Going to the other side of the world, be it for a short, long or permanent period, requires careful organization that also passes through the signing of a suitable health insurance. Find out what the possibilities are from which to choose based on your needs and the type of your visa!
Having a health insurance in Australia, be it Medicare or a private one, is important. Even when not specifically required by the visa conditions, it is essential to stipulate one in order not to have to spend really staggering amounts in the event of health problems.
Obviously I hope that nothing serious happens to you during your stay on the land of kangaroos, but it is always better to start prepared for any kind of eventuality. Let’s see, then, what are the health coverage options available in Australia, their differences and we understand together when having health insurance is a prerequisite for issuing a visa.
THE MEDICARE SYSTEM
The Medicare system is comparable to our National Health System and is publicly funded through the withdrawal of a small sum from the salary of Australian workers, whether they are residents or not.
The coverage guaranteed by Medicare is not total but includes all visits by the general practitioner, hospitalization and hospital treatment and specialist visits for 85% (the remaining 15% must be paid by the patient, up to a maximum of 447.40 AU $ per year). Dental treatments are not covered, although many states provide free medical care for the indigent or issue vouchers that guarantee free treatment within a certain amount.
Furthermore, being in possession of a Medicare card allows you to buy medicines at a reduced price compared to the price list. These benefits, in addition to being valid for residents of Australia, are also applied to immigrants who choose to subscribe to this service, provided that they come from a country that has signed an agreement on the health front with Australia, such as l ‘Italy.
For this reason, if you are in the country with a temporary visa (for example the Tourist or the Working Holiday Visa) you are entitled to Medicare health coverage for up to six months; at the end of this period you can choose to leave and return to the country to have the insurance reactivated, or, much more easily, you can take out private health insurance for the time you have left to spend in Australia. Although there is no obligation for these visas to have medical coverage, as I said earlier it may be a shrewd and prudent move to choose to subscribe to it anyway. Registering with the Medicare system is very simple, just go in person to one of the many Medicare offices in Australia, bringing with you only a valid ID (passport), a copy of the visa, and the Italian health card (have it renewed before leave).
After completing a form, the employees will process your request, issue you a temporary card number and after a few days you will receive a permanent Medicare card at your home via the postal system. It is good that you know that Medicare health coverage will be considered active from the moment you enter the country and not from the day of your request. If, for one reason or another, you have made the request some time after your arrival in Australia, you will have to consider that the validity of six months will therefore coincide with that present on the stamp of your passport.
PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE
If you intend to study in Australia with Student Visa, know that it is mandatory to take out private health insurance.
In this case the coverage you will have to choose will be the OSHC, or the Overseas Student Health Cover. This type of policy offers quite a wide coverage in terms of health services, and must be done for the entire duration of the visa.
The costs obviously vary from company to company, but if you need us at Portale Australia we can take care of this task for you, thanks to our partnership with BUPA, one of Australia’s largest health insurance companies. If you want a quote or receive more information on what is covered and what is not covered by this policy, you can contact us using the form on the side.
If instead you are in the country with another type of visa, work or tourism, and prefer to combine Medicare with a private health insurance, you need to know that different types of basic packages are available; they offer hospital coverage from basic to almost total and can be further expanded by the so-called extras that allow you to have coverage for all those treatments that are excluded from the Medicare system, such as dental visits, psychological consultations or physiotherapy sessions.
Also in this case we can help you sign your health insurance policy based on your economic and, obviously, health needs. Contact us at the references above if you want a quote or if you are looking for more information on the various types of private health coverage available!