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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Visiting Australia - Medical Costs; Travel Insurance Vs. Private Health Insurance

Medical costs in Australia is expensive. Really expensive!

I decided to write this blog since I went digging into this topic myself before when I was a new migrant.

If you do not have Medicare or Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) - you better get a travel insurance and/or a private health insurance.

Australian citizens and Permanent Residents (PR) have Medicare while visitors from United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Norway, Slovenia, Malta and Italy have Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) with Australia. 

Visitors from these countries are entitled to some subsidised health services for essential medical treatment while visiting Australia.

Travel Insurance Vs. Private Health Insurance

A. Which is Cheaper?

You can buy a travel insurance from your country you are departing from. This is usually cheaper than buying health insurance in Australia.

B. Short Term or Long Term?

Some visitors who will just visit Australia for short term (3-6mos) will just get travel insurance. But if you will do, I suggest getting a higher coverage if you can afford. If you stay more than 6mos, then it is suggested to get private health insurance for the rest of your stay in Australia. As of this writing, the cheapest there in the market is IMAN australian health plans which is 8501 compliant as usually set as a condition for visitor visa (subclass 600).
If you can afford having both travel and health insurance in parallel for the duration of your stay, then it is better. Travel insurance has some benefits that private health insurance in Australia do not. As per my research, private health insurance will not cover your expenses when you seek emergency care in Emergency Department in Australian hospitals. You can read further of the reasons in buying travel insurance. see Top 10 Reasons to Purchase Travel Insurance

Coming from the Philippines? see Computation for Travel & Health Insurance

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