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JetBlast

Health Insurance

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Hello,

I am 29 on a 489 visa, I have been in Australia since June 2019. I am looking to get health insurance for 2 reasons. 1. If I get it whilst under 30 it will be cheaper for the rest of my life. 2. So I don't pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

I have spoken to a few people and received conflicting information and I am a little confused. I was wondering if someone can help with a few questions please?

1. Is there some kind of Waiting / hold time before I can use / take out private health cover please? Some people have said I do?
2. Some people have said that you don't pay the Medicare Levy & Medicare Levy Surcharge on a 489 visa. I do have a reciprocal agreement card. Is this true please?
3. What is the minimum cover required so you don't pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge please?
4. How is the Medicare Levy Surcharge paid? Is it taken out of my wage or maybe via the tax return? If I take out the insurance how do I arrange not paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge please?

Thanks for the help

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Hi, my basic understanding is this;

1) there are usually wait times for some extras, major dental or podiatry for example, and also pre existing conditions , child birth, joint replacements that sort of thing. Some companies advertise waiving some of these.

2) everyone pays the medicare levy but the surcharge you only pay if you earn over a certain amount and don’t have private health, think it’s $88000 maybe?
 

3) it’s hospital cover not extras that mean you don’t pay the levy. Basic cover is usually enough but again insurers usually tell you what is the minimum cover.

4) medicare is sorted out on your tax return. There is a part you fill in telling them about your private insurance. Mine  used to autofill with the details. 
 

my last insurance I got via a broker/comparison site and it helped sort what I needed so not paying for things I was not going to use.

you still have to pay a gap between what medicare and the insurance covers and what the practitioner charges but not always.

hope this helps, I left Aus in 2018 so memory fading a bit! 

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Posted (edited)
On 01/03/2020 at 13:45, JetBlast said:

I am 29 on a 489 visa, I have been in Australia since June 2019. I am looking to get health insurance for 2 reasons. 1. If I get it whilst under 30 it will be cheaper for the rest of my life. 2. So I don't pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

I have spoken to a few people and received conflicting information and I am a little confused. I was wondering if someone can help with a few questions please?

1. Is there some kind of Waiting / hold time before I can use / take out private health cover please? Some people have said I do?
2. Some people have said that you don't pay the Medicare Levy & Medicare Levy Surcharge on a 489 visa. I do have a reciprocal agreement card. Is this true please?
3. What is the minimum cover required so you don't pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge please?
4. How is the Medicare Levy Surcharge paid? Is it taken out of my wage or maybe via the tax return? If I take out the insurance how do I arrange not paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge please?

I'm not an expert but this is my understanding:

  • People on a 489 visa are not eligible to access Medicare, and therefore don't pay the Medicare levy.  
  • However, you were a UK resident, so you get covered by the reciprocal agreement with the UK. Nothing to do with your visa, you'd be covered even if you were just visiting. 
  • I have no idea whether this means you''ll get hit with the levy,.

How the levy works - it's worked out when you submit your tax return.   The taxman looks at how much tax was deducted from your wage vs. what you're actually liable to pay in tax + levy, and either give you a refund or send you a bill. If you have health insurance, you declare that on your tax return and they take that into account.  So, considering that most of this tax year is already gone, it's already too late to get insurance for this year - I'd wait until you get your tax bill and see whether you get charged or not.  

As a 489 visa holder, you can't get the health insurance that's available to permanent residents.  You can only have Overseas Visitor Health Cover.

I don't think you have to worry about getting the insurance before you're 30.  I believe there's a special exemption for migrants and you just have to take out insurance within a year of getting your permanent visa.  

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Speak to Compare the Market on 1800338253.

They compare heaps of the health insurers and can advise best policy for you. They will explain how it all works and assist and set up. All free. 

Cheers 

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Just as a matter of interest, “Choice,” the Australian consumer group, produced a really helpful report/ summary of health insurance options a couple of years ago. You have to be a member to view it, but as newcomers we found it really helpful.

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103 visa application lodged February 2013. 143 visa application submitted January 2016. Police checks and form 80 submitted February 29th 2016. Visa granted April 4th 2016.

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14 hours ago, Yorkshire1978 said:

Speak to Compare the Market on 1800338253.

They compare heaps of the health insurers and can advise best policy for you. They will explain how it all works and assist and set up. All free. 

Worth noting though, that they don't compare the whole market  - they only compare the ones that pay them a commission.

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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1 hour ago, Fisher1 said:

Just as a matter of interest, “Choice,” the Australian consumer group, produced a really helpful report/ summary of health insurance options a couple of years ago. You have to be a member to view it, but as newcomers we found it really helpful.

If you go to any public library in Australia, you can view the reports free.

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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