Host nation health care facilities in the Stuttgart area are now charging upfront deposits for medical care for U.S. civilians, retirees and contractors.
This policy does not apply to active duty and active duty family members.
In the Stuttgart area, the Sindelfingen, Böblingen, Tübingen, and Robert-Bosch hospitals now require a payment before administering routine care at their medical facilities.
This new policy was instituted by the hospitals in response to unpaid medical debts owed by members of the Stuttgart military community, specifically Defense Department civilians, military retirees and their family members, and Tricare Standard beneficiaries.
Approximately €700,000 is owed to the Boblingen and Sindelfingen hospitals alone, according to officials at the hospitals.
Some of the local hospitals will charge €250, payable by cash or credit card, prior to rendering any medical care for an outpatient visit, and will require a €1,000 deposit for inpatient care.
After receiving care, if the invoice total is less than the upfront deposit paid, patients will receive a refund within three days. If the final invoice is higher than the upfront payment, then the remaining balance will be charged against the patient’s credit card. Patients will then have to file for reimbursement through their respective health insurance companies.
It is important to understand that emergency care for a condition that threatens life, limb or eyesight is not subject to these fees.