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subdividedyoghurt

UK, Medicare, 457 health insurance & tax lodgement

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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

 

 

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If you are on a 457 visa and are not eligible for Medicare, you can request an Exemption Certificate from the Dept of Human Services, and you can then claim back the levy (and surcharge if applicable) on your tax return.  If you have Medicare, you can cancel your private health coverage.  Don't expect the insurance carrier to have good knowledge of the requirements of a visa.  Whether the insurance company would refund you the premiums because you didn't cancel the coverage earlier is up to them.  They'd be within their rights not to.

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Thank you MaggieMay24, I am guessing it would be a lot of trouble and effort to get any kind of refund if possible. Even if not, I still might cancel it so I don't pay twice for the same thing for a 2nd year.

It is more the howabouts of getting proof of not needing the health insurance anymore, or maybe I don't need any proof and I simply cancel it?

 

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You don't need private health on a 457 visa if you have reciprocal health I have cancelled mine as for a single person with its not worth the paper its emailed on lol. 

You cannot get a refund as having private health as well as medicare is a common thing. 

I cancelled mine, they wanted proof my visa was no longer a temp visa, or a mdeicare card scanned to them.. 

I also updated my 457 application with a copy of my medicare card and cancellation of 457 cover. 

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Be careful with the "reciprocal coverage" thing - it doesn't cover every single thing that could be wrong with you, only those items deemed essential by the medical bureaucracy. You may think something is essential (like a poster on another forum thought a screen for a particular form of cancer was essential) but it isn't and you end up paying for it. Neither does it cover repatriation in the event of something catastrophic. 

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Thanks also Samson and Quoll, these are all things to think about. Seems like I could do it on my own if I wanted to then by sending them proof of my medicare enrollment. I was close to considering cancelling it for the year ahead, but after thinking more, in theory it's just a few months until applying for a permanent visa which would be a lot of paperwork already. I'll keep it simple for them and maintain the same details as they've had from the beginning.

Thank you again!

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13 hours ago, Samson said:

I cancelled mine, they wanted proof my visa was no longer a temp visa, or a mdeicare card scanned to them.. 

It's really none of the insurance company's business what visa you are on.  You should simply be able to cancel the coverage.  Although it would be good practice for them to ask the question as a way of cautioning people who perhaps shouldn't cancel if they don't already have Medicare.  But if mine had asked me for proof of my visa status I would have said no, simply cancel my coverage please.

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