jo_marnes

475 and medicare levy?

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    Hi all,

     

    Am so confused! Registered for Mutual Community extras cover a couple of months ago and just realised we have been charged more than we were quoted for. Rang them and they said its because we haven't filled out this medicare levy form giving us 30% off. So they are sending me the form to do this and said I can claim back the extra I have paid with my tax return. Fine. So go to sort tax return today and they said we aren't entitled to the 30% off. Though they didn't seem to know what they were talking about :confused:.

     

    Can anyone shed any light?

     

    They also said that 475ers aren't classed as residents of Australia for tax purposes and they couldn't give us an idea of how much we could claim because they haven't got the paperwork through about such cases yet. Really helpful - how the hell are we supposed to know what to do when the bloody accountants don't know what they are on about. :mad:

     

    Rant over!

     

    Jo xx

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    I went to the ATO in the city. I said that I was confused over whether I was a resident for tax purposes. They asked me two questions, 'When did you arrive' - answer 'March'. 'When do you go back' - answer 'Hopefully never'. They said, 'You are a resident for tax purposes'. It was as simple as that.

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    We gave up trying to get cover with MC once we realised we were restricted to the 'overseas visitor cover' because of our tempoary visa. This cover doesn't provide exemption to the Midicare Levy, but you can add an extra which does but which obviously costs more ...

     

    Someone we know argued with us - often and boringly - that we were wrong and that SIR visa holders could access the same health cover plans as everyone else. That is, until they tried to claim for a hospital stay on theirs and found that they weren't eligible for that plan and the company wouldn't honour it ...

     

    The way things stand, healthcare for temporary visa holders seem like an overly complicated matter!

     

    Jim

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    We gave up trying to get cover with MC once we realised we were restricted to the 'overseas visitor cover' because of our tempoary visa. This cover doesn't provide exemption to the Midicare Levy, but you can add an extra which does but which obviously costs more ...

     

    Someone we know argued with us - often and boringly - that we were wrong and that SIR visa holders could access the same health cover plans as everyone else. That is, until they tried to claim for a hospital stay on theirs and found that they weren't eligible for that plan and the company wouldn't honour it ...

     

    The way things stand, healthcare for temporary visa holders seem like an overly complicated matter!

     

    Jim

     

    Well we don't have hospital cover and when we took out the extras cover, MC said that we were ok as long as we weren't claiming for hospital cover. Our reciprocal care covers hospital stays as much as their plan does anyway. We've only taken out insurance for dental purposes really.

     

    Why is this so difficult? Think I'm going to go and talk to MC tomorrow

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    Well we don't have hospital cover and when we took out the extras cover, MC said that we were ok as long as we weren't claiming for hospital cover. Our reciprocal care covers hospital stays as much as their plan does anyway. We've only taken out insurance for dental purposes really.

     

    Why is this so difficult? Think I'm going to go and talk to MC tomorrow

     

    So you've got one of their normal plans with extras but without hospital cover rather than the overseas visitors cover? They were okay with you taking this out being on a 475?

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    We are here on the SIR 495 and I have been doing a fair bit of research into this over the past week and understand, after speaking to both Mutual Community and Medibank that we are allowed to take out 'extras' policies only. Not once did they ask if I was resident for tax purposes or insist that we would require overseas visitor cover. I assumed that they'd received a number of similar enquiries and therefore did not need to clarify too many details.

     

    As far as hospital cover goes, I believe migrants on a provisional visa are covered under the reciprocal agreement for any medically necessary treatment including a hospital stay.

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    So you've got one of their normal plans with extras but without hospital cover rather than the overseas visitors cover? They were okay with you taking this out being on a 475?

     

    Yep - just extras. It's their 4 option plan - you pick your 4 areas of cover that you require. We picked general dental, major dental, optical and physio as our reciprocal care doesn't cover these and thats what we thought we'd be most likely to need.

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    We are here on the SIR 495 and I have been doing a fair bit of research into this over the past week and understand, after speaking to both Mutual Community and Medibank that we are allowed to take out 'extras' policies only. Not once did they ask if I was resident for tax purposes or insist that we would require overseas visitor cover. I assumed that they'd received a number of similar enquiries and therefore did not need to clarify too many details.

     

    As far as hospital cover goes, I believe migrants on a provisional visa are covered under the reciprocal agreement for any medically necessary treatment including a hospital stay.

     

    The advice I got from Medibank - the upper floor, West Lakes - was all over the place. The woman dealing with me didn't know the first thing about temporary visas or reciprocal agreements and insisted we could have the full range of cover. I wasn't convinced because of what I'd read on their website but was happy to proceed until I saw the small print on the inside of their brochure about the plans not being suitable for temporary residents, so queried it. She checked with her supervisor before coming back (looking rather embarrassed) and explained that the only plan she could offer us was visitors cover and that because we're temporary residents none of the others were applicable to us. (Incidentally, there are still 'extras' available with visitors cover so that might add to the confusion.)

     

    This is from the FAQs on the Medibank website:

     

    "If you are a visitor to Australia from overseas, temporary resident, or a resident of Norfolk Island, you may not be eligible for Medicare, Australia’s Government health care program, which provides benefits towards the cost of medical treatment and free public hospital treatment for most Australians. Even if you are eligible for restricted access to Medicare as a resident of a country with which Australia has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement, the Hospital and Extras covers and PackagePlus covers shown on this website will not be suitable for you.

     

    "However, Medibank Private offers Visitors Cover which is designed to meet your health insurance needs while you are in Australia as a visitor or as a temporary resident for work purposes ..."

     

    I was just reading my first response on this thread and I think it's clumsy; I don't think the issue is about eligibility, it's more about suitability. As it states on the Mutual Community website in relation to temporary visa holders:

     

    "If you are from a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) country and have a Reciprocal Medicare card, your access to Medicare may be limited to immediately necessary medical treatment. To ensure you are covered for inpatient and outpatient hospital services and treatment by a doctor in private practice, you will need to take out one of our overseas visitor covers. If you were to choose a cover for Australian residents, you would not be covered for these services, which would result in large out-of-pocket expenses."

     

    I think that sums it up well.

     

    jo_m, thanks for the info about your extras plan - that looks good.

     

    Jim

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    I wonder is there a way we 495ers can put together a document/wiki that we can edit which explains some of the things for new arrivals to look out for on this visa. It is a minefield and even if we don't have the definitive answers we can at least help someone know what pitfalls there might be rather than them having to search around on the forums for answers which is what most of us have had to do.

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    I wonder is there a way we 495ers can put together a document/wiki that we can edit which explains some of the things for new arrivals to look out for on this visa. It is a minefield and even if we don't have the definitive answers we can at least help someone know what pitfalls there might be rather than them having to search around on the forums for answers which is what most of us have had to do.

     

    Good idea but a LOT of work! And everyone seems to get different info.... not sure how you'd work out what was correct and what wasn't! I don''t mind sharing my minimal knowledge if someone wants my help though xx

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    I know that is why I was thinking a wiki might be the best way to go so anyone can add to it and not only one person would be lumbered with it. Just a thought.

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    I know that is why I was thinking a wiki might be the best way to go so anyone can add to it and not only one person would be lumbered with it. Just a thought.

     

    Thats a fair point I hadn't thought about it like that. I don't know how to start that but am willing to add info to it! xx

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