Health & Fitness

Are Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional visa Holders Eligible for Medicare?

Medicare for skilled work regional visa holders

Medicare is Australia’s universal health care system. Holders of the skilled regional visa 491 will be ‘treated as being an eligible person’ for the purposes of the Health Insurance Act. This implies that migrants on the new skilled visa Subclass 491 and 494 visas will be able to apply for Medicare and access it over their stay period.

The visa 491 has replaced the visa 489 in which the applicants had no access to Medicare. This meant they had to pay for their medical treatment. With the new announcement, 491 visa holders can visit the doctor or go to the hospital with Medicare covering some or all of the expenses.

The current 482 program needs visa holders and their families to possess adequate health insurance for the entire duration of their 491 visa. This is an added advantage for skilled work-oriented regional visa holders.

As per the information given on the website of Australia’s Department of Human Services, Medicare covers certain circumstances and not others:

Medicare covers costs for part or all of the following services:

  • Tests and scans, like x-rays
  • Eye tests by optometrists
  • An appointment with a GP or specialist
  • Most surgery and procedures performed by doctors

Medicare does not cover:

  • Ambulance services
  • Glasses, contact lenses, and hearing aids
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Most dental services

Doctor Visit:

When you are enrolled in Medicare, they will help you to pay a certain amount or the entire cost of seeing a doctor. If your doctor chooses to bulk-bill, they will cover the expenses and you would not be required to pay.

If your doctor does not bill you in bulk, you will require to pay either:

  • The entire cost
  • The difference between what the cost charged to you and what we cover.

If you pay the full cost, you can make a claim for the amount Medicare covers. Your doctor may also claim on your behalf. When you make an appointment, find out if they bulk bill the expenses. If they do not, you should enquire what they charge and what you could get in return.

You can take an appointment with a health practitioner via videoconference or telephone if you are unable to go to the location. This will include appointments with any of the health professionals such as GP, Specialist, Allied health professional, Nurse Practitioner, Obstetrician, or even a Registered Midwife.

Going to hospital

You may be required to go to a hospital emergency department if you are badly hurt or sick. Hospital emergency departments are open 24/7, every day. You may also need to go when your GP refers you to a specialist and suggests you visit the hospital. When this happens, you usually have to wait to go into the hospital. This is a booked admission. Your costs are taken care of if you are a public patient using services in a public hospital. You need to take your valid Medicare card or number with you while visiting the hospital.

You can choose to be a public or private patient when you go to the hospital. As a public patient at a public hospital, your costs are covered including the charges of visiting an emergency department. Private health insurance can help to cover costs as a private patient in a private hospital. Medicare can cover a certain portion of your costs for hospital procedures. Additionally, private health insurance can help you in covering ambulance charges.

For a detailed guide and professional advice on Medicare benefits cover for skilled work regional 491 visas, you can visit the Department of Human Services website. When it comes to visa matters, it’s best to have a professional by your side.  Needs Migration is among the top immigration agencies in Parramatta and Sydney. You can give their migration lawyers a call on 0423 670 879 or email them at vasu@needsmigration.com.au.

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