Reciprocal Health Care Agreements

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1 Reciprocal Health Care Agreements Access and Benefits provided In RHCA countries If you travel overseas you can get help with the cost of essential medical treatment in some countries under the Australian Government s Reciprocal Health Care Agreements. The Australian Government has agreements with New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Belgium, Malta, Slovenia and Norway. These agreements mean: Australian residents can get help with the cost of essential medical treatment when visiting these countries Residents of these countries can get some essential medical treatments while visiting Australia. Students from Norway, Finland, Malta and the Republic of Ireland aren t covered by agreements with those countries. Additional insurance: These agreements do not replace the need for private travel or expatriate insurance. To be covered for private hospital treatment and other services not covered by the agreements it is strongly recommended that you take out suitable and appropriate insurance. Why all Australians should take out travel insurance before going overseas For most Australians overseas travel is a wonderful experience. Unfortunately, however, every day consular officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at home and overseas deal with human tragedies involving the death, injury or hospitalisation of Australians abroad. Each year the department handles over 20,000 cases involving Australians in difficulty overseas. This includes over 700 hospitalisations, 600 deaths and 100 evacuations of Australians to another location for medical purposes. How to prove you are eligible for health care while travelling overseas You will need to provide local authorities with: your Australian passport, or another valid passport, which shows you are a permanent Australian resident a valid Medicare card - if you do not have a valid Medicare card, or your card will expire while you are away, visit a DHS Service Centre before you travel overseas for a new card. Medicine Medicine is not usually subsidised under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreements for Australian residents travelling overseas. If you are planning to travel overseas with Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicine for you or someone travelling with you, it is important you: talk to your doctor and discuss the medicine you need to take with you contact the embassy of the country you are visiting to make sure the medicine is legal there take a letter from your doctor detailing what the medicine is, how much you will be taking, and stating that it is for your personal use

2 leave the medicine in its original packaging so it is clearly labelled with your name and dosage instructions, or that of the person travelling with you. Taking PBS medicine out of the country illegally may result in a fine of up to $5000 and/or two years imprisonment. Participating RHCA countries Belgium You're entitled to hospital, medical, pharmaceutical, some allied services and ambulance during your stay. Varying patient charges apply for all services. You'll need to pay for the treatment or service and take the receipt and your Medicare card to any health insurance fund for reimbursement. A list can be found at [3] If you're staying in Belgium for more than a year, you should register with a health insurance fund. You'll be issued an SIS card. This card can be used at the health insurance fund to claim for medical treatment. It can also be used at hospitals and pharmacies to directly bill expenses to your fund. Medical treatment by general practitioners, and by specialists and some dental and allied health services such as physiotherapy if you're referred by a doctor. You'll need to pay between per cent of the cost. Hospital services are partially reimbursed. Reimbursement of pharmaceutical medicines (depending on their category). Ambulance travel is subsidised by 33 per cent. You'll have to pay a charge for admission, a small daily fee and co-payments on health services provided in a hospital. Some pharmaceutical medicines. Finland You are entitled to limited subsidised health care when you visit Finland. A small fee is charged for all treatments. Free services for children aged 15 years and under. Necessary out-patient medical treatment as well as nursing care from health centres. Dental care available in some centres. Treatment at any out-patient department of a hospital, either by visiting it directly or with an admission note from a doctor. A refund after treatment if you visit a private doctor or dentist and pay the fee first. Refunds are available from a local insurance office listed in the telephone book under KELA-paikallistoimisto(t).

3 Prescription medicine costs from pharmacies (Apteekki) and travel costs incurred in seeking medical treatment may be payable. A local insurance office will confirm payments required. Refunded costs for dental care if you were born in 1956 or later. You will find details of health centres in the local telephone directory under the name Terveysasemat or Terveyskeskus. A small daily non-refundable accommodation fee is charged for in-patient treatment in hospital. The out-patient departments provide specialist treatment. A small non-refundable fee is charged for this service. Costs for dental care for people born before Italy You are entitled to subsidised health care for a period of up to six months from your date of arrival. The National Health Service (Servixio Sanitaria Nazionale) provides medical treatment at participating hospitals, clinics and authorised medical centres (conventionati). If you need medical treatment go to the nearest local health centre (Unita Sanitaria Locale - USL). The address of all USLs can be found in the telephone directory or by asking at police stations, tourist offices or hotels. Medical treatment, including specialist services at public or other authorised hospitals and clinics. Treatment as a hospital patient in public and authorised hospitals only. Immediately necessary dental treatment at public hospitals. You may need to pay for medicine, diagnostics and other tests. Malta You are entitled to subsidised health care for up to six months from your date of arrival. If you need medical attention contact or visit a health centre. Medical attention at a health centre provided by a doctor in government service. Nursing care (such as injections or dressings) provided by a nurse in government service on the advice of a doctor. In-patient care including operations, medicine, nursing care, accommodation and meals. Hospital out-patient consultations provided by specialists in government service. Ambulance travel from site to hospital in the case of accidents and emergencies. Immediately necessary dental care provided in a government hospital.

