Public health insurance (Krankenversicherung) is mandatory. It covers illness benefits and cost-free medical treatment by medical doctors holding appropriate contracts with Austria’s insurance institutions and hospitals. The prerequisite for treatment at hospitals, medical practices and walk-in clinics is presentation of an “e-card” (an electronic health insurance card). The chipped card stores all all necessary personal data (name, insurance number, etc.) of the insured person, but does not store medical data itself. Because of this, a referral note from your primary care doctor is required to see a specialist. Your health insurance company will send your personal and family member e-cards directly to you within fourteen days following your registration. The back of the e-card corresponds with the European social security card and ensures free-of-charge medical treatment within the European Union states. You must notify WGKK in advance that you are flying abroad.
- Annual fee for an e-card is 11.70€.
- Please check that the doctor you chosen is in cooperation with your insurance institution — https://www.docfinder.at
Private doctors, private hospitals, dental care, dental bridges, alternative medicine, etc. are typically not covered by Austria’s basic health insurance. However, it is common for at least a portion of the costs to be covered and reimbursed. In most cases, you must personally pay for the private service and then submit the receipt to the WGKK for assessment and partial reimbursement. Some private clinics will direct bill the WGKK on your behalf before assessing/collecting your portion of the payment, but this is very uncommon.
If an employee is unable to work for an extended period due to an illness, your employer will continue to pay your regular salary for up to 6 weeks, and an additional 4 weeks after that at half salary. After that 10 week period, your illness benefit will be paid by the WGKK for up to 1 year.
EXAMPLE: Employee is sick from 01.02.2018. Gross income January 2018 (as confirmed by employer): EUR 4,285.71 (60.000€ brutto/year).
- First 6 weeks (30 working days): employee receives EUR 4,285.71 gross (regular salary amount, paid by employer)
- Next 4 weeks (20 working days): employee receives EUR 2.142,86 gross (half salary amount, paid by employer)
- For 8.4 additional weeks (42 working days): employee receives EUR 2.142,86 gross (half salary amount, paid by WGKK)
- From the 43rd day–1 year: employee receives EUR 2.571,43 gross (60% of salary, paid by WGKK)*
In the event of hospitalization, a small co-payment (EUR 12.15 in 2018) is due from the patient for each day spent in hospital, excepting childbirth. There is a €6 co-pay due per item for drug prescriptions filled at pharmacies (Apoteken).
* All given numbers are estimated based on 2018 rates and a gross salary of € 60,000. Real amounts are calculated for each individual based upon the rates of the moment and that individual’s official salary.