, on healthcare arrangements for UK nationals after the UK leaves the EU.

This guide will be updated with further information on travelling to Slovenia as the circumstances change.

Working in Slovenia

Anyone who visits Slovenia or moves to the country has to register with the local police within 3 days. Failure to do so will result in a fine.

Most hotels and guest houses will do this as part of your check-in. However, if a person is self-catering or staying with friends, then they must register in person.

Healthcare up until the UK leaves the EU

If you are going to work in Slovenia and make national insurance contributions, you'll be entitled to state-run healthcare on the same basis as a Slovenian national.

EU/EEA/Swiss nationals residing in Slovenia for 3 months or more must register with the local Administrative Unit. This requires submission of an application form to obtain a residence registration certificate, before the 3 month stay expires. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals may request such a residence registration certificate immediately after entering the country.

Residence registration certificates are issued for work, self-employment, provision of services, study and family reunification; they can be renewed after 5 years or an application can be made for permanent residence to the Administrative Unit.

If you are a worker posted by a UK company to Slovenia, you may be entitled to health cover funded by the UK in the country you are posted to.

Contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for more details:

National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1AN
United Kingdom

  • Telephone: 0300 200 3506
  • Outside UK: +44 0191 203 7010

Opening times: 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (closed weekends and bank holidays).

For more information, read the Moving abroad section of this website.

After the UK leaves the EU

To live in Slovenia, a "first temporary residence permit" must be obtained in before entering Slovenia. Subsequent applications must be made to gain additional temporary residence permits, or depending on number of years continuous residence, permanence can be sought. The application must be made at the applicant's nearest Slovenia consulate.

Read this document about information on exemptions, application criteria and pathways (PDF, 1.29Mb).

If you are paying national insurance contributions to Slovenia, you will continue to be able to access free or discounted healthcare.

If you are a UK posted worker, you may need to buy additional healthcare insurance in Slovenia so you can receive the healthcare treatment you need.

Pensioners in Slovenia

Healthcare up until the UK leaves the EU

If you live in Slovenia and receive an exportable UK Pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.

You may need to liaise with a different team, depending on the exportable benefit. Further information is available under Claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad on the GOV.UK website. Please note that different exportable benefits can have different rules in terms of healthcare cover.

S1 certificate (formerly known as E106)

An S1 certificate helps you and your dependants access healthcare in Slovenia. If you have an S1 certificate, it will be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

After this date, the certificate may not be valid, depending on decisions by member states.

You should continue to apply for an S1 certificate until the UK leaves the EU.

You may be eligible for an S1 certificate, if you:

  • have worked and paid contributions in the UK
  • receive some UK benefits such as pensions

Apply through the Business Services Authority for an S1 certificate.

For exportable UK pensions and contribution-based Employment Support Allowance, you can apply for your certificate via the International Pension Centre at the Department for Work and Pensions on 0191 218 7777.

Further information is available under Claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad on the GOV.UK website. Please note that different exportable benefits can have different rules in terms of healthcare cover.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides information about what UK and Slovenian benefits are available to Britons living in Slovenia and information on driving regulations in Slovenia.

After the UK leaves the EU

Citizenship of Slovenia may be acquired by origin, which means that a person may obtain citizenship through his or her parents, provided that the parent is a Slovenian citizen at the time of the birth of the applicant.

Citizenship of Slovenia may also be acquired by naturalisation, i.e. on the basis of a prescribed period of actual and continuous residence in Slovenia, provided that the person also meets all other conditions for admission to the citizenship laid down by law.

Students in Slovenia

If you are a UK resident and studying in Slovenia, and you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), this will be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

You should continue to buy insurance to cover your healthcare, as you would if you were visiting a non-EU country after the UK leaves the EU.

Page last reviewed: 28/01/2019
Next review due: 28/01/2022