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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i am on a 457 Visa in Melbourne

I have applied for PR so I am eligible to get a Medicare Card, which I have applied for

We are a working couple with no children and our combined annual salary is more then 225k

Can you recommend the cheapest Insurance Policy I can take so that I can save Taxes

Cheers
 

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i am on a 457 Visa in Melbourne

I have applied for PR so I am eligible to get a Medicare Card, which I have applied for

We are a working couple with no children and our combined annual salary is more then 225k

Can you recommend the cheapest Insurance Policy I can take so that I can save Taxes

Cheers
Basic Hospital cover is all you need for tax purposes. I had a quick look at Choice Magazine's comparison, and of 34 Providers, Mildura Health Fund and HIF looked to be the a couple of the cheapest for basic cover with a $500 excess, followed closely by Phoenix Health Fund and Health Partners. Choice is a subscription-based consumers association.

Be aware that comparison sites like Iselect, Compare the market, etc, have at most about 12 providers all of whom pay them commission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Read an article about insurance and I guess the lowest premium insurance are junk


https://www.choice.com.au/money/insurance/health/articles/junk-health-insurance

So narrowing done to Bupa standard hospital policy costing me around 3,500 AUD per year

Any other better value for money insurance you can recommend ?

Cheers
Naturally it will depend on what level of cover you want. For a young couple, for good cover, the policies I mentioned above cost about $2900-3400pa after the standard rebate is deducted.

That will include an excess (normally $400-500 dollars) for any hospital visit. The companies I've mentioned got 97 to 100% in terms of the comprehensive nature of their cover, and include almost everything anyway! :)

These are the the lowest priced good one's Choice's system came up with:

Mildura Health Fund Five Star Hospital - Excess 3 - F3 - $244 per month after rebate
No Ambulance cover

HIF Gold Hospital Excess $400/$800 - $264 per month after rebate
No Ambulance cover
Single room in Private Hospital not covered

Phoenix Health Fund Top Hospital $500 Excess Couple - $279 per month after rebate
- above average gap cover

Health Partners Gold Value Hospital With Maternity - $278 per month after rebate
One Ambulance trip per year per person

You'll obviously need to decide what cover you want, whether you want to reduce premiums by accepting the excess - payments will be higher otherwise. I have family cover (kids are free), no excess at all, and the highest level of hospital and extras, but I'm in WA. I pay about $6000 a year after the rebate for that.

You can take out a 3 month online subscription to Choice for about $25. :)

Different health funds often offer different cover in different States, so don't assume the same company will offer the same cover as say a friend has recommended if they live in a different State.
 

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Single pr applicant with blue medicare.
Pretty happy with bupa
Using the same basis of comparison as I mentioned, for a hospital cover only (no extras) for a couple prepared to pay an excess, Choice shows the BUPA policy at $308 per month after rebates.

For BUPA, the cover score (the different things the policy covers) is 100%, so that's very good. :) The cover for the 4 funds I've mentioned is 97%, 100%, 100%, and 100% respectively.

Gap Cover is average for all funds including BUPA, with the exception of Phoenix Health which is above average. All have an excess of $500 for a hospital visit with the exception of HIF ($400).

BUPA has agreements with 74 Private Hospitals in Victoria, the others have 76, 81, 78, 82 respectively.

Of course this doesn't mean one policy is better for you personally than another, it may also depend on your location, and your required service.

The Choice 'Policy match score" looking at coverage, out-of-pocket costs, complaints, and cost rated 91%, 91%,91%, 90% for the mentioned funds, and 83% for BUPA.

These results were for a policy for a couple, with an excess, in Victoria.

The $308 cover for BUPA is with a $500 excess. Other funds, such as Latrobe, Mildura, HIF, also have slightly higher-range policies than quoted earlier, so that the excess for those policies is lower, while rating the same or slightly better than BUPA, still at slightly less cost. BUPA cover for a couple, with excess (from the Choice comparison anyway) is perhaps $25 a month more.

