The Austrian health care system is founded on a statutory social insurance principle. Access to services is regulated by law. The aim is to  achieve a public health care system that is easily accessible, affordable and equitable.  Health insurance usually begins automatically with the commencement of gainful employment. A separate application procedure exists for those who are self-employed or  request insurance voluntarily. Receiving medical care without any insurance can be very expensive . EU cutizens can obtain proof of eligibility for healthcare in their home country/ country of residence whereas  international (non EU individuals and families) are strongly advised to arrange private or travel insurance before they arrive.

public and private health care
The main difference between private and public health care in Austria are the benefits that are received and related costs. Public insurance medical treatment in Austria does not require individuals to exclusively select a primary physician, so prior consultation before going in for specialized care is not necessary. Although public health care does provide a wide range of benefits, patients may still have to cover some costs such as the purchasing of OTC medicines or costs for exceeding the daily allowance for in-patient care. Benefits for individuals covered by private insurance is dependent on the rate of premium and individual health company. The two main forms of private insurance  relate to hospital costs and daily coverage. In terms of treatment or quality of health care there is not a substantial difference.

Non EU citizens receiving medical treatment in Austria, even with private or travel health insurance, may well be required to make some payments in cash at the time of treatment.
costs of co-insurance for family members

non-contributory co-insurance
Children, adopted children, stepchildren and foster children, as well as grandchildren of the insured are insured at no extra cost.The same applies to other persons previously mentioned (spouses, life companions, housekeeping family members), provided they meet a minimum of one of the following requirements:
The co-insured family member is currently engaged in raising one or more children living in the same household. This means living in the same house community with the child even if the co-insured pursues another occupation at the same time.

The co-insured was engaged in raising one or more children living in the same household in the past. This means having lived in the same house community with the child even if the co-insured pursued another occupation at the same time. "was engaged in raising..." means that the spouse (life companion) or family members and child(ren) under the age of 18 lived in the same household for a minimum of four years. Its is not necessary for the spouse (life companion) to have actually kept house.

The co-insured receives a minimum of level three nursing allowance.

The co-insured nurses (takes care of) the insured who receives a minimum of level three nursing allowance.

The co-insured requires social protection in accordance with the regulations of the main association of social insurance institutions.

The co-insured receives sickness benefit, maternity benefit, parental leave benefit, unemployment benefit or Notstandshilfe (assistance for persons no longer eligible for unemployment benefits).

contributory co-insurance
Co-insured spouses, life companions and housekeeping family members (parents, adopted parents, stepparents and foster parents) not exempted by the above regulations are liable to pay additional contributions for the duration of co-insurance.

rate of contribution
The rate of contribution is 3.4 percent of the basis of computation for contributions (income, pension) of the insured.
basis for contributions

For employed insured the basis for contributions is their income from employment (including special payments) which is subject to social insurance contributions. In the case of dependent employment the last figures registered with the main association of social insurance institutions, in other words the basis for contributions for the second to last year, are used..
For insured pensioners the basis of computation is their current monthly pension plus special payments.
For persons insured with the Gewerbliche Sozialversicherungsanstalt - social insurance fund for trade and business - the current basis for contributions is used as a basis for computation.

In case of multiple insurance the additional contribution from each employment situation has to be paid.




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