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Found 172 results

  1. Yesterday my oh had day surgery and it made me think about that old chestnut - the "Australian healthcare vs British healthcare" debate. A lot of people (myself included) would say Australian healthcare is better, but that's not a fair statement. The difference has more to do with the culture in both countries, and the difference in the way private health insurance works in each country. My oh had a dark spot on his nose, and it turned out it was a melanoma. He doesn't have health insurance, so the GP offered to refer him to a hospital specialist instead of a private one. He could see the private surgeon next day, but would have to wait for the hospital one. He chose the private surgeon, and a week later, he's been operated on (and it looks as if it's all clear, thankfully). He's now got $6,000 on his credit card, but he thinks it's worth it for peace of mind - and he will get some of it back on Medicare. And that's one of the differences right there. If you choose to bypass NHS waiting lists in the UK by going private, you pay the full price. The NHS doesn't step up and pay you what it would have cost to do it on the NHS. So even for people without health insurance, private health care isn't necessarily out of reach in Australia - and importantly, we all know it isn't. In fact we access it often, without much thought, every time we get referred for a CT scan or a specialist consultation. So you see, when you ask a typical Aussie what healthcare in Australia is like, you're likely to get a rosy picture - because our willingness to use private healthcare means that we're not comparing like with like.
  2. Hi, please could someone tell me whether it's possible to apply for a Medicare card before you leave the UK, and whether is it recommended that I do so, or is it better to apply for one on arrival to Aus? I am on a British passport. Many thanks
  3. I have found this information on immi.gov.au http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/booklets/1024i.pdf "Medicare Non-citizens in Australia are eligible for Medicare if they have applied for a permanent residence visa other than a Parent visa. They must also hold a valid temporary visa (which includes a bridging visa), and either have permission to work on that temporary visa or have a parent/spouse/de facto partner/child who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident. Note that the Medicare Levy is payable by people eligible for Medicare." It is really good news for me! Can anyone confirm this? Am I really eligible for Medicare once I apply for PR visa and hold a visa with permission to work?
  4. Lever40

    Medical Cover while on a PMV

    Im now in oz on a Prospective Marriage Visa and after Medicare but apparently there is a loop hole that on a PMV you cant apply for Medicare until you have submitted the Partner visa which would be after we are married! Would I still be covered some what on the reciprocal agreement that Britain and Australia have with medical cover for citizens.
  5. Hi, I'm from the UK, and have been doing my Australian tax lodgement for the year. I am due to pay the ATO the 2% of my salary for the medicare (just levy, not the surcharge). But my issue is that I have also been paying for the 457 health insurance for the past year, the minimum one that meets condition 8501. However, I remember reading somewhere, some time ago, that once on medicare, this obligatory insurance necessary to get the visa in the first place can be cancelled as medicare meets condition 8501, and that one has to contact DIAC to get a letter or something? When I called up the insurance recently to enquire about this, they said I have to maintain the insurance and she got quite funny about it. Does anyone know if, and how, one can get exempt from this health insurance, and also, could I get a refund for the $1000+ I have paid over the past year for something I didn't need due to having medicare? (if the case). Also, I was questioning the need of applying for medicare in the first place, as it has worked out a lot more expensive than had I just had the health insurance.. I just did it automatically as everything I had read encouraged to 'get medicare'. I don't understand the ins and outs of the system obviously, so hopefully these queries are simple to answer . Thanks
  6. Some info about prescriptions that I've never seen anywhere else on the forum. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme has a Safety Net but unless you always go to the same pharmacy, you MUST keep track of your expenditure towards it yourself. At the beginning of each year, ask any pharmacy for a Safety Net card for the current calendar year and EVERY time you or anyone else on your Medicare card has a prescription filled, stick the sticker you should get with the prescription (you may sometimes need to ask for it) into the card. When your family expenditure for PBS prescriptions gets to the Safety Net threshold, the cost per prescription drops dramatically for the remainder of the calendar year. If you always go to the same pharmacy, they will almost certainly keep track for you (ask to make sure) but get a card anyway in case you get stickers from any other pharmacy - you can then show the stickers to your usual one and they can add that to their records. My family usually hits the SN by about July each year and the savings are huge after that. Once you hit the SN, you get a Safety Net Concession card that can be used anywhere in Australia for prescriptions at the lower cost. The SN non-concession threshold for 2015 is $1453.90 (covers the whole family regardless of the number of members) and the cost per prescription drops from $37.70 down to only $6.10. I'm not sure if those amounts will change after the new legislation goes through both houses of parliament but the following link seems to indicate that it has already been taken into account. Health Care card holders have a lower threshold and when they reach the SN, the cost for a prescription drops to zero. http://www.pbs.gov.au/info/news/2014...et-information Medicare also has a Safety Net and they keep track of your out of pocket expenses automatically for individuals (they write to you when you approach it) but you have to register for it for a family; only once though - no registration needed for subsequent years.
  7. dagefo