That's not a complete indication of the value of a BUPA policy - you'd have to compare the actual policies, etc. :) There are other funds too, that have more expensive and/or slightly worse cover or results. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Naturally it will depend on what level of cover you want. For a young couple, for good cover, the policies I mentioned above cost about $2900-3400pa after the standard rebate is deducted.

That will include an excess (normally $400-500 dollars) for any hospital visit. The companies I've mentioned got 97 to 100% in terms of the comprehensive nature of their cover, and include almost everything anyway! :)

These are the the lowest priced good one's Choice's system came up with:

Mildura Health Fund Five Star Hospital - Excess 3 - F3 - $244 per month after rebate
No Ambulance cover

HIF Gold Hospital Excess $400/$800 - $264 per month after rebate
No Ambulance cover
Single room in Private Hospital not covered

Phoenix Health Fund Top Hospital $500 Excess Couple - $279 per month after rebate
- above average gap cover

Health Partners Gold Value Hospital With Maternity - $278 per month after rebate
One Ambulance trip per year per person

You'll obviously need to decide what cover you want, whether you want to reduce premiums by accepting the excess - payments will be higher otherwise. I have family cover (kids are free), no excess at all, and the highest level of hospital and extras, but I'm in WA. I pay about $6000 a year after the rebate for that.

You can take out a 3 month online subscription to Choice for about $25. :)

Different health funds often offer different cover in different States, so don't assume the same company will offer the same cover as say a friend has recommended if they live in a different State.
If you don't mind, Which Company policy have you opted for ?

Cheers
 

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If you don't mind, Which Company policy have you opted for ?

Cheers
You can't use me as an example - I live in Perth, have a family, and have had a policy here for a very long time (since 1994!).

Back then, I worked for the Govt and joined Government Employees Health Fund. They were eventually taken over and changed to AHM, so that's who I am with, but I get the highest level of hospital cover and extras with no excess, and I get a level of cover that is not available for new joiners, and I get a bit more as some extras items pay more after longer years of membership. :)

On top of that I also got a discounted "group rate" when AHM was created. I pay about $500 a month after rebates. Even so, there may be others better - as life goes on, things change and the cover you need may change too, so it may need readjustment and you might be able to save then too.

I haven't bothered as I'm happy enough with what we have, and likely within the next year we will be moving overseas anyway.

Remember too, the cover by any fund (and the price too) may be different from one State to another.

If I was looking for comprehensive hospital-only cover for a young-ish couple in Victoria, with a $500 excess, I'd probably look at Phoenix Health or Health Partners. Bit more expensive than HIF or Mildura but includes Ambulance, and HIF only covers a shared room in a Private Hospital while the others cover private rooms.

If I didn't want an excess, I'd look at the same places, but the no-excess policies. Again they are among the cheapest with the best offers.

By the way, if kids are on the agenda, you need to have a family policy at least 3 months before they are born, for them to be covered from birth. :p

Of course, that's just me. You should also be aware that if you want to add extras cover later, that cover can vary significantly from one company to another, and most will have different cover levels available too.

Full hospital cover for a family, with an excess, with basic extras cover (young families might not want more than this, they should be fairly healthy!) will be more of course, maybe $360-400 per month. I'd look at Peoplecare and Phoenix Health as a start, for this type of cover in Victoria. If you have/will have a family you can always add basic (or higher) extras later, but with kids it might be a good move - orthodontist anyone? :p

Private health insurance is important - at least, getting it fairly right if you are going to get private health insurance is important. :)

Although you can change easily enough, sometimes there may be additional waiting periods for benefits when you do, and most people don't review their needs very often. So it's important to look closely, compare a few policies, do you research, and not pay too much either. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for your time and effort

The recommendations of Phoenix and Health partners, is what I was looking for

Will,study further and take a decision

Cheers
 

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Thanks for your time and effort

The recommendations of Phoenix and Health partners, is what I was looking for

Will,study further and take a decision

Cheers
Hello Newbienz

Have you finally taken a decision on private insurance?

