Moving To Australia .pdf
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Moving To Australia? Here’s What You Need to Know about Medical
If you’re planning to live and work in Australia, it’s important to understand
how the health system works because like most countries, medical attention is
expensive. The last thing you want is to end up spending the money you’ve put
aside for a great Aussie holiday on a bed in hospital!
Australia has both public and private healthcare systems.
The public healthcare system, known as Medicare, gives most Australians free
or discounted health services. Medicare benefits can also be available to
people from countries with a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) ie. the
United Kingdom; New Zealand; Italy; Belgium; Malta; Netherlands; Sweden;
Finland; Norway; Slovenia; and the Republic of Ireland.
It’s important to know that even if you come from a country with an RHCA
agreement, some visas do not provide access to Medicare. If you come from
one of the RHCA countries above, contact Medicare to make sure you’re aware
of exactly what cover you’re entitled to.
If you’re not eligible for Reciprocal Medicare, you’ll definitely need private
health insurance… and even if you are eligible for Medicare you may want to
consider it. That’s because it will cover you for an emergency trip to hospital by
ambulance as well as helping towards the cost of a number of treatments in a
private hospital, outpatient visits, doctor’s fees and even prescription
The Fees You Can Expect To Pay
Doctors, surgeons and anaesthetists have a set fee called the Medicare
Benefits Schedule fee, which is covered by Medicare if the procedure is
performed in a public hospital and if you’re covered by Reciprocal Medicare
On top of the MBS fee, many specialists will charge an additional fee, known as
an ‘out of pocket’ fee.
Private health insurance companies differ in terms of how much of the out of
pocket fee they will cover you for, depending on the arrangement they have in
place with the private hospital or day surgery. If you’re considering taking
private health insurance, this is something to be mindful of.
Prescription medications in Australia can be expensive with costs varying
enormously, depending on the medication itself.
The cost of medication prescribed outside a hospital, (for example, at a
doctor’s clinic) is subsidised by Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme,
which is available to all people covered by Medicare. For most
pharmaceuticals, the patient will need to make an out of pocket contribution,
which will vary according to the particular medication prescribed. That means
even if you’re covered by your country’s RHCA agreement, you can expect to
have to make a financial contribution. Private health insurance policies for
foreign workers may also cover part of the cost of prescription medications.
Part or all of the costs of medications administered in hospital may be covered
by your country’s RHCA agreement and/or private medical insurance. Again,
it’s important to choose your policy carefully as this will determine the cover
you receive for any medications. If your country has an RHCA Agreement with
Australia, contact Medicare to clarify your cover for medications.
Read more information about the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in Australia
You Must Have Health Cover Before You Come To Australia
According to the Australian Government, as part of your visa application you
will need to provide evidence of adequate health insurance for the duration of
your stay in Australia, such as:
A certification letter from your health insurer or broker
Evidence that you have enrolled with Medicare if your country has a
Reciprocal Health Arrangement with Australia (New Zealand and
Republic of Ireland passport holders only need to provide the biodata
page of their passport to satisfy this requirement)
The health insurance standard template letter completed by your