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Medicare and / or health insurance?

Medicare and / or health insurance?

Old Apr 18th 2018, 9:20 pm
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Default Medicare and / or health insurance?

Hi all,
I'm visiting Australia in June for 12 months on a holiday visa and am looking for some advice regarding insurance. I'm 56 years old and up to know have been pretty fit and in good health. Would you advise taking out health insurance or can I rely on Medicare?

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks a lot

Colin
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Old Apr 18th 2018, 9:48 pm
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Default Re: Medicare and / or health insurance?

Some info:

https://www.aussiemove.com/healthcar...s-to-australia

As per the above document:

It is recommended that visitors obtain adequate travel insurance for the duration of their stay

As a visitor, and especially as you are staying for a whole year, one would have thought that taking out travel insurance with medical cover would be essential.
Should you get seriously ill and wish to return home, Medicare is not going to repatriate you.
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Old Apr 18th 2018, 10:07 pm
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Default Re: Medicare and / or health insurance?

I'm fairly sure if something serious happens, god forbid, like a car accident or heart attack or similar you are fully covered by the Australian System under reciprocal health care. IE: I think the ER is free to holidaying UK citizens, could be wrong on that. Someone will be along to shed more light soon.

If you have to see a GP for something minor then generally speaking you have to pay. However as you can go to any doctor in Australia and they don't necessarily put a face to a name, you could always borrow someone's Medicare card, if they are around the same age.

Shhh.... I didn't say that last bit. It's a legacy of my Del Boy South London upbringing.

https://www.aussiemove.com/healthcar...s-to-australia Although there seems to be a process for travelers to obtain a temporary Medicare card.... not heard of that before.

If you have a pre-existing condition of any kind, you must get health insurance.

Last edited by ozzieeagle; Apr 18th 2018 at 10:10 pm.
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Old Apr 18th 2018, 10:31 pm
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Default Re: Medicare and / or health insurance?

https://www.humanservices.gov.au/ind...tors-australia
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Old Apr 18th 2018, 10:45 pm
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Default Re: Medicare and / or health insurance?

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
Snap SDG, I was just about to post that link.

OP, if you're a UK citizen you'll be covered for medically necessary treatment under Medicare. As a rule of thumb, this includes A&E and in-patient treatment. You can also enrol in Medicare, which will give you access to the same Medicare rebates for GP visits that Australians get and some other services such as MRI. Be warned with the latter though, I'm an Aussie and the last MRI I had there cost over AU$1,000, with Medicare refunding $200 of that. Also, if your GP doesn't bulk bill you'll need to make a co-payment for each visit, the amount varies but I was paying $50 per visit.

As previously advised, you won't be covered for pre-existing conditions or medical treatment for conditions that don't require prompt treatment. Other exclusions include ambulance, prescription drugs (unless a hospital in-patient) and medical evacuations
https://www.humanservices.gov.au/ind...tors-australia

I'd strongly advise you to take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy prior to travelling to Australia. Enjoy your year in Oz.

Last edited by spouse of scouse; Apr 18th 2018 at 10:51 pm.
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Old Apr 19th 2018, 5:43 am
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Default Re: Medicare and / or health insurance?

Not wishing to look on the dark side, but there have been several instances in the last year where a tourist or backpacker has been killed or seriously injured while out here and their family are then left with the problem of getting them home. I've seen so many crowdfunding pleas on facebook lately that its worrying, if only because it indicates that people are not getting insurance

So one major reason for getting travel insurance is repatriation. If you are seriously injured, and need a medivac to get you home, Medicare will not cover it, you need travel insurance for that.

The same applies if you are taken ill en route here and end up stranded somewhere - you need that travel insurance to cover your return home.
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Old Apr 19th 2018, 7:08 am
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Default Re: Medicare and / or health insurance?

Originally Posted by Pollyana View Post
Not wishing to look on the dark side, but there have been several instances in the last year where a tourist or backpacker has been killed or seriously injured while out here and their family are then left with the problem of getting them home. I've seen so many crowdfunding pleas on facebook lately that its worrying, if only because it indicates that people are not getting insurance

So one major reason for getting travel insurance is repatriation. If you are seriously injured, and need a medivac to get you home, Medicare will not cover it, you need travel insurance for that.

The same applies if you are taken ill en route here and end up stranded somewhere - you need that travel insurance to cover your return home.
That's not looking on the dark side Polly, that's sensible.

Ditto re the crowdfunding/go fund me pleas. I see a lot of them forwarded on FB wanting money for people stuck in Bali, probably because of Perth's proximity. I'm afraid I don't contribute to causes such as 'Help get Jacinta home' when Jacinta went with a bunch of mates to Bali, got pissed and decided to hire a motorbike, sans travel insurance. Even photos of Jacinta looking woebegone in a Bali hospital with her leg in traction and her hair in braids don't melt my heart
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Old Apr 19th 2018, 7:18 am
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Default Re: Medicare and / or health insurance?

Agree with Spouse and Polly. I don't take delight in seeing people stuck anywhere, especially due to medical reasons however I really really don't understand why people decide to not take out insurance. For many people it could be a few dollars a day. The one time I didn't take it out (early 20's and totally forgot) baggage went missing. The airline paid a tiny amount, no where enough to cover the bags and items.

We had a medical emergency in Switzerland a few years ago. If it hadn't been for insurance we would have been thousands out of pocket from medical, flight and accommodation bills from Switzerland and France.
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Old Apr 19th 2018, 7:51 am
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Default Re: Medicare and / or health insurance?

