Medicare is Australia's universal health insurance scheme which provides access to free treatment as a public (Medicare) patient in a public hospital and free or subsidised treatment by practitioners such as doctors, including specialists, participating optometrists or dentists (specified services only)
To register, you have to go to a Medicare centre with your passport and your visa. If you can't go, call the 132 011 (local call) and ask for a form to fill in.
You can benefit from Medicare if you are a permanent resident or an Australian citizen or if you are from of one of the 8 countries which have signed international agreements with Australia (New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Malta, Ireland).
If you go with your Medicare card to a doctor that advertises 'Bulk Billing' on the door, you will not pay anything (you can choose the doctor who treats you for out-of-hospital services). Be aware, though, that this doesn't apply to certain specialists such as physical therapists for example.
If you are not one of those people or choose to go to a doctor who does not do 'Bulk Billing' then the minimum amount you will pay is AUD $30 and this could go way over AUD $40 if they are located in an expensive area, and even more if they are a specialist of some sort. If you have a Medicare card you can claim part or all of the fee and receive a cheque. You may have to pay the difference between the benefit and the total fee charged at the time of service. Medicare pays either 85 per cent of the Schedule fee, or the Schedule fee less an amount of up to $52.50, whichever is greater. If the charge is less than 85 percent of the Schedule fee, Medicare will only pay the amount equal to the charge.
For more information go to:
http://www.hic.gov.au and follow the links to Medicare.
With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation to Sydney is an essential step. As far as healthcare is concerned, your local social security scheme won’t be accompanying you to your host country and, once abroad, you might be surprised by the care system you find in Australia. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover!
EasyExpat.com works in partnership with APRIL International to provide specific insurance solutions for travelling or staying outside your country of nationality.
Designed for either short or long stays, APRIL International’s insurance policies offer protection against any problems that might arise before departure or during your time in Australia: cancelling your trip, medical expenses following an illness or accident, needing to be repatriated, causing damage to a third party or losing your luggage.
For more information on expat health insurance in Australia, visit our partner APRIL International