Choosing health insurance in Australia for foreigners can feel like a daunting task. Nevertheless, things get a bit easier when you get familiar with the market and the different options available.
In this article, you will get some tips that will help you to find the best medical insurance in Australia if you are an expat.
Health Insurance in Australia: How Does It Work?
Australia has a federal medical assistance plan called Medicare. All Australian employees are automatically enrolled.
A 1.5% contribution is deducted by the government directly from their salaries. This provides basic medical and hospital coverage.
The Medicare card provides partial coverage of medical expenses, and full coverage of hospital costs. This only applies to hospitalization in the public sector.
Dental expenses are not covered by Medicare. And medicines are not free. They cost about 15 to 20 dollars each.
It’s a very popular option of health insurance in Australia for foreigners. But it has some restrictions, as you are going to see in the next section.
Is Medicare a Valid Expat Health Insurance in Australia?
Please note that only permanent residents who have been in Australia for more than 2 years are eligible for Medicare.
Therefore, foreigners who do not or have not yet met this condition will not be eligible to get it as their expat health insurance in Australia.
This is why an expatriate must take out insurance on his own to benefit from health coverage in Australia.
Even expats who have access to Medicare often choose private health insurance to supplement their coverage, which remains relatively limited.
What is the Best Medical Insurance in Australia for Expats?
There are two solutions available to a foreigner wishing to purchase health insurance in Australia.
Expat Health Insurance in Australia: 1st Dollar Policies
This is a type of insurance offered by private companies. It covers health expenses from the first dollar spent, independently of any other medical coverage.
This is the best medical insurance in Australia for most expatriates.
Indeed, the 1st dollar insurances offer complete coverage and are adapted to the needs of each expat. In addition, they allow you to have contacts who speak your native language.
Finally, the companies that sell these policies often have partnerships with health networks.
This can give you some special benefits. For example, to be exempted from advance payment in case of hospitalization.
Health Insurance in Australia for Foreigners: Social Security
Depending on your country of origin, you might have Social Security coverage when you move abroad.
If this organism exists in your country, you can ask if this option is available, and get familiar with all the procedures and conditions.
Its main drawback is that the reimbursements are often very limited. They are calculated taken the costs in your country as a reference.
And, applied to the cost of care in Australia, they might be largely insufficient.
There is a way to complete these reimbursements and to improve the guarantees.
People who benefit from Social Security abroad can get complimentary health insurance in Australia for foreigners.
The fees are generally higher than the ones applied by the private companies on the 1st dollar policies.
Nevertheless, it can be the best solution for people suffering from pre-existing conditions (chronic illness, major surgery, etc.), as no medical questionnaire is required at the time of application.