Medicare is a commonwealth government healthcare program for Australia. This program guarantees citizens and permanent residents full healthcare at little or no cost. Funding comes from taxpayers who pay a Medicare levy equalling 2% of their taxable income.
You are eligible to enrol for Medicare if you are living in Australia on the following visa types:
• Permanent residence visa
• You hold a valid visa and are the spouse, parent, or child of an Australian Citizen or permanent resident and have applied for your permanent residency
• You have a valid visa with permission to work and have applied for permanent residency
Medicare covers most health care including doctor visits, hospital care, and prescription medicine. Holders can choose Medicare only or can combine Medicare with private coverage. For foreigners entering on their prospective visas, it is recommended that you apply one week after your arrival before signing up. This allows for the Medicare office to receive your visa details from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. The process to enrol generally takes three weeks.
Some types of coverage are:
• Eye checks
• Dental care for children
• Radiological and pathology services
• Medical services for private patients in public or private hospitals
• Pharmaceutical services
Australia has many private healthcare facilities. 47% of the population has private healthcare. Emergency services are all public based, so one must rely on public healthcare during an emergency.
If you plan to stay in Australia on a temporary residency visa, you should contact us to find out if you are required to sign up for private healthcare. Most visa applications would require proof of adequate health insurance.
Healthcare in Canada
Canada offers a complete health care system to its citizens or permanent residents. To Canadians, they call it “Medicare”. The program is made up of different socialized health insurance plans and is publically funded. These funds come from both provincial and federal levels. Individuals and corporations pay income tax. Additional funds may come from sales tax and lottery proceeds. The insurance plans are administered on a provincial or territorial basis under the federal government. You need to know your province and territories health plan and what is covered. In general, this would offer preventative care, medical treatments, access to hospitals, and dental surgery. You will need to apply for a health care card based on the province or territory where you will reside. The process of signing up can take up to three months. You must make sure that you have private insurance to cover you during this period.
South Africa Healthcare
Most Expats moving to South Africa will need to sign up for private healthcare or your employer will offer this under their plan. Private clinics and hospitals are a better choice and are still very affordable. Roughly 20% of South Africa’s population are members of medical schemes granting access to private healthcare. The number of private hospitals is growing. Cost for a family of four would typically cost R1000-2000 per month. This varies based on the plan you choose and to what percent is covered. Do your research so you understand what you are getting. Many companies will cover 50% of insurance plan costs.
South Africa has no reciprocal agreement with other countries to cover insurance costs for non residents. There are international insurance companies who may offer coverage or your current plan may be able to transfer to cover you in South Africa.