Expat Guide to Australia: Healthcare

Expat Guide to Australia: Healthcare

With over 1 million Britons immigrating to Australia, it comes as no surprise that it ranks at the top of most popular expat destinations. With our NHS system being relatively straight forward, the Australian system of medical cover ‘Medicare’ may seem slightly more complex than what we are used to. Medicare combines government and private healthcare to provide a system, which is considered extremely successful. So, if you are planning to immigrate to Australia, be sure to take of it and with our guide, you will know the ins and outs of Medicare in no time.

What costs are incurred?
As a middle bracket taxpayer in Australia you will only need to pay 1.5% of your income tax to Medicare, with the higher bracket of taxpayers paying 2.5%. The Australian Government funds most of the system so that most people are entirely covered for in-patient care and GP care. It also reimburses 30% of premiums for private health care insurance cover and 35-40% for over those over the age of 65. This works out particularly as the state does not regard income or wealth and provides equally across the country only taking age in to consideration.

What do you get?
Paying for 75% of primary care charges such as physiotherapy, counselling etc the government provides a lot of support with patients only having to pay for small remainders. Any treatment or in-care supervision is entirely funded by the state with a matched price being paid for any private hospital care.

How is medication covered?
Prescriptions are paid for by the public with a charge of approx. £24, anything that exceeds that amount is again, paid for by the state who will also cover the costs of any medication prescribed while in hospital care or undergoing treatment.

What is excluded?
Unlike the UK, any dentistry or optometry costs are not accounted for under Medicare. Those in possession of a Low Income Earner card will receive some support and in some cases have any costs fully remunerated.

Is it successful?
Medicare does not possess any negative qualities that the NHS tends to boast including sometimes poor medical care quality and long waiting lists. Instead it enjoys elements such as providing care to everyone equally, irrelative of their wealth or income yet still supporting those with excessively low incomes or the elderly.


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