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How does National Health Insurance works in Australia?

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All you should know about Health insurance in Australia

One of the things that Australia is most well-known for is their national health insurance system, which is a government covered health system. While it is not the only country to have such a system in place, it is one that gets mentioned a lot. In Australia, the system is called Medicare. Want to know more about the system? We have some of the details here for you.

How Is Medicare Funded?

Medicare Australia is funded primarily through taxes. This may at first seem rather expensive but healthcare is only 9% of Australia’s GDP which is extremely low when compared to countries like the US that do not have a similar coverage. Other money comes from government funds and other pooled resources.

health insurance medicare

How Much Is Covered?

One of the first things people ask about their healthcare plan is, what is covered? It is a good question because you want to make sure that you are covered should something happen. One of the important things to remember is that the coverage may vary from situation to situation but here are some of the basics:

  • Around 70% of overall medical charges are billed to Medicare
  • 80% of primary care services are covered
  • 100% of public hospital stays are covered
  • Specialist charges very but can be around 70-80% coverage

Private hospital costs are not covered at all by Medicare. If you need to contact Medicare call 132 011

Is Private Coverage Available?

Private healthcare insurance is available in Australia but it is extremely regulated. Four major funds make up the bulk of Australian private health insurance providers. These providers sometimes will cover more than Medicare will. Those over the age of 30 and those who are able to afford coverage through private means are highly encouraged to do so. Private insurance rates are rebated 30% with a tax surcharge.

Do You Need To Be A Citizen?

In most cases Medicare is only available to Australian residents or citizens while within the borders of Australia and its territories. It does not cover Australians abroad nor does it cover visitors to Australia.

The one exception to visitor coverage is for those visiting from countries with an agreement with Australia. There are not many countries that have a Medicare agreement with Australia. Visitors and temporary workers should come prepared with private health insurance or traveler’s insurance.