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Health care on arrival


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As soon as you arrive you can register with medicare. You will get a temporary number on the day which you can use for everything until your cards arrive in the post.

Then, you need to look at if you need private health insurance on top. This depends on income and personal prefence. The income side is important because you can be charged for not having it. On the preference, it is very useful as dentists are not covered on medicare and can be very expensive and likewise ambulances which can result in massive bills

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Opticians are also not on Medicare apart from the initial annual eye test, so if you wear glasses or contacts, private health insurance is probably very well worth it.  

You can take out private health insurance just for ancilliary services (dental, optician, chiro, etc).   Also be aware that just one trip in an ambulance can cost in excess of a $1000.  

I recommend that you research this in detail before you decide whether to go the private health insurance route or not.   I have had private health insurance since I came to Australia in 1991 and whilst the premiums keep escalating every year, I have never begrudged paying it and even though i am now retired, I will always find the money to keep it going.  Personal choice though of course.

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As stated above, you will be covered by Medicare for basic health issues once you have registered with them (GP and Emergency), and you are best advised to do so as soon as possible. 

Whether you decide to take extra travel insurance to cover the first few weeks is of course up to you, but  do check the small print of travel policies as I have heard of some that do not cover you if you are a migrant.   

Once we were finally here and I realised that optical, dental and ambulance were not covered under Medicare, the first thing I did was take out Ancillary cover.... that is the term used for things like Optical, Dental, Chiropractic, Ambulance and many other therapies that Medicare do not cover. There are of course qualifying times before you can claim on things, but at least you are on the way to be able to claim rebates and you can always upgrade  your cover once you are settled and have a regular income.



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