    Is Medicare sufficient enough?

    My wife and I will soon be heading to Perth on a 457 visa. I've understood and the jiggling with only being able to get Medicare through the reciprocal agreement once we arrive. But my question is "is medicare sufficient enough?" We are both generally healthy people, both turning 30 this year, no kids. I don't expect to require a doctor often and only in an emergency / sudden illness. So is medicare enough when compared to this kind of service through the NHS? I should point out we will be taking out additional ambulance only cover though! Don't want to get caught out with that one! Private medical insurance seems to be very expensive when on a 457 visa and if the reciprocal agreement covers pretty much all the we would need I don't see the need to shell out hundreds of dollars each month for it. Any advice would be most welcomed Thanks!! :-)
  8. Joyous

    GP for UK visitors

    My parents will be visiting from UK and my dad needs regular blood tests. Would an Australian GP be able to see him and refer to tests although without medicare? TIA
  9. I have been granted permanent residency and have to enter before Aug 1 which is around 6 weeks from today. But, I have no employment. Initially, I planned to come to Sydney for a week by taking leave from my current job, apply for a driver's license, medicare card and Tax file number. Also, in the week, I wanted to explore the job market. I don't want to leave my current job in my home country without getting something equivalent in Australia, though I understand it is difficult to secure a position from overseas as employers prefer a local candidate. I was told Sydney may have more positions for IT engineers so planned to come there. I don't know anyone in Australia. I glanced at the useful threads http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/new-south-wales/230105-registering-medicare-sydney.html and http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/new-south-wales/233424-how-much-spend-rent-sydney-single.html and realize getting a Medicare card takes 6 weeks and rents are more than I expected. 1. Where on Sydney can one stay for a week at the budget of 300AUD/week without sharing? I heard it cannot be a place where backpackers stay or a low budget hotel as I need a proper address to which my medicare, tax card will be sent. I am OK staying away from the main city to reduce costs as long as I can take the train and get to the city. 2. Can shared rental places or the ones on Airbnb be used as address for medicare, tax card? 3. What is the approximate time to get a driver's license, medicare card and Tax file number in Sydney? 4. Can I do anything to expedite the process of getting a driver's license, medicare card and Tax file number? I realize it depends on the workload of the agencies, how many people applied ahead of me and few other factors which an applicant like me cannot control. 5. Would coming to any other city like Melbourne or Perth mean quicker processing of these documents? Any other suggestions would be appreciated. As always, thanks to all the posters who generously advise people like me on different aspects of the migration.
  10. Hi there, I'm a British Citizen from the UK moving to Oz to work as a doctor in August. I'm applying via the 457 visa and have all my sponsorship and nomination approved just need to complete the personal visa. It is a requirement of the 457 visa to have adequate health insurance upon application. Australia has a reciprocal health agreement with the UK in which I would be eligible to apply for a medicare number. This can only be done once in Oz. The Australian immigration website states: "If you are overseas, you must arrange adequate insurance for your initial period in Australia and provide evidence of this insurance as part of your application. You may be eligible to then enrol with Medicare once you are in Australia. Being enrolled with Medicare is sufficient to comply with visa condition 8501." My question is: Would health insurance for 1 month qualify as adequate insurance for my initial period in Oz prior to enrolling with Medicare? If not then what is a reasonable period of time? Is there any level of cover that must be met? Any recommendations or advice would be really appreciated! Thanks JK
