How to Buy Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Health care system Australia: General coverage through Medicare

The Health system in Australia has some interesting features. Even if the medical standard down under is comparable to that of the western world, the Australian Medicare (state health insurance) differs from our insurance system in many ways. If you get permanent residency in Australia, you can cancel your home country insurance and get Medicare.


Info & special features

Medicare insurance costs 1.5% of taxable income (comparison: in Germany it is almost 8%). With an annual earnings of over AUD 70,000, the contribution increases to 2.5%. This ensures social justice in relation to the health system in Australia. If you only live on unemployment benefits or social assistance, Medicare coverage is free. Compared to the German health insurance contributions, Medicare appears extremely cheap, but it should be noted that the payment entitlements differ significantly more.

Example: The costs of a general practitioner are largely covered by Medicare, whereas dental or ophthalmological bills are only subsidized to a lesser extent. For this reason, many Australians take out additional private insurance for eyes and teeth (this also shortens the sometimes very long waiting times) or combine their annual eye and tooth check with a vacation in Indonesia. A stay in a state hospital is usually fully paid for by Medicare, while treatment in a private clinic is only partially paid for. Furthermore, it is crucial whether you are treated by a Medicare-approved doctor and thus only charge the so-called "MBS Fees" (Medicare Benefits Schedule Fees) or whether you belong to the much more expensive elite.


Medicare specifics

  • Every Australian and “permanent resident” (anyone with a permanent residence permit) has the right to basic health care.
  • Ambulance and emergency medical transport are very expensive because Medicare does not cover them.
  • The Australian state subsidizes prescription drugs, which is why they are quite cheap to buy.
  • Medicare doesn't pay for glasses. A private supplementary insurance is necessary for this.
  • Advice centers on health and family are free.
  • The Royal Flying Doctor Service, founded in 1928, can only be found in this way in Australia. Thanks to the Flying Doctors, who are known and valued everywhere in Down Under, people can receive medical and medical care all over the country.

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