How does the health system work in Australia?

Here in Australia, our health system combines public and private health care services.

Medicare is the public health care system, which provides limited cover for visitors from countries that have a reciprocal agreement, but only for emergency treatment, and only under certain conditions. With Medicare however, you aren’t able to choose your doctor and you also won’t be covered for: 

  • Treatment in a private hospital;
  • Non-emergency visits to the doctor; and
  • Extras services like dental and optical car e or ambulance transport

Also, bear in mind that even if you are entitled to cover from Medicare, you may be put onto a hospital waiting list if your condition is not life threatening. In comparison, private health insurance (such as the policies we provide to our members) will ensure you are seen by a doctor as quickly as possible, and you can even choose the provider you would like to see, ensuring total peace of mind should the worst happen while you're here. 

In some cases, holding a compliant private health insurance policy is also a specific legal requirement when applying for your Australian visa.

What does HIF Overseas Visitor Hospital & Medical Insurance include?

Our Hospital insurance gives you access to the hospital system in Australia – your level of cover determines whether you’re able to access public hospitals or both public and private hospitals. Before we go on, it’s important that you understand the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).

The MBS is the schedule of fees set by the Australian Government for standard medical services. As an overseas visitor with HIF insurance, you’ll be covered for at least 100% of the MBS fee if you are admitted (as an inpatient) into a hospital or a day facility. However, if your doctor charges more than the MBS fee you will need to pay these out-of-pocket expenses yourself. [Learn more about the MBS]

Our Medical insurance covers you for out-of-hospital services, such as consultations with general practitioners, doctors, specialist consultants and other services, including x-rays and blood tests and medical treatment in a hospital emergency or casualty department. Limits and exclusions apply to some of our policies though, so please download a copy of our Overseas Visitors Cover Product Disclosure Statement for full details.

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