Learn About the Healthcare & Insurance Options for Expats in Austria
Austria is an East Alpine country located in the southern part of Central Europe. Its capital city is Vienna, which is also the largest city in the country. When it comes to its healthcare, Austria has an exemplary system. It is universal for Austrians as well as residents from other EU countries. Plus, every Austrian citizen is covered by the social insurance system of the country. For non-residents, travelers and expats, comprehensive public healthcare are equally good. However, expats can also opt for additional private health insurance if they wish to do so. Here’s what you need to know about the Austrian healthcare system and insurance options for expats.
Overview of Healthcare
With one of the most comprehensive healthcare systems in the world, Austria provides medical services that are at par with the standards of those in any other European country. But at the same time, expensive medical services pose a significant challenge. To overcome the same, the federal government has introduced modern social institutions that have reformed the Austrian healthcare system. The goal is to improve the well-being of the citizens of the country in general. As such, it is essential to ensure you have visited your doctor a month before traveling to Austria. The CDC has more information on vaccinations to get before departure.
How the Austrian Healthcare System Works for Expats?
The healthcare system of Austria is one of the best in the world that covers nearly 99 percent of its citizens. But how do you obtain healthcare coverage if you are a scientist, researcher, or a student moving to Austria? If you work in Austria, you are liable to contribute to the public healthcare system as a health insurance tax from the remuneration you receive. As an expat in Austria, you will be entitled to public healthcare that is the result of the taxes paid by the citizens. Most people don’t feel the need to opt for private health insurance policies due to excellent public healthcare facilities in the country. However, if you hold private health insurance as a part of your employment package, you will have greater access to several medical services and shorter waiting queues.
Public Healthcare in Austria
The comprehensive public healthcare policies of Austria ensure that citizens and residents have access to free primary healthcare. Primary healthcare includes dental care, medication, and treatment you receive at the public hospitals. Those who hold a European Union Health Insurance Card can use it in Austria to access the public healthcare system.
Private Healthcare in Austria
The efficiently designed Austrian healthcare system guarantees 99% of the population full medical and healthcare coverage. But while individuals do receive publicly funded care, they also have the option to purchase supplementary private health insurance. Private health insurance covers the medication, hospital care, free choice of clinics and doctors, and advanced dental treatments as well. But before buying any international private health insurance, ensure that it covers medical evacuation and air evacuation. It will be imperative during a medical emergency.
Emergency Medical Services in Austria
If you need an emergency service, dial 112. Although the emergency responders will generally speak German, they may also understand and speak English.
Medicines and Pharmacies
All medical facilities in public and private healthcare are elaborate, extensive, and of a very high standard across the country. The ‘Apotheke’ or pharmacies are spread across towns and cities of Austria. While the sale of prescriptions is strictly regulated, access to basic first-aid supplies and over-the-counter medicines is quite easy. The pharmacies are usually open 24/7, even during weekends.
Best Private International Medical Insurance Plans for Expats in Austria
We recommend expats moving to Austria to consider purchasing an international health insurance policy. The international health policy must cover overseas medical evacuation and airlift during a medical emergency. Among the best international insurance plans, you can opt for those that are offered by leading companies like Cigna Global and Allianz International, which are generally accepted by the public and private hospitals in Austria.