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medicare and private health insurance

medicare and private health insurance

Old Jan 3rd 2008, 10:48 am
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Default medicare and private health insurance

I'm a bit confused about this as i keep reading that you should go over on PR so you get medicare, but then people are saying you need private medical insurance anyway, so what exactly is the healthcare system out in Oz?
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Old Jan 3rd 2008, 1:18 pm
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Default Re: medicare and private health insurance

We have public health. However, for elective procedures, you have long waiting lists in public hospitals. ALso, dental/optical is not covered by Medicare. Everyone pays a medicare levy in their tax. You also have to pay an extra medicare penalty if you earn over $50K and don't have private health cover, so it's generally cheaper to get private health cover.

In addition, with private cover, you get to choose your provider, your hospital, a private room, your surgery date etc.

You can compare health plans at iselect.com.au

I use Medicare for going to a bulk-billing medical clinic for general doctor visits, or an emergency room visit. Otherwise I use my own cover.
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Old Jan 3rd 2008, 1:19 pm
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Default Re: medicare and private health insurance

Originally Posted by suzanne7575 View Post
I'm a bit confused about this as i keep reading that you should go over on PR so you get medicare, but then people are saying you need private medical insurance anyway, so what exactly is the healthcare system out in Oz?
If you are sponsered then the company has a obligation to provide it
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Old Jan 3rd 2008, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: medicare and private health insurance

Originally Posted by verystormy View Post
If you are sponsered then the company has a obligation to provide it
Thats interesting to know, so my company has to pay my private healthcare for me and my wife when we go over on a 457?
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Old Jan 4th 2008, 8:37 am
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Default Re: medicare and private health insurance

Originally Posted by ianhutch1 View Post
Thats interesting to know, so my company has to pay my private healthcare for me and my wife when we go over on a 457?
That is what my sponser has told me. They initially said it was my responsibility, but then the came back and said they had been advised it was theirs by law
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Old Jan 4th 2008, 8:45 am
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Default Re: medicare and private health insurance

Originally Posted by augigi View Post
We have public health. However, for elective procedures, you have long waiting lists in public hospitals. ALso, dental/optical is not covered by Medicare. Everyone pays a medicare levy in their tax. You also have to pay an extra medicare penalty if you earn over $50K and don't have private health cover, so it's generally cheaper to get private health cover.

In addition, with private cover, you get to choose your provider, your hospital, a private room, your surgery date etc.

You can compare health plans at iselect.com.au

I use Medicare for going to a bulk-billing medical clinic for general doctor visits, or an emergency room visit. Otherwise I use my own cover.
Yes and don't forget even private medical doesn't cover 100% of the cost of treatment. There is a gap fee to pay. So if you go private you pay the standard rate of medicare levi plus the private premiums and then on top you pay the gap fees. Basically before anyone moans about the NHS and NI contributions, let me just say there is no comparison, give me the NHS anyday.
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Old Jan 4th 2008, 10:00 am
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Default Re: medicare and private health insurance

You do not need private health insurance however for anything non urgent public is slow. Private insurance mainly covers in hospital expenses but only a fraction of the doctors treatment. In fact medicare pays out double what the private health pays out for the doctors/aneasthetist fees.

Private does not cover out of hospital fees.

Then there is private extras. Have a look at the product disclosure statements on the websites of an insurer such as www.hcf.com.au . For dental I had $2100 worth of root canal work done and got back about $800. Not exactly comprehensive and that is top level cover. You get little bits back here and there for eyewear and some other things but expect to still be paying out a lot. The main reason people get private is so they do not have to pay the medicare levy surcharge.

A major advantage of private is that you get to chose your doctor but that doctor has to work at the hospital you visit and a good consultant will have a bigger gap. The alternative is being operated on by a registraar.

For childbirth if you want an elective caesar without too many judgemental midwives who do not know your situation then private is better. For those that want a hands off approach from doctors then go public. You'll struggle to see a doctor.
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Old Jan 4th 2008, 10:58 am
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Default Re: medicare and private health insurance

All good information here. My experience is for a 457 your company is responsible for ensuring you have private medical insurance. However I have to pay the insurance and provide proof (the insurance certificate) to my employer. I think this is a matter of interpretation - it's only the employers responsibility to ensure you have the insurance, not necessarily pay for it.

Also, on a 457 you are a temporary resident - a visitor to the country. This means you are entitled to reciprocal health care through Medicare and can claim back a fair amount of costs such as GP visits. For this you need to apply for a medicare card, but in the meantime keep your invoices and they'll get reimbursed.

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