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  1. Last weekend I bumped into a couple from Liverpool who have been here in Brisbane for 6 weeks. After a short chat they said that they are going back at Christmas time. It turned out that even though they very much like it here in Brisbane, the cost of medical care for their young daughter, who suffers from arthritis, is prohibitive. All their possessions are arriving shortly but luckily, they said, they have not sold the house and they can get their jobs back when they return. However, they will suffer relocation costs back and forth. This sad story has prompted me to reveal the facts that are not talked about in any relocation shows, magazines, books or agents – medical costs in Australia. RECIPROCAL HEALTH AGREEMENT First of all, the good news is that private health insurance is not compulsory for British citizens as we have a reciprocal health agreement between UK and OZ. You will only pay 1.5% medical levy from your salary for a state provider Medicare. You can apply for a Medicare card at a Medicare office on arrival, you just need to show your passport with a visa and provide your address. This will entitle you to all state health care same as residents including hospital treatments but not ambulance. See about Medicare here: http://www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/ . Your employer, however, might provide you with or insist you get a private health insurance initially until you register for Medicare. After that it is your choice to have it or not. PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE However, if your salary exceeds $77,000 per single or $154,000 per family (plus $1,500 per additional child after the first child), you will be either charged an additional 1% medical levy surcharge or you have to take out a private medical insurance. As a PR, you can choose any health provider and opt for any level of cover, which depends on amount of contribution, not on your medical history. If you are a temporary resident on, say, business visa, you are restricted to major providers with specific (and more expensive) covers for overseas visitors, such as Medibank, MBF, AHM, BUPA, HIF. You can choose to have hospital cover only but many people take out additional extras cover for dental, optical and various alternative treatments which are not available on Medicare. Those who do not need a private medical cover can take out extras cover only – especially for dentists (read more about this one later). Extras Cover is the same for residents and visitors. There is age loading for hospital cover – that is, the older you are the more it will cost if you are over the age of 31 and you have not taken it within the first year of registering for Medicare. The loading increases 2% a year to a maximum of 70% and once attracted will apply for 10 consecutive years. Read more about this here: http://www.privatehealth.gov.au/healthinsurance/incentivessurcharges/lifetimehealthcover.htm'>http://www.privatehealth.gov.au/healthinsurance/incentivessurcharges/lifetimehealthcover.htm Those eligible for Medicare are entitled to Federal Government Rebate of 30% of the cost of health insurance. Please note that there are annual cost limits for treatments and there is an excess to pay each time depending on the level of the cover chosen. As well as waiting times for cover of major treatments. More about private health insurance here: http://www.privatehealth.gov.au/ . STATE HEALTH INSURANCE Despite what some members say about bulk-billing (free) GPs and doctors, they are like gold dust. There are certainly none in the city with some very rare exceptions for under 16-s, pensioners and those on benefits. There are some in underprivileged or rural areas but not in the cities. Everybody I have spoken to here – locals or foreigners – all pay for their GPs. It is very difficult to find a bulk-billing GP and even then you may not qualify. GPs charge about $65 per visit, double that at the weekend. You get about a half of it back with your Medicare card. You also pay for tests, x-rays and routine treatments including materials and medications. Specialist doctors that you might be referred to also charge $150-200 per consultation with additional fees for tests and treatments, which will cost about the same again. You will get about half of it back through Medicare but there will almost always be a gap payment. This may not sound too bad for those fortunate ones who hardly ever visit a doctor but for those who are older or with chronic conditions this soon adds up! Also, you need to visit a doctor for repeat prescriptions (and pay for a visit), they do not take it over the counter or over the phone. There are PBS (subsidised) and private prescriptions. Cost of PBS subscription vary from about $10 to $34.20. A lot of prescriptions are not on PBS though, even some regular drugs. Private prescriptions can be very expensive. Once you have spent over $1317.20 per year you pay only $5.60 for prescriptions. More about this here: http://www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/provider/pbs/index.jsp . If your medical expenses exceed $2,000 per year you can claim 20% tax rebate on most medical expenses over that amount. This includes gap payments and prescriptions. AMBULANCE AND EMERGENCY Medicare does not cover ambulance services. You have to pay for an Ambulance Cover, which is variable (about $100 per year or so). In Queensland it is added to your electricity bill, so you don’t have to take it out separately. If you don’t have it you might find yourself paying nearly a thousand for a call out. If you go to the A&E department yourself, their services are free for Medicare card holders. DENTISTS Now the bad news. There are no state funded dentists in Australia, they are all private, even for children and their prices appear to be unregulated. Their charges are extortionate and on average 3-4 times more than private dentists’ in the UK. See average dental prices here: http://www.privatehealth.gov.au/healthinsurance/whatiscovered/averagedental.htm . An endodontist consultation can cost $300 and a specialist root canal treatment for one tooth $3,000 – and this is not including $1,500 for a crown that you will need afterwards. There is no separate dental insurance, it is included in Extras Cover of your private health insurance along with other items. As with hospital cover, in the majority of cases there is a gap payment for every treatment depending on the level of cover and whether you use a dentist approved by your insurance provider or not. Again, there are annual spending limits for every type of treatment and waiting periods for major dental work like crowns, bridges, root canals, braces etc. I hope I have covered the majority of information about medical care for British immigrants and temporary residents. You can find more details following the links provided. I know this topic will cause a lot of controversy and arguments, so if you are young, healthy and childless, not in OZ or have lived in OZ for a while, please leave this thread, it is not for you as you either will not or have not experienced the full impact of mounting bills of a chronic patient or you have had a free doctor for years – an option not available to a regular average new immigrant any longer. However, additional information and clarifications are welcome.
