There are many questions, concerns and doubts related to the health insurance issue in Australia, many say: “it’s like in America !!! You pay for everything! “Others” no boys my uncle went to the hospital for free “…
Let’s make things clear, to avoid confusion and instead of getting bored with regulations and lists of insurance providers, we decided to go straight to the point with a series of 5 questions and answers that should be enough to cover at least 99.9% of your doubts about it?
Is there free health insurance ??? Can I subscribe to it?
Let’s start by saying that, like almost everything you do here in Australia, a lot depends on the type of visa you enter.
Statistically, if you have arrived on this page, most of you will visit Australia as a tourist : in this case you do not have to worry too much, in fact there has long been a bilateral agreement between Italy and Australia that guarantees all Italian citizens coverage health care for up to 6 months after entering the country. Through medicare you will be able to:
– access the treatments in a public hospital
– consult a general practitioner (in the clinic) with the possible prescription of medicines and other associated services (radiographs for example)
Remember that with Medicare you will NOT be able to:
Take advantage of an ambulance (not for free), visit a dentist, physiotherapy, ophthalmologist, visit a private hospital or in some cases be covered on some surgery and prosthetics.
Using medicare does not always mean not putting your hand in your wallet, in fact there may be occasions when you will have to anticipate the cost of the service (for example a medical consultation generally on A $ 70) and then obtain a refund by contacting medicare.
You are NOT obliged to register at one of the Medicare offices, as the 6 months of coverage are valid regardless of having notified your arrival in Australia and you can consider registering even after using the service (if you have needed it).
To get your card, just visit one of the many Medicare centers located throughout Australia.
In the following points we will tell you more about the other visas.
How much is the medical insurance that I will go to subscribe?
In the case of medicare, you will not have to shell out a penny, but if you want, or need to, cover yourself for other types of services and needs then you could take out a supplementary insurance that covers what is not covered by medication.
Always remember, however, that once your medicare coverage has expired you will have to opt for coverage through another private policy. The costs are related to the type of services you intend to cover. For example, one of Australia’s most famous insurance companies charges $ 17 / week for basic coverage, up to $ 30 / week for one of the most complete coverages.
But the costs can rise considerably if you want to cover every type of service (dentist, physiotherapist, massage, pregnancy), it can easily reach a cost of $ 50-60 / week.
Costs for student visa holders:
As we said before, the visa with which revenue decides very often the type of coverage you are going to pay. You must know that whoever enters with a student visa will have to be covered by a medical insurance (known as OSHC) for the duration of the course (and therefore of his visa), the advantage is that the costs related to the same, as regards students are decidedly lower than classic insurance, as students enjoy discounts for them.
In principle, the costs per person per week start at A $ 8 for a basic insurance.
Costs for holders of 457 visa (Sponsor)
Here the discussion changes (economically speaking), but the concept is the same… Who is sponsored by an employer MUST pay the insurance cover, sometimes the employer pays (partly or in total) the medical insurance, but otherwise it will be up to you to pay it. The costs here are higher, in fact starting from $ 25 / week, which is normally enough to cover most services.
What does a medical insurance in Australia (basic) cover?
Excluding the medical treatment we mentioned earlier, a basic private insurance covers the following hospital interventions:
– hospitalization (interventions included)
– 1 transport by ambulance
– Interventions to appendicitis
– Removal of tonsils and adenoids
– Small gynecological interventions
If you were to visit a general practitioner, known here as GP ( general practitioner), you would have to pay the cost of the visit in advance and then reimburse (about half the cost).
As already mentioned, Medicare does not cover the cost of the ambulance, while some private insurance (based on the package signed) can cover, for a limited number, the costs of the ambulance. Be aware that should you find yourself calling for an ambulance, if you are not covered by an insurance that covers the cost, you will receive a fairly expensive account, in fact you start from the $ 364 for the single call, plus $ 3.29 / km.
– I need a doctor… Who do I contact?
As mentioned, for generic checks, or if you want to check like a blood test etc, you can contact the GP nearest you, you can find the list here. Needless to say, in an emergency, you will have to call 000 (three times zero) to call an ambulance, or go to an emergency department, the one closest to you.
If you are in Sydney, this site is fantastic because just by entering your postcode or area, it will give you the list of the nearest hospitals and waiting times in the emergency department… Figo no?
We hope to have clarified the ideas in this regard as much as possible, and we hope you will never need any of the services mentioned, but in any case, respect the immigration rules and requests regarding health insurance. As you can see they are quite expensive, but unfortunately it is another of the Australian services that we are forced to pay and for which we say that “Australia works”…?