Thanks for the replies and advice everybody. We are able to enroll on Medicare, we just have to fill in the form and show our id when we get to Australia. Health insurance for 12 months is between £500 - £700, and since Australia has a reciprocal medical agreement with the UK, I'm just trying to work out exactly what extra I'd be getting for my £700 and whether or not it's worth it. No point in paying an insurance company that kind of money if it's all part of Medicare anyway. That's the reason for the post and the question. If other people just want to blindly pay an insurance company a large amount of money without asking questions about it that's up to them, me I'd rather find out the facts before I fork out £700.

However, I can now see some good reasons for taking out insurance as well, especially regarding repatriation.

Thanks again
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Old Apr 19th 2018, 8:22 am
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Default Re: Medicare and / or health insurance?

Absolutely right to ask as many questions as you wish. Research research research.

Ouch £700 seems a lot! Perhaps if you have history or declaring previous medical issues. Have you shopped around as much as possible?

Of course for mot people it won't happen but I've read of cases where repatriation alone went into the tens (and above) of thousands. Think ambulances, helicopters, hospital treatment, stay etc.

Last edited by Still Game; Apr 19th 2018 at 8:25 am.
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Old Apr 19th 2018, 8:30 am
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Default Re: Medicare and / or health insurance?

Originally Posted by ozzieeagle View Post
I'm fairly sure if something serious happens, god forbid, like a car accident or heart attack or similar you are fully covered by the Australian System under reciprocal health care. IE: I think the ER is free to holidaying UK citizens, could be wrong on that. Someone will be along to shed more light soon.

If you have to see a GP for something minor then generally speaking you have to pay. However as you can go to any doctor in Australia and they don't necessarily put a face to a name, you could always borrow someone's Medicare card, if they are around the same age.

Shhh.... I didn't say that last bit. It's a legacy of my Del Boy South London upbringing.

https://www.aussiemove.com/healthcar...s-to-australia Although there seems to be a process for travelers to obtain a temporary Medicare card.... not heard of that before.

If you have a pre-existing condition of any kind, you must get health insurance.
So you are advocating Medicare fraud?

What happens to the person who "loaned" their card? I'll tell you. Their medical records get messed up because Medicare nowhas a record of paying for, say an elective angiography to assess the angina then the stents to open the artery. However the person who owns the card never had those things! Not to mention they are now guilty of Medicare fraud.

BE has a policy about advice that promotes illegal activity.
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Old Apr 19th 2018, 9:31 am
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Default Re: Medicare and / or health insurance?

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
That's not looking on the dark side Polly, that's sensible.

Ditto re the crowdfunding/go fund me pleas. I see a lot of them forwarded on FB wanting money for people stuck in Bali, probably because of Perth's proximity. I'm afraid I don't contribute to causes such as 'Help get Jacinta home' when Jacinta went with a bunch of mates to Bali, got pissed and decided to hire a motorbike, sans travel insurance. Even photos of Jacinta looking woebegone in a Bali hospital with her leg in traction and her hair in braids don't melt my heart
Likewise.
Insurance exists so that we can buy coverage. If people can afford a holiday in Bali they can afford the insurance in case something goes wrong.
i pay for my own insurance, I don't see why I should contribute to a fund for some daft bint who didn't bother to think ahead.
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Old Apr 19th 2018, 9:34 am
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Default Re: Medicare and / or health insurance?

Originally Posted by Still Game View Post
Absolutely right to ask as many questions as you wish. Research research research.

Ouch £700 seems a lot! Perhaps if you have history or declaring previous medical issues. Have you shopped around as much as possible?

Of course for mot people it won't happen but I've read of cases where repatriation alone went into the tens (and above) of thousands. Think ambulances, helicopters, hospital treatment, stay etc.
And the biggest worry probably isn't treatment in Australia. Its more like 'what if you are taken ill en route....' - in some hellhole like Dubai for instance, and have to be repatriated from there.
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Old Apr 19th 2018, 11:36 am
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Default Re: Medicare and / or health insurance?

Originally Posted by ColinD2 View Post
Thanks for the replies and advice everybody. We are able to enroll on Medicare, we just have to fill in the form and show our id when we get to Australia. Health insurance for 12 months is between £500 - £700, and since Australia has a reciprocal medical agreement with the UK, I'm just trying to work out exactly what extra I'd be getting for my £700 and whether or not it's worth it. No point in paying an insurance company that kind of money if it's all part of Medicare anyway. That's the reason for the post and the question. If other people just want to blindly pay an insurance company a large amount of money without asking questions about it that's up to them, me I'd rather find out the facts before I fork out £700.

However, I can now see some good reasons for taking out insurance as well, especially regarding repatriation.

Thanks again
Remember that the reciprocal agreement doesn’t cover everything only “necessary” medical intervention and what you might consider “necessary” isn’t necessarily what Medicare would consider it. Actually, for a year’s trip, £500-700 is not a bad deal! Especially as (and forgive me for saying) you are getting older (just wait until you are over 65!). Nobody likes paying insurance but nobody likes the unintended consequences either! Having seen the cost incurred of the son of an acquaintance having to be repatriated to U.K. following a car accident - get the insurance!
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Old Apr 19th 2018, 11:40 am
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Default Re: Medicare and / or health insurance?

Holiday insurance will also cover belongings,travel delays etc and most likely car rental excess (which is high here). Worth getting.
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