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Old 18-11-2012, 08:45   #1
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Cruising With Australian Health Care

I am interested to know how Australian health care benefits are applied to Aussie citizens cruising outside Australia. Say South East Asia.

I would not like to turn this into another US centric medical coverage thread if possible.

After 32 years with my company I summarily received a letter stating that health care benefits in retirement will no longer be provided as part of the retirement package. Quite a shock as I have been paying premiums for a long time, have used very little health care and now (in my 50's) sourcing health care is a totally different proposition than say when I was in my 20's.

I have a very easy path to migration (citizen parent) and am considering spending my last 10-15 years working as an Aussie and finally cutting major ties with the US.
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Old 18-11-2012, 09:19   #2
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Re: Crusing With Australian Health Care

Welcome to the 53rd state, mate!!
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Old 18-11-2012, 09:27   #3
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Re: Crusing With Australian Health Care

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
I am interested to know how Australian health care benefits are applied to Aussie citizens cruising outside Australia. Say South East Asia.
.......
All Australian are covered by Medicare. If you earn any income in Australia, a percentage of this gets deducted to cover you for Medicare. Medicare covers a part of visits to GP's and tests they schedule (unless they direct bill, in which case you are covered 100%). The choice of GP is yours. Surgery is fully covered in a public hospital, but with no choice of surgeon. The system works well for emergencies, but the waiting period for "elective" procedures (eg hip replacements, cataract surgery) can be lengthy.

Comprehensive private health insurance (covers you for surgery in a private hospital with your choice of surgeon and no waiting time) runs at around $1400 per person year with no excess. There are limits on being covered for some preexisting conditions though.

Ambulance cover is additional, but inexpensive.

If you are ill, you need to get back to Australia on your own steam (or under the cover of travel insurance) to be covered by Medicare.

Many complain about the waiting time for "elective" surgery under the public system, but it is the best system I have seen world wide.
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Old 18-11-2012, 16:06   #4
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Re: Cruising With Australian Health Care

Australia has reciprocal arrangement with a few countries, the United Kingdom and New Zealand in particular.

As others have mentioned the quality isn't too bad, but it's really a two level system. Some doctors bulk bill (no charge!) others are fee for service but many do both so it's worth having a chat about the bill when consulting.

As far as medical treatment in Asia is concerned my experience so far is that it's better avoided but in an emergency they'll patch you up till you can get back to Oz. Darwin is reported to have a very well staffed trauma hospital...

I have seen reports of foreigners in the Phils. getting bills in the $20k range, but my experience as an outpatient is that the charge is closer to $15 with about the same again for meds.

I'd love to know if anyone has any experience with non outpatient service in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Japan. One never knows when an expensive procedure is necessary and a hospital's ability to manage older patients is a key interest.
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Old 18-11-2012, 16:12   #5
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Re: Cruising With Australian Health Care

Welcome to the world of government healthcare....not covered in other countries....at least private insurance covers in other countries.
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