Health Insurance in Austria (US Citizen)
October 11, 2006 8:40 AM   Subscribe

Talk to me about health insurance in Austria for US Citizens (Or useful anecdotes about healthcare in Europe in general)

I'm thinking of moving to Austria for 2-3 years (and coming home during the summers). I have Kaiser right now.

1 - I'll of course be checking with membership shortly, but if anyone has had experience with using Kaiser overseas, what was it like?

2 - Is there any way to get insured through Austria? I hear they have good healthcare for their citizens. Is that even true? If so, can I get access to that?

3 - If I should stick with a US health plan, can I do better than Kaiser as my provider (since the supposed benefit to Kaiser, and the reason they're fairly expensive, is that you 'get' to use Kaiser hospitals)?

I'm in my 20s, basically healthy, but have done easily tens of thousands of dollars of tests for a functional bowel disorder that have all come back negative. Dont know if that hurts or helps me in terms of switching providers (I've clearly been ridiculously expensive in the past, but that's all proven that I'm basically healthy..)
posted by anonymoose to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
It all depends on what kind of visa you have.
posted by k8t at 9:11 AM on October 11, 2006

Response by poster: I imagine I'd have a student visa for the first 2 years, and have no idea what happens after that. Interesting point
posted by anonymoose at 9:17 AM on October 11, 2006

Can't speak for all of Europe, but in London at least private health care doesn't depend upon your visa just your ability to pay (assuming you're here legally).

I've been here about ten years now, initially came over on a three year work permit, extended that for another year, and at that point I qualified for 'Indefinite Leave to Remain', aka a UK Green Card. Always had both NHS (i.e., State) and Private Insurance. Nobody asked about visas.

You've said "I'm thinking of moving to Austria" and "I imagine" in your posts; how far advanced is this planning? Seems like if you're planning to attend an Austrian University this is a question that they've dealt with before - I'd pitch it at Admissions. I teach part time at at University here in London and we get a fair number of Americans passing through doing a semester or year abroad, and I know from talking to them the University offers health coverage.

Net / net your best bet is to query your University, find out what - if any - coverage you'll get for attending classes.
posted by Mutant at 11:43 AM on October 11, 2006

I was an American student in London and I got National Health Care through that.
posted by k8t at 12:41 PM on October 11, 2006

As a student, you should be able to buy into the national health insurance for a reasonable price. In Vienna, I think you'd do that through the Wiener Gebietskrankenkasse. You can also check with the Österreichische Hochschülershaft to see if they have more information.
posted by klausness at 3:40 AM on October 12, 2006

The health system here in Austria is quite good.

Looks like you'd be eligibe for WGKK student coverage at €43,54 per month, according to the ÖH website - see the section on Selbstversicherung.
posted by syzygy at 11:17 AM on October 12, 2006

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