AUSTRIA Foreign nationals warned over health care costs

Foreign nationals warned over health care costs

With healthcare costs in Austria spiralling it’s no secret that savings are being made at every level and that includes maximising income to cover costs.

And while on the one hand there are growing numbers of audits to make sure companies are not skimping on their health insurance payments, there is also now a growing focus on foreign nationals living and working in Austria in particular for embassies and international organisations.

In the past many of these people have been simply overlooked but there is growing evidence that there is a clear clampdown now on making sure foreign staff also pay their contribution to the country’s health care system.

And if anybody does end up in hospital for whatever reason it’s not small change. Currently it is around € 1,216 to have a hospital bed in the Vienna Gen Hospital the AKH for a foreign national.

And that’s just the basic bed cost, without the extra money needed for treatment or any surgery.

That means anybody that doesn’t have insurance can look at spending between €10,000 and €20,000 for a typical hospital visit.

The reason these groups of people now need to look seriously at taking out private health insurance is because there are certain groups who are excluded from the statutory insurance. They include, amongst others: diplomats; embassy staff and the private domestic servants of diplomats.

Michael Kirchberger, general manager of the VbK Versicherungsservice that specialises in catering for foreign nationals requirements with regards to medical insurance said: “it is more important now than ever that these people get individual insurance contracts at their own initiative to protect themselves from the financial consequences of illness.

“Austria has a jungle of different rates, high premiums and stringent health checks that make it not particularly easy for the customer to find the right insurance package.

“We actually had a lot of requests recently because of the clampdown and we ended up developing an insurance policy especially for embassies and international organizations based on what people telling us, and also after talking with the Austrian Foreign Ministry about what they want people to have.”

His policy provides 100% coverage of the costs of medical emergency treatments – either inpatient or outpatient charges in a typical public hospital.

Austrian Times

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