Australian Healthcare System

The Australian healthcare system has two main components; the public health system which is administered by the Australian Government called Medicare and the private health system.

About Medicare

Medicare funds a high level of healthcare for all Australian residents regardless of their level of income. Medicare is automatically available to Australians and provides free access to some elements of the Australian healthcare system including hospital treatment and subsidises out–of–hospital medical treatment.

Some of the treatments that Medicare covers include:

  • treatment in a public hospital as a public patient
  • the part or whole cost of doctor consultation fees (including specialists)
  • reduced rates for pharmaceutical prescriptions (through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme)
  • the part or whole cost of eye tests
  • the part or whole cost of tests that are required by doctors to treat illnesses such as pathology tests and X-rays
  • the part or whole cost for psychology services (if referred by a General Practitioner, psychiatrist or paediatrician)

Medicare is only available to individuals who come from countries that have a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia and only covers medical treatment that is deemed medically necessary. For this reason, many Australian visa applicants such as those applying for a 457 subclass visa require health insurance. This is how IMAN Australian Health Plans is able to assist. IMAN is here to provide private health insurance to temporary residents and overseas visitors working in Australia.

Purchasing Australian Health Plans for those that have Reciprocal Medicare

Temporary residents that have access to Reciprocal Medicare will often purchase health insurance such an IMAN Australian Health Plans to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses in the private health sector. This can be done by selecting an Australian Health Plan that covers in-hospital (in-patient) costs.

Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with Australia

Australia has Reciprocal Health Agreements (RHCA) with a number of countries including Belgium, Finland, Italy, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. If you are from a country that has a Reciprocal Agreement with Australia you are entitled to some subsidised health services within the Australian Healthcare System. To find out more information about Reciprocal Health Agreements and access to Medicare, please visit Medicare Australia. If you are applying for a 457 subclass visa, you will still need to take out private health insurance.

About the Private Healthcare System

The private Australian healthcare system or the non-government part of the health care system is made up of private hospitals, private health insurers (such as nib Health Funds which underwrites IMAN Australian Health Plans) and other health providers like dentists.

Some of the things that are covered by the private healthcare system include:

  • treatment in a private hospital
  • the cost of an ambulance
  • treatments such as optometry, dental and physiotherapy

There are many health insurers in Australia which can become confusing for an individual looking to work or travel in the country. All the IMAN Australian Health Plans visitor covers meet the 457 visa requirements set by the Australian Department of Immigration.