I have few questions as I am almost in same boat here (I am on 457 Visa in Australia and awaiting an Invite).

1) How taking private insurance on top of medicare helps in Income Tax? Would you be able to claim deductions more than or equal to the premium you end up paying for private insurance?

2) If you were on 457, you would have been covered by company's group medical insurance policy here locally. I believe the company policy itself would be comprehensive enough to take care of all medical needs. So are you planning to opt out of company medical policy once you take private medical insurance on your own?

3) On a related topic, can you throw some light on what all benefits (like medicare) you are entitled to once you receive an Invite and you are awaiting Visa grant (paid Visa fees and submitted your application)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Hello Newbienz

Have you finally taken a decision on private insurance?

I have few questions as I am almost in same boat here (I am on 457 Visa in Australia and awaiting an Invite).

1) How taking private insurance on top of medicare helps in Income Tax? Would you be able to claim deductions more than or equal to the premium you end up paying for private insurance?

2) If you were on 457, you would have been covered by company's group medical insurance policy here locally. I believe the company policy itself would be comprehensive enough to take care of all medical needs. So are you planning to opt out of company medical policy once you take private medical insurance on your own?

3) On a related topic, can you throw some light on what all benefits (like medicare) you are entitled to once you receive an Invite and you are awaiting Visa grant (paid Visa fees and submitted your application)?
1. I am no expert on insurance and have relied on Kaju for advice, as you have seen in the previous posts

As long as you are on 457 you have to take a 457 compliant health policy to satisfy the visa conditions
No idea about group insurance policy from your employer as My employer does not provide one, so did not do much research

3. Once you get the invite and pay visa fees, you are entitled to Apply and get Medicare Card. Simultaneously you also become liable to pay MLS if you don't take private hospital health insurance

Taking private health insurance only allows you to save the payment of MLS
If there are any other tax benefits, I am not aware of the same.
I will,b paying more premiums in the private health insurance, then I would save in taxes.
Of course this may not be necessarily the case for you also , as it all depends on your income slabs and the policy you choose

Cheers
 

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What about GP check ups?

1. I am no expert on insurance and have relied on Kaju for advice, as you have seen in the previous posts
.......
Cheers
This is an interesting topic. I have a question -
While private insurance will cover hospital costs, what about common GP (doctor) visits?
I have a 5 months old baby and we visit the NHS quite often here in London. The wait time is long if we visit our practice. When we want to visit someone in private it ranges from £150 - £400, which goes from our pocket on top of the NHS charges that I pay from our salary.
How is the scenario in Melbourne/Aus? If you do a private GP visit and he suggests something like a blood test to determine a cause of fever, what would be the approximate cost on ground and does insurance cover that?
 

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This is an interesting topic. I have a question -
While private insurance will cover hospital costs, what about common GP (doctor) visits?
I have a 5 months old baby and we visit the NHS quite often here in London. The wait time is long if we visit our practice. When we want to visit someone in private it ranges from £150 - £400, which goes from our pocket on top of the NHS charges that I pay from our salary.
How is the scenario in Melbourne/Aus? If you do a private GP visit and he suggests something like a blood test to determine a cause of fever, what would be the approximate cost on ground and does insurance cover that?
Most General Practitioners work at local medical centres, especially in bigger cities.

You should normally get an appointment within a few/several days depending on the Dr's caseload.

I'm in Perth, not in Melbourne. But it should be similar there. :)

I can get to see my GP (who is quite popular) easily. I just checked my local centre - of the six Dr's there, 5 have a 2 day wait, one part-timer is 7 days. Mind you, if you were semi-desperate, you could call and they'd find a way to fit you in if it was important - of course if it was very serious/urgent, you might go to hospital.

