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Detailed guide: Healthcare for UK nationals living in Austria

Department Of Health

January 25
14:33 2021

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This guidance will be updated if anything changes to how you get state healthcare in Austria.

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This information is about living in Austria. Theres different guidance if youre visiting Austria.

Austria has a state health insurance fund (the sterreichische Gesundheitskasse) that you pay into each month to access state healthcare.

You may still have to pay on top of this to use some parts of the healthcare system.

UK nationals usually access the Austrian healthcare system in one of these ways:

  • paying for state health insurance through your employer
  • paying for state health insurance directly
  • using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) for temporary stays
  • registering a UK-issued S1 form with the state insurance fund

Healthcare if you live and work in Austria

You must register as a resident if youre living in Austria.

If youre employed or self-employed in Austria its compulsory to have health insurance.

If youre not working, you should take out voluntary insurance.

You can add your dependants to your insurance plan.

Your insurance begins on the day you took out the insurance, but there can be a waiting period of 6 months before you can claim any benefits from your insurer.

There will not be a 6-month wait if you were already insured in another way, either:

  • for the 6 weeks before you took out insurance
  • for 26 weeks at any point in the year before you took out insurance

You may be entitled to an Austrian EHIC for travel, including visits to the UK.

You may also have the right to apply for a UK S1 if you start drawing a UK State Pension.

How to register

You first need to register as a resident.

Youll be signed up automatically for health insurance if youre employed.

If not, contact your local branch of the sterreichische Gesundheitskasse (website in German).

Once youve registered you will be given a card called an e-card. Show this every time you visit a doctor. You do not need to register with a doctor in Austria.

This card also gives you access to online services. Your Austrian EHIC is on the back.

How much youll pay

Your monthly payment increases with your salary and varies across Austria.

Look for a doctors surgery that says:

  • Kassenarzt (contracted doctor)
  • Alle Kassen (all insurers)

You will not have to pay to see these doctors.

You will still have to pay for some medical services, for example:

  • 20% of the cost of seeing a private doctor your insurance scheme should reimburse the rest
  • a fee of around 10 to 15 euros for each of your first 28 days in hospital

If your UK employer has sent you to Austria temporarily (posted workers)

A posted worker, also known as a detached worker, is someone who is employed or self-employed in the UK, but temporarily sent to a European Economic Area (EEA) country.

UK posted workers can access healthcare in Austria using an EHIC, GHIC or S1 form.

HMRC has a helpline for National Insurance enquiries from non-UK residents. They can answer questions about posted worker status and explain which documents you will need to get healthcare while posted.

UK-funded healthcare: getting and using an S1 form in Austria

Theres different guidance if you have an S1 as a posted worker.

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if youre an Austrian resident and receive a UK State Pension.

You may also be entitled to an S1 form if youre a frontier worker (someone who works in one state and lives in another). You must contact HMRC National Insurance enquiries to find out if youre eligible.

If you started living in Austria before 1 January 2021, you may also be entitled to an S1 if you receive some other exportable benefits.

Not all UK benefits that can be claimed while abroad entitle you to UK-funded healthcare. Read more about claiming benefits if you move abroad or contact Jobcentre Plus to ask about a benefit.

Once you have an S1 form, you must register it on the Austrian system.

This will mean you and your dependants will be entitled to healthcare in Austria on the same basis as an Austrian citizen.

Youll also get:

Dependants and family members may be classified differently in Austria than the UK.

Check with the local authorities when you register your S1 form.

How to get an S1 form

If you have a UK State Pension, you must request an application form by phone from NHS Overseas Healthcare Services.

NHS Overseas Healthcare Services
Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 1999
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 3pm

How to use an S1 form in Austria

You must register your S1 form with the state health insurance fund (the sterreichische Gesundheitskasse in German).

Once registered, youll be given a card called an e-card. This shows that youre entitled to healthcare on the same basis as an Austrian citizen.

Show this every time you visit a doctor.

This card also gives you access to online services.

Studying in Austria

You can use an EHIC or GHIC to get medically necessary healthcare until the end of your study period.

You can also choose to register for state health insurance and pay the student rate. Youll need to register as a resident first.

Getting treatment in the UK

Some former UK residents do not have to pay for NHS treatment when visiting England. This includes UK nationals who started living in the EU before 1 January 2021.

Read more about healthcare when you no longer live in the UK.

If you return to live in the UK youll be able to use the NHS like any other UK resident.

Read more about using the NHS when you return to live in the UK.

Published 23 September 2019
Last updated 25 January 2021 +show all updates

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