What is Medicare?
Medicare is the name of Australia’s publicly funded health care system that provides free or low-cost health care to Australian residents. Visitors from countries which have reciprocal healthcare agreements with Australia also receive limited Medicare cover but it does not include private patient medical and hospital treatment or elective surgery. Australia currently has reciprocal health care agreements with New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Malta and Ireland.
For more information about Medicare please ring 13 20 11 or visit medicareaustralia.gov.au
What is the Medicare Benefits Schedule?
The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) is a list of all the Medical services subsidised by the Australian government. For more information about the MBS visit the Medicare website at medicareaustralia.gov.au.
What is the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)?
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, also known as the PBS, is a Government run scheme which subsidises the cost of about 80% of all prescription medicines available in Australia. Under the PBS all Australian residents and overseas visitors with reciprocal benefits have access to prescription medicine at a more affordable cost.
Medicare Australia administers the PBS which includes processing claims and paying benefits. More information about the PBS can be found on the Medicare website at medicareaustralia.gov.au.
Why do I need Overseas Visitors Cover if my Visa has no specific health requirements?
Health services in Australia can be expensive and the last thing you want if you become ill or have an accident is any unexpected out-of-pocket expenses. Even visitors who receive reciprocal benefits from Medicare will find that Overseas Visitor Cover will give you a wider choice of hospital treatments and may minimise the wait for non-emergency hospital care.
I would like to have someone else look after my health insurance on my behalf, can I do this?
Yes you can. But, so we can protect your privacy you must authorise that person to look after your health insurance matters. To do this, just fill in the Delegated Authority section on the application form, including the name of the person who will be handling your health insurance matters and make sure you sign it. Australian Unity will then be able to discuss your health insurance with that person.
What are Agreement Hospitals?
Most private hospitals and day facilities have an agreement with Australian Unity which guarantees that you'll be covered for 100% of accommodation and most other services like theatre fees (not including your excess).
To find out which hospitals are Agreement Hospitals click here.
Why do I need a medical report when I make a claim?
It is very important that when making a claim you include a medical report from your consulting doctor. Without a medical report Australian Unity may be unable to determine whether the ailment, illness or condition is subject to the pre-existing conditions exclusion rule, and therefore we may be unable to pay your benefits.
What is a pre-existing condition?
This is any illness, ailment or condition shown by medical evidence to exist prior to, or at the time of joining Overseas Visitors Cover. Australian Unity may ask you for more information to determine if you are eligible for benefits. Only with the Premium Overseas Visitors Cover can you claim on pre-existing conditions for services provided after 12 months membership. For more information about pre-existing conditions refer to the Overseas Visitors Cover Terms and Conditions.
Can I choose my own hospital and doctor?
With Overseas Visitors Cover you can choose from a large number of private hospitals in Australia to stay in and even if you go to a public hospital, you can choose to have your own doctor, if they are available.
What does admitted and non-admitted mean?
Admitted patients are patients who are formally admitted to a hospital for treatment. Non-admitted patients are those who do not require formal admission to hospital but who receive treatment in a hospital accident and emergency (casualty) department or who undergo short-term treatment such as minor surgery, medication or observation at a hospital. This also includes patients who are treated in a doctor's clinic or at home by a doctor or nurse.
If I need to go to hospital how do I make sure I am getting the best out of my Overseas Visitors Cover?
When preparing to go to hospital you should ask either your doctor or the hospital if there will be any out-of-pocket fees or charges that might be higher than those covered by your Overseas Visitors Cover. It is also important to check with Australian Unity, if there are any limits on the services provided we may be able to suggest an alternative hospital in your area where limits may not apply.
How do I access the Wellplan Rewards programs?
When you join Australian Unity you are able to access a wide variety of generous discounts on a range of health and lifestyle products and services immediately. Find out more.
What if I'm on a 457 working visa?
We recommend that you purchase our 457 Visitors Health Cover, which meets the Australian Government 457 visa requirements.