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Health Insurance Comparison for Travelling to Australia

April 12th, 2012 0 comments
Health insurance

Whether your plans include trekking in the Outback, exploring the mysteries of the reefs or enjoying the city lights and taking in the opera, it’s important to consider health insurance before you travel to Australia. Unexpected illness or accidents can turn a holiday into a nightmare; and while Medicaid may be available to visitors from countries that have a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia, it’s limited.

Arranging private health insurance before your trip can give you peace of mind, and in the event of a health problem it may give you more control over your healthcare and better options. For visitors from some countries, it’s mandatory to have health insurance before being granted a visa. Some consumers may find that travel insurance suits their purposes just fine, but other travellers may have reason to want private health insurance while in Australia.

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Where to Get Health Insurance for Australia

There are many different providers offering you a bewildering variety of health insurance products. Comparison websites can be very helpful when you compare different companies and plans. You can also find more specialised sites dealing specifically with healthcare in Australia, like Health Insurance Comparison. It helps a lot if you know what to look for when comparing your options.

First and perhaps most obviously, you need to check what your policy actually covers. Treatment can be very expensive for travellers — especially hospital treatment, even if you are treated in a public hospital. Pay close attention to the kinds of treatment that the policies you’re comparing will pay for, for how long they will cover it, and what the maximum claim amount is.

A product that has lower premiums but which doesn’t cover, say, hospital visits, may be a false economy. Discovering that you’re not covered for a lengthy hospital stay when it’s already too late is the kind of shock that’s not conducive to a speedy recovery. Compare the various areas of coverage in different policies, and consider whether you’re prepared to spend a bit more to get more comprehensive cover.

Waiting Periods for Health Cover

Another crucial consideration is the waiting period. Many private health insurance policies insist on a waiting period, often a full year or more, before you can claim for healthcare for a pre-existing health condition. Obviously, such a package may not be much use to you if you are planning to fly out to Australia in a matter of weeks and know that you will need to access healthcare for your condition while you’re away.

When you’re comparing health insurance policies, make sure you also look at the pharmaceutical cover that they offer. This is the part of the policy that covers the cost of any medicines that you might need to take, such as a course of antibiotics for an infection or painkillers for an injury. The level of pharmaceutical cover provided to travellers to Australia may be low and limited.

Particularly expensive treatments, such as chemotherapy for cancer or treatments for HIV/AIDS, are usually not covered. More expensive policies may compare more favourably if coverage is your top priority.

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