Doctors' fees are subsidised by Medicare so you might pay maybe about $80 or so and get $35 back from Medicare (type of thing), normally instantly. Unless you have a low income or pension - many doctors won't charge then, and some won't charge for very young kids either. That's called bulk-billing - they just bill Medicare directly. You can ask whether a Dr bulk-bills or google it say for Melbourne, it it matters to you. I tend to stick with a local Dr if I like them, and if they bulk-bill good, if they don't, well too bad. :)

Health Insurance won't cover tests. But again, Medicare does with some, sometimes fully, sometimes partly. Costs vary, and there are collections centres all over the place for blood tests. Maybe $100, maybe free if bulk-billed.

Things like ultrasounds, x-rays, MRI's - at a clinic for that purpose, (all over the place too) maybe $250 with $100 back from Medicare. These are all approximations, some scans could be up to maybe $500 but that would be very rare.

Blood tests might be free if the GP bulk-bills, or maybe up to $100 and $50 back from Medicare.

Any and all tests in a Public Hospital as a public patient are free. On an urgent basis, apart from the room (and you may not always get a private room even with private insurance in a Public Hospital) you'll get treated the same whether you choose to go Public or Private.

Private cover will generally help you get much faster treatment for elective and non-urgent issues, and the ability to choose your doctor.

I have the highest level of Private cover. I haven't bothered using it in the cases where we've had emergencies - there has been no advantage. When my daughter split her head open (just a little bit, running around the house at 2 years old) she was seen instantly at a Public Hospital - they are almost always where the local and biggest Emergency is anyway, and are teaching hospitals. We didn't want her to have even a little scar, so she did need just a little plastic surgery, so they offered that, done at the time free from memory. But it would likely have been a few hundred otherwise, at a Private Hospital as a day-patient (called outpatient here).

I've been a few times to specialists as a day patient, and to private hospital for outpatient procedures - normally (at the most) a few hundred all up each time, even when a surgeon and anaesthetist were involved - good Private Insurance covers most of that. Going to a Public hospital would have been free but very likely a much longer (even months) wait, unless it was urgent.

And cardiac surgery and ICU in a major Public teaching hospital for a week, all free. Another time after a motorbike injury - broken ribs, hand, suspected broken neck (wasn't), broken pelvis, etc. Great service, so many tests and scans and x-rays! They called in a specialist at about 3am, woke him up at home, worried about my neck. No charge for anything. :)

My son needed an urgent ambulance about 2 years ago, covered by health insurance or it would have been $900 here in WA. At the local hospital we could have gone Private or Medicare - there was plenty of room anyway (shared room, other bed empty!) but he got the same top specialist anyway, all on Medicare. However, we chose to continue to see that specialist privately afterwards and still do, and after Medicare each checkup costs about $120.

I see the system as being pretty effective and comparatively cheap. For me the only real reason for private insurance is to get non-urgent (but possibly very annoying or even very painful things) done much more quickly in a private hospital.

For day to day medical care and GP visits, no problem. You should be able to see a GP in a few days or less (can always go to another medical centre if needed sooner, but most do try to help sooner if needed, especially with little kids ). Referrals for tests - blood tests, can get them done normally same day, either in the surgery if they have a nurse, or at a collection centre, results usually in a day or two. With referrals for scans, x-rays, that can be next day or a week depending on availability - but the referral form will likely have more than one clinic so you can always try and find one sooner. Mostly, within a few days. :)

You can go to a Public Hospital just with a runny nose, and you'll get seen and it will be free, but it may take several hours, as you won't be a priority. To try and minimise this, there are also free services outside normal hours where a GP will visit you at home for no cost, and they will bulk-bill Medicare. Several businesses do this, here's an example: https://www.homedoctor.com.au/locations/melbourne

:)
 

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i am on a 457 Visa in Melbourne

I have applied for PR so I am eligible to get a Medicare Card, which I have applied for

We are a working couple with no children and our combined annual salary is more then 225k

Can you recommend the cheapest Insurance Policy I can take so that I can save Taxes

Cheers
a combined salary of 225k and still going after the 'cheapest'? strange!
 

