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ah ok...it's the medicare card - I have had one previous when on WHV. No worries, getting myself confused re: NHS card. Cheers!
Thanks again guys. Lots of stuff here... much of it I think I've finally got my head around, some of it new. It really is tricky to get a proper understanding of the level of cover you have to put in place before arrival, and then keep in place once you are in Oz (over and above any Medicare permitted under the 'reciprocal agreement' between the UK and Australia.).
For instance all the government sites I've read say that you need 'Overseas Visitors Health Cover' - or what a lot of the insurers refer to a overseas 'Hospital Cover' - in place for the entire duration of your 457 visa, NOT just to get the visa itself: cancel this cover any time before you get permanent residency and the 457 visa can be withdrawn (the insurer notifies the Dpt. of Immigration that cover has been stopped). Yet lots of people from the UK say they cancelled all their private cover and relied solely on Medicare within weeks of arriving.
PLUS it seems you then need to keep a certain level of cover in place even if you are granted a Permanent Residents visa, or you will have to pay the Lifetime Healthcare Loading (after 12 months) and, if you are lucky enough to be a high earner, the Medical Levy Surcharge. What's more this level of cover is not just basic 'Hospital Cover' (or OVHC) - it has to include lots of expensive 'Extras' to negate these two surcharges. Government web sites are quite forceful on this point.
Then there's the rebate on private health care premiums - this only applies once you have Permanent Residency, so will not be relevant for us for at least two years... assuming that's the minimum period for getting a permanent visa, which isn't entirely clear either!
Of course this stuff can make a big difference: I think we are looking at around AU$1800 per year if the OVHC policy is all you need, but nearer AU$6,000 if we need to include all the extra bits and pieces. Needless to say all the insurers I've contacted thus far insist that the 'extras' are, in fact, 'essentials'!
I think if your a resident the reciprocal agreement doesn't enter into the equasion its only when people are on holiday it depends on the Visa you have to live in Oz
I am not 100% certain on that I hope someone will clarify
I used to get some kind of rebate on my health insurance when I was on a student visa at tax time (you are a resident for tax purposes when on a 457).
Some people have had their 457 visas approved by showing that they have travel insurance through their credit cards which covers them until they arrive and the reciprocal care kicks in.
They word the visa like that as many people come from countries who don't have any reciprocal arrangements, or limited ones (like Ireland where only hospital treatment is covered).
Is a mummy!
Hmmm... very difficult to get a definitive answer to some of the trickier aspects of all this Medicare malarky, though I have to say the people at 'Frank' have been doing a pretty good job of helping me through it (even if they are keen to get me to buy something!).
The bit confusing me at the moment is the 'Lifetime Healthcare Loading'... ah heck, let's be honest, all of it still confuses me.
As for 'Frank' - they seem to have good customer feedback compared to a lot of the private providers. Anyone ave experience with them, good or bad?
I've never even heard of frank. :-/
Is a mummy!
If you are on a temp visa, don't worry about the lifetime loading now. Can get here, settle in and so on and then investigate further if you do need to take it out or not.