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This guidance will be updated if anything changes to how you get state healthcare in Austria.
Austria has a state health insurance fund (the Österreichische 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 you’re living in Austria.
If you’re employed or self-employed in Austria it’s compulsory to have health insurance.
If you’re 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.
You’ll be signed up automatically for health insurance if you’re employed.
If not, contact your local branch of the Österreichische Gesundheitskasse (website in German).
Once you’ve 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 you’ll pay
Your monthly payment increases with your salary and varies across Austria.
Look for a doctor’s 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
There’s different guidance if you have an S1 as a posted worker.
You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you’re an Austrian resident and receive a UK State Pension.
You may also be entitled to an S1 form if you’re a frontier worker (someone who works in one state and lives in another). You must contact HMRC National Insurance enquiries to find out if you’re 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’.
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.
You’ll 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 ‘Österreichische Gesundheitskasse’ in German).
Once registered, you’ll be given a card called an ‘e-card’. This shows that you’re 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. You’ll 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 you’ll 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.