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So why will I not go for bulk billing

Most General Practitioners work at local medical centres, especially in bigger cities.

You should normally get an appointment within a few/several days depending on the Dr's caseload.

I'm in Perth, not in Melbourne. But it should be similar there. :)

I can get to see my GP (who is quite popular) easily. I just checked my local centre - of the six Dr's there, 5 have a 2 day wait, one part-timer is 7 days. Mind you, if you were semi-desperate, you could call and they'd find a way to fit you in if it was important - of course if it was very serious/urgent, you might go to hospital.

Doctors' fees are subsidised by Medicare so you might pay maybe about $80 or so and get $35 back from Medicare (type of thing), normally instantly. Unless you have a low income or pension - many doctors won't charge then, and some won't charge for very young kids either. That's called bulk-billing - they just bill Medicare directly. You can ask whether a Dr bulk-bills or google it say for Melbourne, it it matters to you. I tend to stick with a local Dr if I like them, and if they bulk-bill good, if they don't, well too bad. :)
...................................

You can go to a Public Hospital just with a runny nose, and you'll get seen and it will be free, but it may take several hours, as you won't be a priority. To try and minimise this, there are also free services outside normal hours where a GP will visit you at home for no cost, and they will bulk-bill Medicare. Several businesses do this, here's an example: https://www.homedoctor.com.au/locations/melbourne

:)
@Kaju - I have now revisited this advice. It is certainly very helpful after I have landed here in OZ. My question is what is the experience difference between bulk billing vs subsidized by medicare. Are bulk billing centers more crowded? Is there a lower level of attention from the GP in terms of checking?
Do I need to pay back anything to medicare at a later point f I choose bulk billing?

I am planning to go for BUPA and a separate ambulance insurance. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Sat
 

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@Kaju - I have now revisited this advice. It is certainly very helpful after I have landed here in OZ. My question is what is the experience difference between bulk billing vs subsidized by medicare. Are bulk billing centers more crowded? Is there a lower level of attention from the GP in terms of checking?
Do I need to pay back anything to medicare at a later point f I choose bulk billing?

I am planning to go for BUPA and a separate ambulance insurance. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Sat
I don't think there is any difference in the quality of GP's based on whether they bulk-bill or not. :)

Are bulk-billing centres more crowded? Can't answer that as it depends where you are - logically though generally it won't matter much, as you'll have an appointment for a certain time, (although most GP's will not see you exactly on time anyway ).

It's logical to assume that people who wan't bulk-billing will gravitate to places that offer it. But there is a limit to how many people can be looked after at any clinic. At mine for example, they do bulk-bill. But as it is a busy urban practice, my GP has enough patients to keep him quite busy, so he does not take on any new patients. Other GPs's at the same surgery do. The surgery is generally busy, but never overcrowded.

All GP visits are covered by Medicare. Let's say the GP charges $85 (could be more or less). The Medicare rebate is $36.30 I think, so you pay close to $50 (for this doctor anyway, they can set their own fees).

If your Doctor bulk-bills some patients (mostly for kids and/or those on low-incomes or pensioners) then they only charge Medicare - they get $36.30 and you pay nothing.

You can choose to go to a bulk-billing doctor or practise, but the GP will decide if they wants to bulk-bill or not. If they do, then that amount (the Government-set "Scheduled Fee" of about $36 is what you pay. You never have to repay anything to Medicare, bulk-billing or not.

In terms of who to privately insure with, that's really up to you - best to compare cover for what you need, and prices of course. Bupa is in the news at the moment, you might want to google about that - not sure I'd choose them if they plan to force you to use their allied hospitals or get lesser benefits for others, but I haven't looked into it much. :)
 
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