Precaution saves expenses
Using a helicopter can save lives but in the aftermath it can bear subsequently high costs for the patient. Private insurance offers protection.
The well-known yellow helicopter of the ÖAMTC/CFV can be requested by the emergency doctor on-site – as a flicker of hope for relatives.
Allowance for air ambulance
The helpers from the air are expensive though - depending on the situation it can cost you several thousand euros. Therefore the insurance companies check very carefully whether the use of a helicopter was medically justified. If the patient's condition required the use of a helicopter, the health insurance company covers the costs.
The insurance company is only willing to pay a flat fee, which not always covers the actual costs. The patient does not have to be bothered by this since the ÖAMTC/CFV or the additional insurance of the patient covers all additional costs.
Even if the use of air ambulance according to the examiners of the insurance company would not have been necessary, as the injury was not life-threatening, ÖAMTC/CFV or the additional insurance of the patient should cover all the costs.
Accident in the mountains
Whether you have to be rescued by air ambulance while hiking, mountain-climbing or skiing, the costs may become quite high. The health insurance only covers medically indicated cases – assessment based on an 8-level table, the NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics).
Therefore, if you are in the mountains rather often, you should consider a club membership at the Austrian Alpine Association and Ski Austria. This includes insurance up to a specific amount. ÖAMTC or ARBÖ may also have some insurance offers; it is advisable to study their insurance policy carefully.
If you’re traveling abroad a private insurance is recommended. In addition, you should always carry your e-card with the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) on the back with you. This may be used for receiving medical care during a temporary stay in EU Member States, EEA countries and Switzerland.
Thus Austrian patients have the exact same access to public health care system as the residents of the country.
Note: Hold on to invoices from doctors or hospitals for documentation purposes.
The most important emergency numbers:
- Ambulance 144
- Mountain Rescue 140
- Europe-wide emergency number 112