The Australian Government has signed agreements with our country called reciprocity on health coverage (Reciprocal Health Care Agreements). This allows Italian citizens to take advantage of free medical care even if with some restrictions.
Coverage Period with Medicare
An Italian citizen is entitled to free health care for a period of six months from the date of entry into Australia. This means that if your stay is extended for more than six consecutive months (in which Australia has never been left), you will need to provide yourself with a private insurance that can be purchased in Italy or Australia (see BUPA or MEDIBANK for only $ 10 a week ) or leave Australia (even for a few days and return) to get back the passport entry stamp and renew the six months.
Remaining without free health coverage, can be not dangerous (because you would still be assisted anyway), but very expensive: some stitches can be in a $ 300 account and a short hospital stay in one of several thousand.
Compulsory insurance for student visa holders: OSHC
If you are in Australia with the Student Visa you must purchase an Overseas Student Health Cover in Australia (specific medical coverage for foreign students). Acquiring OSHC insurance is a fundamental condition for the student visa. There are several insurance companies that offer advantageous offers, the average expense should be around $ 36 a month.
Apply for a Medicare health card
The Australian health system is similar to the Italian one: you must request a health card with the identification number. This does not mean that if you need to go to the hospital and you have not yet done the Medicare card you will not be assisted or you will have to pay, just present your passport and the treatments will be free. The agreements are valid as soon as you set foot in the country! The card will allow reimbursements when you need to go to the general practitioner, the discount on medicines and specialist visits (exactly as it happens in Italy with the ticket). The medical card is nothing more than our health card.
To obtain a health card, go to a Medicare counter with:
- Italian textile mill
- print of the visa
- Australian bank details
You will receive a temporary identification number and in one week the card with the final number.
Go to the doctor
Needless to say, for an emergency it is advisable to go directly to the hospital. For a small check-up or if you wish to book a specialist visit, you should contact your general practitioner, called General Practioner or GP. Just search the nearest doctor’s office on the internet.
In some clinics you will pay the bill (about $ 60 for a visit) and you will be reimbursed a part (between half and 85 percent, depending on the type of service) directly on your bank account, in others you will not pay anything (in outpatient clinics that have the bulk bill system), it depends on the procedures of the medical office to which you refer.
Medicare does not cover dental care, so go to your dentist before you leave!
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