Australia is a very popular expatriate destination and is considered one of the best countries to live in with respect to income, quality of life, civil rights and also healthcare. Australia is a very large country but has a relatively small population in comparison to its Asian neighbours. Many people travel to the country to enjoy the beaches and wilderness, otherwise known as the outback. Australia’s capital city is the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Sydney. Australia is a very westernized country with a very stable economy and political system.
Australia has been a preferred expat destination for those looking for greener pastures away from home. Apart from its incredible landscapes and rich wildlife, Australia is known for its clean environment, low population, and high standards of living. All these factors make it an incredible place to live and work in. With a strong economy to boast of, Australia ranks 7th among 174 countries in terms of high GDP scores, literacy rate, and life expectancy.
Though expatriates might find the cost of living in this modern nation relatively high as compared to their home country, employment opportunities are in abundance here. Since the job market is stable; plenty of positions exist across different skill sets. Besides being one of the richest Asia-Pacific nations, Australia also has well-established political processes, competent governance, a self-regulating bureaucracy, and an excellent healthcare system.
Travel to Australia
Australia is well connected to all parts of the glove via flights and sea routes. Depending on their comfort and budget, expats can choose from either of them. Australia has more than 15 international airports with flights being available round the clock. Though flight fares are expensive, you can avail discounts if you book tickets in advance. Within the country, there is no dearth of comfortable and convenient public transport vehicles such as buses that connect cities within the country.
Safety in Australia for Expats
Australia performs extremely well when it comes to expats’ safety in the country. According to a report created by WorldFirst – an international money transfer company, expats and other foreign nationals have rated safety within the country as the biggest draw.
Health in Australia for Expats
The healthcare system in Australia is unarguably one of the best across the globe. Australia’s medical system provides safe and affordable healthcare to all its citizens. As a result, the life expectancy is very high in Australia. While permanent Australian residents are in the best hands when it comes to Medicare, there are several provisions that the country provides to its expat population. However, expats need to understand that the Australian healthcare is a hybrid of private health insurance and government-funded public health cover.
Besides financing most of the spending on medical services and medicines, the Australian government also funds most of the amount spent on health research within the country. The State, territory, and the local government collectively share the responsibility of running the public healthcare services. It is to be noted that all permanent residents have access to the State healthcare services, i.e., Medicare, which is paid through taxes. This is a huge relief as people don’t have to worry about the high monthly premiums. However, in an attempt to reduce the pressure on the public system, the government is trying to persuade citizens who have a high income to take up private insurance policies.
Medicare or State Healthcare System
The public healthcare system or Medicare covers basic healthcare costs including hospital bills. It also covers around 85% of the cost incurred in availing specialized services. However, prescription drugs are available at highly subsidized rates. The billing of medical expenses takes place through a system called ‘bulk billing’ wherein patients do not get to see the bill themselves. In case, billing doesn’t happen automatically, patients will have to bear the expenses on their own, the claims for which they can file later.
Private Healthcare System
Today, approximately 50% of the population in Australia is covered by private insurance, which for most of them is in addition to the public healthcare (Medicare) provided by the government. Private insurance is primarily of three different types — hospital insurance, ambulance insurance, and extras. So, while private insurance allows patients to avail healthcare facilities from private hospitals, extras insurance covers healthcare services that are generally not included in healthcare services, such as home nursing, podiatry, chiropractic, physiotherapy, dental, and more. As the name suggests, ambulance insurance covers the costs that are incurred in using emergency vehicles. Since most of the State governments in Australia do not pay for availing ambulance or emergency vehicle services; it is prudent to opt for such an insurance plan.
Emergency Healthcare Assistance in Australia
Whether you are relocating permanently to Australia or visiting for a temporary stay, it is important to understand the functioning of the healthcare system in Australia. The Australian Government has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) with several countries. If your country is listed among those countries, then you can get the healthcare facility from a public hospital. However, not all services are covered under this agreement, and so it is better to purchase private health insurance for the duration of your stay. However, if you require immediate medical assistance and cannot reach a doctor right away, then you can seek emergency medical support by dialing triple zero (000) or 112 from a digital phone.
Healthcare in Australia for Expats
For expats and local nationals in Australia, the country offers first-class healthcare with excellent facilities, equipment and medical staff. The country has a mix of both public and private medical care and insurance. Australia introduced universal medical care in 1984 and is considered one of the best in the world. Taxpayers pay 1.5% of their income into the medical system, but most local nationals will buy “top-up” insurance.
Other Insurance Plans for Expatriates in Australia
Most expatriates will want to obtain international medical coverage if residing in Australia for short or long term stays. Some expats should also obtain global life and disability insurance coverage.
Here is a list of different types of insurance coverage you will want if you are planning to become an expatriate in Australia:
- International Health Insurance
- Expat Life and Disability Insurance
- Travel Insurance
- Evacuation Coverage
- Group Expat Insurance Plans
If you require a quote for insurance coverage for expats in Australia, contact Expat Financial today for a quote and to discuss your Australian expatriate insurance requirements.