We had a really useful entry posted by one of our forum members which I think is really worth sharing on the main pages of getting down under.
Following this advice could save you quite a bit of your hard earned money once you finally make it down under so the entry is worth a read.
I’ve included the full text of the entry below. Thanks for your input Marilyn :)
OK… you’ve spent countless hours doing the research, you’ve spent days filling out form after form, and you’ve spent MONTHS on end waiting (OH the awful waiting) and now you’ve finally got that wonderful visa!!
Well… here is a little tip bit to help you on the process after you land.
Chances are, you will want to get private medical insurance.
When you get your Medicare Card, KEEP the letter it comes attached to.
A few days later, you will get a letter from the Department of Health and Ageing, KEEP this letter too!!
Private medical insurance companies charge a premium if you have not had, and maintained, private medical insurance prior to your 30th birthday. They charge 2% per year for every year over 30.
Thus a 40 year old will pay 20% more than the standard policy rate, and a 50 year old will pay 40% more, the loading charge tops out at 70% for a 65 year old.
BUT… as new immigrants, we are exempt from this loading charge as long as we take out private medical insurance within 12 months of becoming eligible for Medicare.
Proving to the insurance companies that they are NOT allowed to charge us that premium is not easy, as I am finding out. That is why I’m telling everyone I know to keep these various forms and letters and to get insurance within the time limit.
Insurance companies do not know the exceptions that apply to new immigrants. In fact, MOST companies do not know of the various exceptions that apply to new immigrants.
Doing the research to get the visa is NOT the end of the job. We MUST keep educating ourselves so that we are not taken advantage of.
No one does it intentionally; they simply do not know that there are separate rules for new immigrants in some cases. It is OUR job to know what rules apply to us and to have PROOF of those rules and to have the documentation to comply with them.
When you decide what company and what policy you want to purchase, take the time to call them on the phone. They should ask you to fax in a variety of documents; amongst these are the ones I mentioned above.
You see, you have 12 months from the day you get your Medicare Card to take out a private medical insurance policy without being charged the 2% loading fee. That is 2% of the base policy price for every year you’re over 30 years of age. That means that someone who’s 40 is paying 20% more than someone who’s 30.