  11. Hi Everyone God i never thought the day would arrive when I would be posting this, but today we received the best news after nearly three years that we have our PR. My next question is what do I need to do next? Do I need to pop into centrelink etc? My daughter goes to Kindy so I would like to start receiving the rebate as soon as I am able to - having paid full wack for three years (at a very high cost) the reduction in this will be very welcome. We also have BUPA etc so I am assuming I will need to let them know as well as getting a new Medicare card? If anyone knows if I am able to do the forms online and which ones they are that would be great. Thanks Poochibabes :smile:
  12. Afternoon, I am an Australian Citizen with 2 children under 2 and a husband who is currently a fireman. I work as a makeup artist. We obviously have no visa worries but I have LOTS of questions! We are planning on moving to Sydney & initially renting. Is there a website/source anyone knows about that gives you a checklist/moving info? So far Things on my list are- How to organise medicare card How to get Tax file number I have a bank account in Aus but how do I get my husband one? What do we need to have to rent (bank accounts/proof of employment/one million dollars?!) Is there a benefits system I can apply to? (I am due to give birth to my 2nd in November and we are planning on moving in February 2016 so I will probably be unable to work for a few months initially while the baby is so young) As we understand it the NSW Fire Department do not recognise my husband LFB qualifications. Does anyone know of any industries that a fireman could be employed in?? We have savings to buffer us for a few months but if anyone has recently moved I would love to know your approx costs all up!! Any advice or links to appropriate advice would be massively appreciated! Thanks
  13. Does any body know of any Medicare/ bulk billing surgeries in West Perth , Subiaco , or the Perth CBD? Would be great help tried google but not had much luck, new to the area so a bit stuck! Many thanks Ben and Sharn
  14. Hi everyone Great to read all the advice on here; it is so useful!! My wife, 2 children and I are considering coming to Victoria on her 457 visa as she is a Registered Nurse. Both my wife and I are both kidney transplant recipients and we would welcome any advice regarding costs of meds, checkups with specialists and costs of healthcare beyond medicare. We have done some research on the cost of our meds and a sample healthcare plan, which is a requirement of her visa. We are otherwise fit and healthy. Does anyone have any knowledge of transplant patients and stumbling blocks? Would my wife get an employee benefits package to cover healthcare, so that we would not need to fork out for it ourselves? Any tips would be most welcome or are we just wasting our time and a move to Oz is just not possible? Thanks :biggrin:
  15. Hi all I hope you can help again.....these forums have been great. I move to Melbourne in early June on a a 457 VISA. As part of my 457 Visa application, I have to have a private medical insurance policy for all my family. I've been looking into this with BUPA, IMAN NIB etc and for a fairly comprehensive cover it is looking like a pretty eye watering $500-$600 per month or so. If I need to take this out, as I want to be well covered, then I'm happy to bite the bullet. However the piece I am struggling to understand is the Medicare Levy and the Medicare Levy Surcharge. Our family income will be above the income threshold resulting in a 1.5% levy. It is my understanding that under reciprocal arrangements, that we would qualify for Medicare. What I don't want to do is face a double whammy of paying a Medicare Levy and MLS AND pay the private health insurance on top. I have a couple of specific questions: 1. Am I right in saying that if I have the private health insurance (which is a requirement of my VISA anyway) that I am fully exempt from the Medicare Levy and or MLS? 2. If not, then presumably i just want to take out basic cover (as I am Medicare covered) with some extras such as Ambulance and Dental Covers as extras? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  16. vickyplum

    new migrants to Oz - to do list

    hello all just wondering what the main paperwork type things are, for a newly arrived pom in oz... change UK drivers licence to international? register with medicare? start "voluntary" NI payments back to UK? sort out private healthcare insurance? ... ... there must be loads more - can anyone help to grow the list? Thanks!!
  17. BizLarker

    Medicare claim deadline?

