As the holiday season draws around the corner and whilst families are preparing and planning for an escape and considering cruises, there are a few details that they are unaware of. Medical Insurance/Coverage is a topic that is taken for granted and people assume that they are covered when they actually are not.
Most of us assume that our Medicare would cover any of the medical expenses incurred by us while holidaying in a cruise. That is not precisely true and it depends upon the destination. Also, the cruise we pick for our holiday could be either within Australian ports or otherwise.
The Australian Government, Department of Human Services, provides Medicare for all Australian residents and certain categories of visitors (including migrants, permanent residents, and New Zealand citizens) and this gives them access to free and minimal cost medical and hospital services. Medicare normally covers:
- Free or subsidised treatment by health professionals, such as doctors, specialists, optometrists, and in specific circumstances, dentists and other allied health professional,
- Free treatment and accommodation for patients in a public hospital, and
- 75% of the Medicare schedule fee for services and procedures if you’re a private patient in a public or private hospital (but not including hospital accommodation, theatre fees, medicines and other items).
Medicare coverage while on cruise can be slightly unpredictable. So, our advice to you before starting your vacation is:
- To note that the cruise ship that you have picked for your holiday is one which travels only between Australian ports with no intermediate stops outside Australian waters.
- To contact the cruise vessel that you have short listed, and enquire if the doctor on board will be a Medicare- eligible doctor. A Medicare-eligible person is a doctor employed and registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency with a provider number.
- If the response is positive, kindly proceed to obtain the same in writing from the service provider and if the response is to the negative, please attend to obtaining private travel insurance.
If you have any questions regarding any further legal issues, please do not hesitate to contact us on (02) 8917 8700.