4 The cost of fillings, dental prostheses or appliances. Netherlands If you are travelling to the Netherlands you will also need to forward a completed Department of Healths A111 Certificate of Eligibility Application form [1] to: Agis Zorgverzekeringen Afdeling Buitenland Postbus BS Amersfoort Netherlands You are entitled to free access to the public health care system for up to 12 months. In certain cases, this entitlement may be extended. You will need a certificate of eligibility. You can get this before leaving Australia, or when you arrive in the Netherlands, by forwarding the following documents to the health care insurer address shown below. Department of Healths A111 Certificate of Eligibility Application Form [1] A copy of your current passport A copy of your Medicare card Agis Zorgverzekeringen Afdeling Buitenland Postbus BS Amersfoort Netherlands Call Fax You may choose a doctor who is affiliated with a health care insurer (ziekenfonds). The local health care insurer can give you the names and addresses of affiliated doctors. Third class accommodation in hospitals. The cost of medicine is refunded if prescribed by a doctor - a certificate of eligibility is required by the pharmacy (apotheek). Ambulance and taxi charges are partially refunded when medically necessary. A certificate of eligibility is required, plus receipts and a statement from the doctor regarding the need for such transport. If you are hospitalised in first or second class accommodation, you will be charged the difference, plus nursing, specialist care and sundry charges.

5 New Zealand You are entitled to limited subsidised health care when you visit New Zealand. In-patient treatment and accommodation at a public hospital during your stay. You will have to pay the full cost for all other medical treatment, public hospital out-patient treatment and prescription medicine. Children's services are charged at a reduced rate. For prescription medicine you will be charged the same rate as non-concession cardholders. When you have paid for 20 prescriptions in one year, a Prescription Subsidy card will be issued which entitles you to reduced medicine costs. Norway You are entitled to subsidised health care during your stay. You do not need to enrol in the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) in Norway. Always advise the doctor that you want to be treated as a NIS patient. Medical treatment from a NIS general practitioner or out-patient department. Specialist services when referred by a general practitioner. Hospital in-patient treatment. Ambulance travel. Emergency dental treatment. Ancillary care when prescribed by a doctor. Prescription medicine - full price until approximately $250 is spent in one year. It is free thereafter. You must keep track of all expenditure. Services for children under seven years are free. There is no charge for hospital in-patient treatment. Varying charges apply for all services. NIS registered doctors charge a reduced fee. The majority of doctors in Norway are with the NIS but those that are not will charge a full fee. For enquiries contact an office of the National Insurance Scheme of Norway.

6 Republic of Ireland Ireland's health scheme provides benefits for hospital treatment during your stay, but not for private medical services or prescription medicine. Public hospital care is available for a small fee for the first 10 days of your stay in any year and then it is free thereafter. A fee is charged for attendance at out-patient or accident and emergency departments if you are not referred by a doctor. You will have to pay the full cost of visits to private doctors. A fee is charged for prescription medicines. After a certain amount has been spent during each month the Health Board refunds additional charges under the Drugs Payments Scheme. Slovenia You are eligible for essential medical treatment during your stay. Slovenia's health care system provides benefits for hospital,medical, pharmaceutical, dental and ambulance services. There are patient co-payments on some services, depending on medical necessity. To receive medical treatment under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement you will need to present your passport and Medicare card. Subsidised medical treatment in the public health system in hospitals, health centres and pharmacies. Subsidised medical treatment by private GP's, specialists, dentists and pharmacies contracted to the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia (HIIS). Ambulance travel is free if referred by a doctor in an emergency otherwise you will need to pay 70 per cent of the cost. Reimbursement of prescription medicines is determined by the category of the medicine. Categories include positive, interim or negative. Patient co-payments are 25 per cent of the price for positive and 75 per cent for interim. Medicines in the negative category are not subsidised. Medical treatment by a GP, specialist or dentist who is not contracted to the HIIS full fees will apply. Some pharmaceutical medicines medicine in the negative category is not subsidised.

7 Sweden Sweden's health scheme provides benefits for medical, hospital and some ancillary services during your stay. Varying charges apply for all services. Charges are reduced for children. Medical treatment by any doctor or out-patient department of a hospital. A visit to a private doctor who is affiliated with the Social Security Scheme will cost slightly more. Some travel costs incurred to get medical treatment may be refunded by the National Social Insurance Board of Sweden (Forsakringskassan). Contact an office of the insurance board for full details. There is a small daily fee for hospital in-patient care. There are varying charges for hospital out-patient treatment and visits to a doctor. Charges are reduced for children. Full price is charged for prescription medicine. For full details contact an office of the National Social Insurance Board of Sweden (Forsakringskassan). United Kingdom You are entitled to subsidised health care during your stay. The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom covers England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. You do not need to enrol in the NHS. Always advise the doctor that you want to be treated as a NHS patient. Doctors in the United Kingdom do not have to accept a patient for treatment under the NHS. They can request a private consultation fee when a rebate is not available. If you do not want to pay a private consultation fee you will need to get treatment from a doctor who is prepared to treat you under the NHS, or from the out-patient section of a public hospital. Medical treatment and other services normally provided by a doctor to NHS patients. In-patient treatment including medicine, nursing care and accommodation in a public ward of a NHS hospital. Out-patient treatment in a NHS hospital. NHS prescription medicine where the doctor treats you as a NHS patient (a small fee is charged). Ambulance travel to and from or between NHS hospitals and other facilities operating under the NHS Scheme. Non-subsidised medicine from retail pharmacies. Medicine prescribed by the doctor treating you as a private patient. All treatment and appliances provided by NHS dentists and for dental appliances supplied to outpatients at NHS hospitals.

8 Benefits and services vary on the Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark). If you plan to visit these areas check your entitlements before leaving the mainland. More information For further information, please contact Berry at Willis Expatriate Risks. Contact: Berry Treffers Tel: Fax:

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