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I have migrated from the USA to Australia as a Permanent Resident and am looking for private medical insurance

I am searching my options between not for profit medical insurance providers (like gmhba and hif) and the usual (for profit) medical insurance providers. How big are the differences in terms of price/premiums and service/access to healthcare? Are there any general rules about which type of insurance is preferable or does it depend strongly on your needs and financial means?

  • Advisable by whom? Shopping recommendations are off-topic. – Flimzy Mar 25 '14 at 5:29
  • By expats ? I would have guessed thats almost intuitive – happybuddha Mar 25 '14 at 5:50
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    Expats are almost as diverse a group as non-expats. The proper insurance for a single student expat will be quite different for that of a small business owner with a wife and 4 kids expat. – Flimzy Mar 25 '14 at 5:52
  • @MarkMayo Pruned – happybuddha Mar 25 '14 at 6:33
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    @happybuddha Your question does not seem to attract much interest and already has two “close” votes. I am not sure exactly why that is but this question seems somewhat similar and has been surprisingly well received. Maybe you can find some ideas there to improve your question? – Gala Mar 25 '14 at 15:47
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As an expat to Australia who was in the same situation recently, I can't say I found any meaningful differences between the profits and the notionally non-profits, they all quack like ducks and walk like ducks to me. Neither have I found much difference between the insurers I've tried, although given the choice I'd steer away from Medibank, it's government-owned and thus even more bureaucratic, slow and incompetent than your average insurer.

If your employer has a corporate private insurance plan (and they mostly likely do), it will usually have better rates than what you can get alone, so you're probably best off with them, regardless of who it is.

Also remember that you don't need private health insurance, Medicare covers all the basics except, bizarrely, ambulances and dental. The main reasons to get it are if you're planning kids and would prefer a private hospital, or if you're earning enough that the Medicare levy surcharge (up to 1.5% extra tax) would otherwise kick in.

  • My employer has no corporate plan (heck, they dont even got a project plan !). I am not planning kids at the moment. I am only worried about the future. If I end up baby booming here, then I'd rather be covered as the medicare system would be overloaded in the next 30 years. But then, the medicare could also make some improvements. Oh decisions, decisions! – happybuddha Mar 27 '14 at 23:08

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