  2. HELL EXPLAINED BY CHEMISTRY STUDENT The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid term. The answer by one student was so 'profound' that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well: Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following: First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added. This gives two possibilities: 1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose. 2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over. So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,' and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct......leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting 'Oh my God.' THIS STUDENT RECEIVED AN A+.
  3. We have prepared a short report on the major changes in last nights budget which you can download from our home page at www.nextgenwealth.com.au or by clicking on this link http://www.genesysadvisers.com.au/nextgen/Resources/2009-10_Budget_Explained.pdf Hope it is of some help Liam
  4. ok so thought i knew the process but the more i read the more i go 'huh?!?' So we are going it alone after speaking with some really lovely agents we have decided that financially going it alone it better - for my blood pressure i have to disagree but hey no never been one to back away from a challenge!:unsure: Anyway - proceeding with a 176 visa to WA. Skills assessment sent off so just waiting for that, from here can i please just clarify the process... 1)get, hopefully, my positive skills assessment back 2)apply to WA for sponsorship 3)all fingers and toes crossed they say yes and we get sponsored......after this bit i get confused!! i see people 'font loading' meds and police checks etc to DIAC, how do you that? or cant you do that until the state sponsorship docs have been submitted to DIAC from the state? Does DIAC only get involved with you Visa once the state contact them and OK your sponsorship? Also, i have a partner so i need to do a defacto, i know all the stuff i need for that but does the defacto bit come after i have, hopefully, got the visa from DIAC or is it all done at the same time!?!?! CANT TAKE THE PRESSURE!!!:confused: Please someone help my poor brain understand the process, theres just so much to get my braincell around. thank yooooooou!
  5. and other useful stuff YouTube - Immigration to Australia - How to migrate explained - video YouTube - Chasers War - Aust. Values Citizenship Tests on Australians
  6. People often ask for a simple explanation of Marketing - Here it is: You're a woman and you see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and say, "I'm fantastic in bed." That's Direct Marketing. You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a handsome guy. One of your friends goes up to him and pointing at you says, "She's fantastic in bed." That's Advertising. You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and get his telephone number. The next day you call and say, "Hi, I'm fantastic in bed." That's Telemarketing. You see a guy at a party, you straighten your dress. You walk up to him and pour him a drink. You say, "May I?" and reach up to straighten his tie, brushing your breast lightly against his arm, and then say, "By the way, I'm fantastic in bed." That's Public Relations. You're at a party and see a handsome guy. He walks up to you and says, "I hear you're fantastic in bed." That's Brand Recognition. You're at a party and see a handsome guy. He fancies you, but you talk him into going home with your friend. That's a Sales Rep. Your friend can't satisfy him so he calls you. That's Tech Support. You're on your way to a party when you realize that there could be handsome men in all these houses you're passing. So you climb onto the roof of one situated towards the centre and shout at the top of your lungs, "I'm fantastic in bed!" That's Junk Mail. You are at a party; this well-built man walks up to you and grabs your ass. That's the Governor of California. You like it, but 20 years later your attorney decides you were offended. That's America!
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