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Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure AT-2022-12/2439 – measures in Austria

Inclusion of Ukrainian refugees in largest Austrian social health insurance

Krankenversorgung für ukrainische Geflüchtete

Country Austria , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 14 March 2022 – 03 March 2023
Context War in Ukraine
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Access to healthcare
Author Bernadette Allinger (Forba) and Eurofound
Measure added 02 June 2022 (updated 20 September 2022)

Background information

Over 64,000 Ukrainians fleeing from the Russian invasion in their country have been registered in Austria by early May. With the activation of Council Directive 2001/55/EC, Ukrainian refugees are granted immediate and collective protection, thus alleviating pressure on national asylum systems. The displaced persons are to enjoy harmonised rights across the EU, including residence, access to the labour market and housing, medical assistance, and access to education for children. The national legislation on the temporary right of residence came into force on 14 March 2022.

Content of measure

Access to the healthcare system is granted to people fleeing from the war in the Ukraine. As soon as the displaced persons are registered, they are automatically assigned an insurance number and are registered for health insurance with the largest Austrian social health insurance ÖGK (Österreichische Gesundheitskasse). Refugees receive either a health insurance receipt in the framework of the "primary care system" for refugees or, alternatively, an e-card replacement receipt from the ÖGK customer service points. This means that all medical services can be used, to the same standards as all other insured persons of the ÖGK (which is the majority with a coverage of over 80% of persons living in Austria). Even before an insurance number has been issued, citizens of Ukraine can use their passport to identify themselves to the contractual medical partners (or - if they have a different nationality - present their refugee status from Ukraine in another way) and thus receive the same healthcare services.

The temporary protection as stipulated by the EU Council Directive runs for an initial period of one year (until 3 March 2023). That period may, however, be extended automatically by six monthly periods for a maximum of one year. Furthermore, the Commission may propose to the Council to extend it up to one further year. It may also propose to end the temporary protection if the situation in Ukraine is such as to permit safe and durable return.

Use of measure

As of mid-April, over 56,000 persons fleeing from Ukraine have been registered in Austria. The measure applies to all of them.

By 30 August 2022, 79,728 Ukrainians have been registered in Austria.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Migrants or refugees

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement as case not in social partner domain No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A

Involvement

The social partners were not involved as it does not lie within their domain.

Views and reactions

No information available.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2022), Inclusion of Ukrainian refugees in largest Austrian social health insurance, measure AT-2022-12/2439 (measures in Austria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/AT-2022-12_2439.html

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