When you decide to work, live, visit, or study in Australia, one thing that you must think of is to plan for health insurance. It is true that Australia has Medicare for its people run by the government, but most of the visitors and immigrants are not eligible for that medical insurance. However, this doesn't mean that you don't have any other option.
Public Medical Insurance
There are nine countries that have health care agreement with the government of Australia. This reciprocal agreement allows the citizens of these countries to get the benefits of Medicare assistance, which is provided by the Australian government to its citizens. The nine countries are:
- Republic of Ireland
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
Another benefit of Medicare is that you get additional rebate of 30% on premiums of any private medical insurance that you might take. Medicare members have a large variety of private health care options to choose from.
Procedure for Medicare
If you are a citizen of any of these countries then you should visit the nearest Medicare office within 7 to 10 days of your arrival in the country. The documents you need to carry when visiting the office are your travel documents, Australian visa and your passport. Your eligibility would be verified and after your registration process is over, you would get immediate access to health care programs and services run by the Australian government. This system was established in 1984, by the government to give their citizens access to high-quality, affordable health care.
Private Health Insurance
If you don't belong to the nine countries whose citizens are eligible for Medicare then don't worry. There are many private health insurance companies that offer medical insurance to immigrants of all countries at affordable rates. These health insurances are specially designed for the people who are visiting Australia for work and stay. The extent of the medical insurance you would get depends on the insurance plan you would choose and many more factors. There are many types of private health cover policies available and you check the complete details about the policies before you choose the one that suits you.
For the overseas visitors of some countries, the insurance company might need prior private health insurance records. All classes of visas are covered by these private companies. You could enquire about the plans on the websites of these companies if you have any doubts. Bupa Australia is one private insurance company that offers medical insurance to immigrants. It is the largest private sector insurance company in Australia and is highly reliable.
Having health problems in daily life is nothing new, but you could protect your finances by taking insurance cover. Finding the right medical insurance in another country could be a tricky - but not impossible - task.