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Guest robertnickelsamycameron

How much does health care cost?

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Guest robertnickelsamycameron

I hear in Oz you have to pay for medi care? how much per month does it work out and what age do you have to pay for children? my daughter is UK born and will be 1 year when we move out would it also be free for her?

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Guide to Medicare levy


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Medicare is the scheme that gives Australian residents access to health care. To help fund the scheme, most taxpayers pay a Medicare levy of 1.5% of their taxable income.



We will work out your Medicare levy, including any Medicare levy reduction, from the information you provide on your tax return. If you want to work out your Medicare levy, you can use the Medicare levy calculator.

Reduction for people on low incomes

Your Medicare levy is reduced if your income is below a certain threshold. For 2010-11, your levy is reduced if your taxable income is $22,163 or less, and you don't have to pay the levy at all if your taxable income is $18,839 or less. The thresholds are higher for seniors. If your income is above the thresholds, you may still qualify for a reduction based on your family taxable income.

Medicare levy exemption

You may be exempt from paying the Medicare levy if you're a foreign resident, a resident of Norfolk Island, not entitled to Medicare benefits, or you meet certain medical requirements. If you're entitled to an exemption you need to tell us on your tax return.

Medicare levy surcharge

You have to pay the Medicare levy surcharge (MLS) if your income is above a certain threshold and you (or any of your dependants) don't have appropriate private patient hospital cover. In 2010-11, the surcharge may apply if your income for MLS purposes is more than:


  • $77,000 for a single person with no dependants
  • $154,000 for a couple with no children or one dependent child, plus $1,500 for each additional dependent child.


To work out your income for Medicare levy surcharge purposes, refer to our Income for (Medicare levy) surcharge purposes calculator.

The surcharge is in addition to the 1.5% Medicare levy. The Medicare levy surcharge is 1% of the sum of:


  • your taxable income
  • your reportable fringe benefits
  • any amount on which family trust distribution tax has been paid


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And then on top of that, the system is designed as a co-pay system whereby you pay around $30 for a doctor's visit out of your pocket (usually around $60 all up but you get $30 back) unless, as many new migrants seem to think is important, you go to a doctor who bulk bills (dont expect to find one in Canberra and the more out of the way places where doctors dont really want to live). Usually the price you pay for that is a first come first served service with no guarantee of continuity of care from your doctor who knows you well.


Also on top of that will be up to $32 per prescription per fill (usually a month's supply)


Plus pretty much all dental and orthodontic costs (can be anywhere from $50 to $10000 all depending on what you need doing and by whom.


If you spend more than about $1500 (cant remember exactly) in a tax year then you can get a tax break for amounts over the threshold. If you spend more than about $1200 on prescriptions in a calendar year then you can get subsequent scripts filled at the concession rate of around $5 per fill


If you are going to be earning over about $70k as an individual or about $140k as a family then you will be slugged with an extra 1% of your taxable income as a medicare levy surcharge unless you have private health insurance which will knock you back around $250 per month for a family.

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