Top of page

Article Austria: Reform of Social Security System Enters into Force

(Jan. 29, 2020) On January 1, 2020, a reform of the social security system that merged the existing health insurance institutions took effect in Austria. The new system, adopted by the Austrian Parliament in 2019, consists of five social security institutions, with district health insurance funds and occupational health insurance funds being combined into one national Austrian Health Fund (Österreichische Gesundheitskasse). The reform is intended to streamline reimbursement for services across Austria, save on administrative costs, and provide people across the country with the same services.

Background

Social security in Austria is composed of health, accident, and pension insurance. Health insurance is compulsory, resulting in almost universal coverage (99.9%) of the population. Domestic employees, self-employed persons, and retirees are automatically insured. Unemployed persons are also included in the coverage under the same conditions as salaried employees.

Even though health insurance in Austria is organized under public law, it is not directly administered by the federal and state authorities, but rather by an independent body with legal personality—the statutory health insurance institution (Träger der Krankenversicherung). Before the reform, there used to be nine district health insurance funds (Gebietskrankenkassen) serving the nine Austrian states, five occupational health insurance funds (Betriebskrankenkassen), and several specialized health insurance funds for certain groups. Employees were not able to choose their own health insurance; they received insurance from the institution that served the region in which they worked. The reform process was started on April 1, 2019. The reform consolidates the formerly separate health insurance funds into a single institution, the Austrian Health Fund.

About this Item

Title

  • Austria: Reform of Social Security System Enters into Force

Online Format

  • web page

Rights & Access

Publications of the Library of Congress are works of the United States Government as defined in the United States Code 17 U.S.C. §105 and therefore are not subject to copyright and are free to use and reuse.  The Library of Congress has no objection to the international use and reuse of Library U.S. Government works on loc.gov. These works are also available for worldwide use and reuse under CC0 1.0 Universal. 

More about Copyright and other Restrictions.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Credit Line: Law Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Gesley, Jenny. Austria: Reform of Social Security System Enters into Force. 2020. Web Page. https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2020-01-29/austria-reform-of-social-security-system-enters-into-force/.

APA citation style:

Gesley, J. (2020) Austria: Reform of Social Security System Enters into Force. [Web Page] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2020-01-29/austria-reform-of-social-security-system-enters-into-force/.

MLA citation style:

Gesley, Jenny. Austria: Reform of Social Security System Enters into Force. 2020. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2020-01-29/austria-reform-of-social-security-system-enters-into-force/>.