Fotherespie

Health Insurance - do we need it???

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    Hi everyone,

     

    So we've been here 6 weeks now. We're PR's so have our medicare cards but we're thinking we need to get some private health insurance sorted too. I'm find the system rather confusing! My husband has a dodgy knee and I have a dodgy hip! We didnt get far having these sorted in the UK as the physio waiting list for the NHS was well over a year in our area. We're worried that if we just stay on Medicare and go to a GP regarding these we will be referred to specialists that will then cost a great deal. So should we take out health insurance now and then seek treatment out? We also have a 3 year old boy that likes to run into things and are wondering about ambulance cover etc. What do people tend to do here??

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    Guest Claire-n-tel

    Whatever else you do call up right now ​and get ambo cover sorted!

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    Agree with getting the ambulance cover.

     

    As for private cover for anything else, its entirely up to you. We have private cover but it doesn't cover everything. We got it more to not have to pay the penalty costs and all that. And also we wanted cover for a few things like skin cancer checks yearly and other things. We also opted for a more minimal excess rather than a larger amount. It didn't add that much on to our policy.

     

    Double check if there is a limit to the amount of times you can use the ambulance cover in a year. I thought hubby said it was X amount of times per year on our policy and after that there was an excess or some such or possibly full amount.

    Edited by snifter

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    We are pensioners and have PR and Medicare. Insurance is pricey at our age so we haven't bothered - the cost of our Visas took most of our savings!

     

    Since we arrived, I've had a gallbladder op, several scans, cortisone injections for a shoulder injury and regular blood tests for BP, cholesterol and blood sugars. The only thing I paid for was the initial consultation with the surgeon (about $60) before my op and some treatment from an podiatrist for a foot problem 2 years ago.

     

    Our Doctor bulk Bills and unlike the UK, scans, Xrays and blood tests with a doctor's referral can be done as soon as the next day - certainly within a week! Results back in 24 hours too. We do have Ambo cover though.

     

    We pay for dentist and optician (we did in the UK too)

     

    If you are younger and have a family I would recommend some basic cover

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    If you have dodgy knees and hips, would they even be covered, as pre-existing conditions?

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    $141 a year for the family, friends of ours were recently billed $800+ for an ambo.

     

    you will be charged even if someone else were to call an ambulance for you without you asking/wanting/needing one and even if you say you don't need them you'll be charged for them attending $400 I think

     

    http://www.saambulance.com.au/ProductsServices/AmbulanceCover.aspx

     

    Someone I know was in a car accident and someone called an ambulance. He refused it and didn't get charged anything.

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    Guest vikkiann

    We didn't have cover for the first year but now We have family extras cover, we pay just over $700 a year for the whole family, ambulance cover is included. With 4 kids it's a must!! We took out cover just to be able to claim back dental and glasses cost. Our daughter needs braces so we know we can claim over a thousand towards that as well!

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    The longer you leave it and the older you are when you first take it out, the more expensive it will be (you get penalised by a loading of up to 20%). Also, depending on salary amount once working, it could well mean you get hit with the Medicare Levy Surcharge if you don't take out hospital cover (in other words, either take out cover or pay higher taxes for not taking out cover!)

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    The longer you leave it and the older you are when you first take it out, the more expensive it will be (you get penalised by a loading of up to 20%). Also, depending on salary amount once working, it could well mean you get hit with the Medicare Levy Surcharge if you don't take out hospital cover (in other words, either take out cover or pay higher taxes for not taking out cover!)

     

    Iirc we got the loading waived. The one year time period from arrival or some such. Not sure if that applies to everyone arriving. And of course, took it out before the timeframe elapsed.

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    Guest Claire-n-tel
    Also, depending on salary amount once working, it could well mean you get hit with the Medicare Levy Surcharge if you don't take out hospital cover (in other words, either take out cover or pay higher taxes for not taking out cover!)

     

    Just look into how much you can earn before you have to pay MLS though, a family have to have an income of over $176,000 before having to pay.

     

    Have a look here to find out thresholds https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Medicare-levy/Medicare-levy-surcharge/

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    We've never had it - my son used to wear glasses and got a free eyecheck each year anyway with Medicare, and glasses didn't cost very much. Luckily neither of our kids needed orthodontics, but it seemed that few plans covered much of the cost of that if you did need it anyway, so for someone organised it would probably be better to put the money into an interest bearing emergency account instead. Ambulance cover for a family of four through the Post Office is about $140 a year. You can get dental insurance pretty cheaply as well through someone like Smile which reduces those costs. When I've needed to see a medical specialist, I see them privately and can claim about 80% of the costs back from Medicare as well. And when OH broke his wrist, he got great treatment through Medicare for free too.

     

    I have a pre-existing condition which would probably be excluded from any private cover anyway (which is why I mentioned your knees/hips) so it has never seemed worthwhile for us.

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    There are effectively two different types of private health cover - hospital and extras. The hospital cover is what you need to exempt you from the additional Medicare levy if you earn more than the limits (as posted above). Hospital cover pretty much only covers hospital admissions and very little else. If you have hospital cover you can have hospital based procedures done privately although there is usually some extra to pay on top of what the health cover pays. Over on Poms in Oz there are stories of people who have paid thousands of dollars extra for procedures done under private health cover. I'm pretty sure that most if the stuff you can have done on private health cover you could have done on Medicare, although you would probably have to wait some time to get it done on Medicare.

     

    Extras cover is for the other stuff, and how much other stuff depends on the policy. Usually they cover ambulance, optical and dental and a selection of other stuff like podiatry or physio. Whether it's worth getting extras cover depends on your family circumstances. We have it and it's well worth it for us, but then three out of four wear glasses and the kids and OH need regular trips to the dentists. It's also gone towards physio for my OH and podiatry for my son.

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    Hi we are moving out in March on a 489 visa and we just wondered what type of cover we would need and can we sort it from this end before we come out? we looked at bupa (just because its a name we know) but cover seems expensive.......any advice, thanks

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