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WHV and tourist visa - about to book travel insurance... Do I need to?

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We are travelling to Perth this Sunday and looking at travel insurance. I am aware of medicare but didn't look into it much.


I have now seen on some posts that there is no need for travel insurance. I will be working on a whv and my gf will be on a tourist visa. If things work out we may stay on and hopefully get sponsored with the construction companyill be working with .


Please accept my apologies if this has been answered umpteen times - but we just need to know if it worthwhile forking out a couple of hundred pounds each for the annual cover? If not please can you confirm the medicare procedure and level of cover we would be granted.


Thanks for any of your help



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Hi Paddy

If you don't take out private insurance make sure you have ambulance cover.

For Medicare



If you are a resident of the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Norway or the Netherlands you are covered for the duration of your approved visit to Australia.

Visitors from Malta and Italy must be residents and citizens of those countries, and will be covered by Medicare for a period of 6 months from the date of arrival in Australia.




Access to cover



Reciprocal health care agreements cover treatment that is medically necessary. Medically necessary treatment means any ill-health or injury which occurs while you are in Australia and requires treatment before you return home.






If you are visiting Australia on a student visa you are covered by Medicare.

Note: It is also a condition of your visa that you take out Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

However,students from Norway are excluded from accessing health services under the terms of the RHCA with that country.




Your entitlements



As a resident of one of these countries you are entitled to the following for any ill-health or injury requiring treatment while in Australia:

free treatment as a public in-patient or outpatient in a public hospital

subsidised medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

Medicare benefits for out-of-hospital medical treatment provided by doctors through private surgeries and community health centres.




Enrolling in Medicare



If you will be receiving treatment you can enrol at Medicare offices throughout Australia. If you receive treatment before you enrol, Medicare benefits will be back paid for eligible visitors.

To enrol in Medicare you will need:

your passport with a valid visa

to provide, in some cases, identification showing you are enrolled in your country’s national health scheme.

If your application to enrol in Medicare is approved, you will receive an Australian reciprocal health care card in the mail.



Treatment outside a hospital

You can receive medical treatment through private doctors’ surgeries and community health centres. Doctors at these practices charge for their services in one of the following ways:

The doctor bills Medicare directly

You will be asked to show your reciprocal health care card and sign a completed Medicare bulk bill form after seeing the doctor. You will not need to pay anything and will not need to make a claim from Medicare. Please note that not all Australian doctors in private practice bulk bill.

The doctor gives you a bill

Doctors who do not bulk bill will require you to pay the amount at the time of consultation. In this case you can pay the full bill on the spot or lodge the unpaid bill with Medicare.

To pay the full bill on the spot you can:

claim back your benefit in person at a Medicare office

send a completed Medicare claim form, the original doctor’s bill and your receipt for the full amount of the bill to Medicare (GPO Box 9822 in your capital city). Medicare will post a cheque to your last registered address made payable to you to cover Medicare’s portion of the bill

have your claim processed electronically from your doctor’s practice and have your benefit paid directly into your bank or credit union account by electronic funds transfer, where available.

To lodge your unpaid bill you need to:

take the unpaid bill together with a completed claim form to a Medicare office, or send it to Medicare by mail to the address shown below. Medicare will send a cheque to your address made payable to the doctor.

you will be required to take the cheque to your doctor and pay the difference between the Medicare benefit and the total fee charged by the doctor.



Hospital treatment

If you are treated as a public patient in a public hospital for medically necessary treatment, the treatment is free. Simply show your passport or reciprocal health care card to staff when you arrive at the hospital.

If you elect to be treated as a private patient in a public hospital or as a private patient in a private hospital for medically necessary treatment, you will be charged for both medical treatment and accommodation. These fees cannot be claimed from Medicare.




Medical services not covered by Medicare



Medicare will not cover:

medicines not subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

dental work and allied health services

treatment arranged before your visit to Australia

accommodation and medical treatment in a private hospital

accommodation and medical treatment as a private patient in a public hospital.

If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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Personally I'd get some form of travel insurance on a WHV. STA offer backpacking insurance for belongings, medical, dental and ambulance and repatriation etc. It doesn't have to cost the earth and I always think its good to have.

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Having looked on the medicare website it shows that UK and Ireland have reciprocal health agreement which covers the basics. I have just purchased travel ins for the journey and a few days after (gives me some time to get the card)


Thanks again for your help



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Guest guest73691

I'd agree with what Snifter has said, especially (hopefully without sounding too morbid) re repatriation i.e. in event of serious illness or injury being able to get back to UK. I'm sure that very few people actually have to make use of the repatriation element of their travel insurance, but my personal view is that it would give peace of mind. In the event of say, a serious injury, without insurance it could cost many thousands of dollars to get back home.

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