    Hello does anyone know if there is a deadline by which you must submit a medicare claim? thanks
  18. Hey guys, Just looking for opinions/Advice I am a British National currently on a 4 Year 457 work visa. I have numerous things I have been carrying with me for a while with regards to health issues and have not been able to get home to have them sorted out. One is possibly an operation I will eventually need on my nose, due to being unable to breath thorough it thanks to a deformed septum which requires surgery, the other is a serious stomach issue that I need a colonoscopy for to find out exactly what is wrong. I am so desperate to get these fixed as they are both currently making my life a living hell. I have the standard Reciprocal Medicare Card which says "Visitor" which I am assuming only helps me a little with Doctors fee's etc so my question is two parts. Firstly if I pay top dollar and get individual private Insurance, how much difference cost-wise would this help when I go to attempt to rectify the problems explained above? (I mean who private health care actually cover for say the colonoscopy or help with the cost of the op for my nose) and secondly, If so which Private Health Care fund comes highly recommended in your opinion? (ie, Upgrade Medicare, Bupa, Etc) Can anyone give some sound advice on what I should do? Cheers in advance, for any advice given! Ruddy
  19. Hi, I'm an Australian moving back to Sydney next year with my english husband. I've been away for about 8 years so I can't really remember how things work with health care. Plus I never had much reason to be involved other than the odd cold, but things have changed. I was hoping that the combined wisdom here could help me with some questions. First - a bit of background: I've had successful treatment for cervical cancer this year. In remission since Feb, but still subject to three monthly follow ups and 6 monthly MRI's. It's expected that as I get older I would need a full hysterectomy to be safe, but they are allowing me a few years with just monitoring so I can try to have kids. To do that, I need IVF, and probably a few minor operations during that process. So would require a couple of hospital stays at a minimum. I'm 37, and will be 38 when I get back so I can't wait too long for all this. Questions: I know people can't really answer these with certainty, but I'd love to get any experiences or knowledge that is around. Cancer follow up: Would this normally be done within Medicare, and what would it cost? I know MRI's can be extremely expensive, but I'm not sure how much I'd have to pay. My oncologist here will hand over my care to a friend/colleague in Sydney, who I presume will charge private rates too. If they advised in a few years to do the more comprehensive operation, would Medicare also cover that? IVF: I know that Medicare provides support for IVF. Does anyone have experience of how this works, and how hard it is to get funded. In the UK it's a bit of a nightmare with long waiting lists, and you only get one 'go', but I'm not sure how it works in Australia. I'd love advice from anyone who has been through this. My Mum has told me that there is a cap with Medicare, over which more of the costs are paid, but could anyone advise if that applies to things like IVF? Private Health: What additional cover does Private health give me. I presume I'll be exempt for 12 months or so for both the IVF and the cancer costs, but after that would they cover me do you think? Both are clearly pre-existing conditions, and expected to cost a lot in the short and long term, so I'm worried I'll just be declined. When I lived in Australia I was a member of HCF, which I maintained for a year even after I left, but I'm not sure if that helps at all. Thanks in advance! This is quite a stressful thing for me as you can imagine, and I can't decide if we should activate our visa and then stay a while here in the UK where I understand the system more. But at the same time I want to get home to my family.
  20. krmcc

