In Austria there is all-embracing national insurance system which covers the following: illness, disability or inability to work, maternity, unemployment, old age, death of the main wage-earner, surviving dependants and maintenance and social care.
The contributions paid by employees are deducted every month from their gross salary and paid by the employer.
People making voluntary contributions and self-employed people pay their contributions themselves and must ensure that they register with the appropriate insurance company.
Almost all of the employed working population are compulsorily insured as well as a good portion of self-employed workers, recipients of unemployment benefits, recipients of pensions and all these people’s dependants.
A voluntary health and pension insurance scheme is possible for everyone. But for some benefits they have to pay for themselves (for example, for treatment by doctors and in hospitals which isn’t covered – private doctors / private nursing homes, settlement of dental care, bridges etc.) However, they get at least a part of the costs refunded by their health insurance company. If a hospital stay is required there is a certain amount to pay per patient.
In Austria insured people and their family members (as a rule husband and wife and children up to the age of 18, up to 20 if they don’t have a job, or up to 26 if they are undergoing vocational education) have access to benefits.
Children and spouses can be jointly insured free of charge.
Childless spouses without any income are not medically insured free of charge. 3.4% of the basic contribution of the insured spouse must be paid. They and their family members have the right to medical care practised by doctors, specialists or dentists who have a contract with an insurance fund.
€10 a year is collected for the e-card (social security card). (There are some exceptions!)
The European health insurance card
The European Health Insurance Card is an essential step towards the simplification of our various healthcare systems. Introduced in June 2004, the card substantially facilitates access to medical assistance for EU citizens travelling to another Member State. Furthermore, it guarantees a quick and simplified reimbursement of expenses incurred locally or shortly after return to the place of residence.
Since 1 January 2006, the European Health Insurance Card is issued and recognised by all concerned countries and replaces the previously used paper forms, such as the well-known E 111.
The EHIC should be requested from one’s national health insurance institutions before leaving for another EU country. All EU citizens are strongly advised to carry their European health insurance cards when travelling to other countries.
Family and Maternity Benefits
In Austria many family-friendly policies are payable partly in kind but mainly in cash (for example, „mother and child pass“, travel for school pupils and apprentices, family benefit, maternity benefit, childcare allowance etc.)