I would seriously consider taking travel insurance out.
The essential components of good travel insurance fall into three groups:
- medical insurance
- cover for your luggage and personal property
- cancellation insurance.
If you are planning to have a bit of adventure on your travels, it is wise to check if your plan covers extreme activities like parasailing, rafting, scuba diving or motorbike riding.
If you plan on being away for some time, check out annual multi-trip insurance options. Sounds like a bit of a mouth full, but well worth looking into for those of you with no plans on coming home too soon!
Remember, that whilst citizens of the UK, New Zealand, Italy, Malta, Finland, Netherlands and Sweden are able to obtain free essential healthcare in Australia, this does not cover ambulance trips, dental treatment etc. If you do need dental treatment and don’t have insurance cover for it, contact the local dental hospital where you may be able to obtain treatment from dental students either free or for a minimal cost.
If you are from the above countries and are staying in Australia for some time, apply for a Medicare card at any Medicare Centre (I still haven’t done it yet!) Medicare is the national healthcare scheme and you will need to show this card when obtaining medical treatment. If you need to visit a general practitioner (GP) during your stay, take your card along. You will probably need to pay for the consultation up-front (around $30 usually) and then claim a rebate back through medicare (approximately 2/3 of the fee). Some GPs have a practice called bulk-billing where you only need to pay the difference, but such GPs are becoming a rarity. Definitely worth looking into for those staying on a longer duration…