    Surgery options AU vs UK heeeelp

    My partner dislocated his shoulder doing Tough Mudder (...) and was referred to a specialist by our doctor who confirmed he needs surgery to attach the tissue back to the bone. We have just received the quote back, and for one night in hospital its going to cost us over $10,000 for the surgery! We've been told shoulders aren't covered by the medicare system in Australia. Does anyone know what the average wait time is back in the UK at the moment for getting something like this done through the NHS? It seems like our best option would be to fly back to have the procedure done. Any help/knowledge would be appreciated!
  21. Hi all, I'm just asking for a bit of clarification on whether I need a medical or health insurance when applying for the 457 visa? My partner and I are both from the UK, a low risk country. My partner will be sponsored as an electrician and I will work as a dive instructor. Does anyone know whether we will still be asked to have a medical examination or an Xray? If so we'd rather do it before we lodge the application to save time. We also have a valid medicare card. Will this be enough in terms of medical insurance, or should we look for more comprehensive medical insurance? Thanks very much in advance for your replies! I'm new to this!
  22. Hey Guys, I'm a Pom currently on a 457 visa but I have some medical issues I have been carrying for a while that I need having a look at. Can anyone recommend a 'Good' GP in the Sydney City area (I.e one that will actually listen to your problems instead of just turning you through the door?) Also one that bulk bills so I can at least get some usage out of my Medicare Card? Thanks, Ruddy
  23. After being in Australia for three months on a PR visa, I am finally starting work tomorrow :-) I am trying to plan my personal finances and wondered whether I pay tax on my full salary (80k), or the cash amount (ie after Super is deducted, 73.5k)? My new employer has a default superannuation scheme, but I wondered whether there are others might suit me better. My main priority would be the possibility to transfer it to the UK one day as I am probably only going to be here for about a year. Also, I registered for medicare as soon as I arrived but only just received the card. It also had a leaflet with details about registering for private hospital cover in the first 12 months of being here. The whole thing has left me pretty confused. I have private cover in the UK and it would be something that I would consider here depending on cost, but do we not get any special allowances for being UK citizens since all my Aussie friends in London enjoyed the benefits of the NHS!? Any help will be greatly appreciated!
  24. Hey guys, Sorry if this post is in the wrong section but I will keep it short and sweet Just looking for opinions/Advice I am a British National on a 457 work visa. I have numerous things I have been carrying with me for a while with regards to health issues and have not been able to get home to have them sorted out. One particular issue is ongoing with my stomach Infection and so I went to the Docs as I have been carrying this with me for over a year now.. They sent me for Blood, Urine and Stool tests and thank god I asked the price before I went ahead and did them! $760 Just for the tests! My question is, is this a normal price for someone who is supposedly a temporary resident?...and if so, What options do I have with regards to getting Health Insurance that will cover this?...Is there no reciprocal agreement? (Other than The 'Visitor' Medicare card I have that seems useless apart for discounts on consultations!) Can anyone give any advice and what I should do? Cheers!
  25. Hi Poms Im really hoping this post will stand out to anyone who has had IVF treatment in Australia as I really need some advice. Me and my partner have been her for 2.5years, we have a sponsored 457 visa valid for 4 years from next month (just transferred as partner starting a new job) and have recently found out that in order to conceive, our only chance is to have IVF (ICSI). We were initially advised that to do this it will cost us $12,000 and that Medicare do not cover any of this. However after speaking with a Patient Liason Advisor today at Melbourne IVF she advised that there have been quite a few couples over time in our situation and gave me some 'item numbers' to quote to Medicare so they could tally them up with the system with our details to see if we would be able to claim any cash back through Medicare. At first the lady at Medicare was adament that we wouldnt be able to but when I pushed and asked her to check the item numbers I was given by MIVF she said they were all covered....:jiggy:She actually seemed as surprised as I was! But obviously couldnt deny what was in front of her. Im hoping to hear from anyone who is also here on a temporary basis and has gone through IVF that can give us some information on your own experience? Im extreeeeeeeeeeemley happy if we do get help because let me tell you $12,000 is a massive financial burden especially with the success rates being 30-40% per cycle. Im hoping and praying that what I have been told today is correct but I cant find any information anywhere about it (I personally think they are trying to keep it under wraps and not advertising the fact which is fair enough really...) Anyway look forward to hearing from anyone soon, im not sure where is best to post this so apologies if you see it popping up all over the place! Thankyou Lindsay X :hug: PS our Medicare card is the reciprocal agreement with 'Visitor' stamped at the bottom...
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