Apart from Medicare whereby the Federal Government of Australia helps in fundng the medical expenses for its citizens and permanent residents, you can provide yourself with more cover by buying a private health insurance in Australia.
I’ve just bought mine today. Since I’m currently under a 457 temporary visa, I’m not able to claim any medical expenses through Medicare. The only way was to get a private health insurance. As I did my research online, there were practically more than 10 tabs in my browser window with information from different insurance provider, ranging from HBF, HCF, MBF, AHM, Medibank, NBI, Manchester Unity etc opened at the same time.
After spending almost a couple of hours reading and understanding the terms, the benefits, what is offered and what I wanted, it was time to decide to buy one. Most of them (if not all) only provided prices for residents (I’m considered a overseas visitor since I’m not yet a resident) and that didn’t help much in my case. Picking up the phone was the next step. In the end, I settled with Medibank as I think they provided me with a pretty good cover at a reasonable price for a overseas (hospital+extras) basic package.
I’m not sure how long people usually take and think in order to decide to buy a health insurance cover. I had always wanted to buy one, it was aways at the back of my head, and it took me a day to research and bought one. At least I feel a bit peaceful now 🙂
It wasn’t about the tax benefit (1% more tax if you don’t have any health cover), but more of a peace of mind. No point working hard and smart and yet not protecting yourself right? In Chinese, people always say: 不怕一万，只怕万一。 Well, just in case, just in case…
* ABC has a very good article on private health insurance which you can read here