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Our complete guide to understanding the importance of international health insurance

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Is It Necessary to Take Out International Health Insurance for Australia?



Many people ask if it is necessary to get international health insurance for Australia. The quick answer is: it depends.

The rights and obligations regarding medical insurance vary depending on whether you are a tourist, a student, or an expatriate.

And in this article, you will find some tips to help you choose the best health insurance companies for Australia.

What you should take in mind first is that leaving or staying without good coverage is a bad idea.

Do You Really Need Private Health Insurance in Australia?

It is highly recommended to have an international medical policy in Australia. Although it is only mandatory to obtain certain types of visas.

In Australia, all travelers are considered responsible for their health costs. And this country is one of the most expensive ones in the world in this regard. Both in the private and the public sector.

Leaving without good coverage means exposing yourself to serious financial problems in the event of an accident or even a minor illness on the spot. All health costs are to be paid by the uninsured patient.

Access to the Local Health Insurance System in Case of a Long Stay

For foreign students in Australia, it is compulsory to subscribe to OSHC insurance with a local company.

This allows you to obtain a Social Security number and provides you with coverage for your medical and hospitalization expenses according to agreed limits and rates.

However, this policy is not the most suitable. It does not cover repatriation or civil liability and is only valid in Australia.

In addition, it is therefore strongly recommended to take out private health insurance for Australia. It will cover you there and throughout the rest of the world.

Expats in Australia

After two years of settlement, expatriates are automatically affiliated to Medicare, the Australian health insurance system.

It offers basic medical and hospital coverage and has the same limitations as the OSHC insurance.

To be covered before the two-year deadline, it is essential to purchase international health insurance in Australia.

But due to the limitations of Medicare, expatriates who are affiliated with it are advised to still get a private policy.

What Are the Best Health Insurance Companies for Australia?

Private Health Insurance for Australia From the 1st Dollar

For tourists as well as for residents wishing to subscribe to an international policy, it is common to turn to a so-called “1st dollar” offer. You will find them in many insurance companies in your country.

These contracts are recognized for their good value for money and their efficiency. They reimburse all health expenses from the first dollar spent and offer advisors who speak your language. It’s common that they also have mobile apps to manage everything easily.

This type of contract is very flexible and lets each person choose the coverage they need. Plus the companies that offer them have partnerships with local health care networks.

It is important to note that all private insurance companies require a health questionnaire at the time of enrollment. And it can lead to additional premiums or exclusions in the case of pre-existing medical conditions.

It is important to compare several offers to find the one that offers the best ratio between the cost and the level of coverage.

Social Security Coverage for Expats in Australia

Some expats might be covered by their country’s Social Security when they go abroad.

They often ask: “do you really need private health insurance in Australia even if you have Social Security coverage?”.

And the answer is a clear and sound “yes”.

Social Security does not require a health questionnaire and no application can be rejected, Also, the fees are often fixed and independent of the health status of the insured.

However, its two main flaws are not to be overlooked.

  • Its reimbursements are based on the health care’s price of your country. And they might be too low to cover health expenses in Australia.
  • And the basic guarantees are insufficient (there is no repatriation assistance).

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This is also interesting:

What countries should I move to? The best countries to move to are not the same for everyone! Finding the ideal destination depends first of all on what is expected on a personal level.


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