Australian Unity

Australian Unity

Australian Unity is one of Australia’s oldest and largest companies with revenues of $1.30 billion Australian Dollars. The company is diversified offering not just Australian health insurance policies but other services such as retirement houses, personal financial services and investment funds ranging from bonds to banking service. As the graph below highlights, the health claims paid in 2013/14 was $655 million dollars.

What Health Insurance For 485 Visa Holders Does Australian Unity Offer?

Australian Unity has a relatively simple and straightforward 485 visa health insurance range that meet condition 8501 but it should be noted that no premium product exists. They are:

1) Budget Workers Cover

This is Australian Unity’s budget cover that aims just to meet the minimum requirements set by the Department Of Immigration & Boarder Patrol for condition 8501 (required for 485 visa holders). There are a few key elements to note with this policy such as:

  • The cover is ONLY for public hospitals (no treatment at any private hospital is offered)
  • In hospital doctor & specialist fees are covered up to 100% of the MBS fee (explained below)
  • Out-of-hospital doctor and specialist fees are not covered
  • Out-of-hospital pharmacy is not covered
  • Medical repatriation is capped at $20k per membership
  • Ambulance cover is included when medically necessary

2) Workers Cover Plus

This is the Australian Unity’s mid-level cover that exceeds the requirements set by condition 8501 for 457 visa applicants. Key features of this cover is:

  • Private hospital cover exists but ONLY for agreement hospitals (public hospitals are also included)
  • In-hospital doctor and specialist fees are covered at 150% of the MBS fee (see below for explanation)
  • An excess of between $0 and $500 exists (going for a lower excess increases the price of this product
  • Out-of-hospital doctor and specialist fees is covered at 150% MBS fee
  • Out-of-hospital pharmacy is covered (capped at $500 per year)
  • Medical repatriation is capped at $20k per membership
  • Ambulance cover is included when medically necessary

What is the MBS fee?

Australian’s under medicare (similar to the UK’s NHS) have a basic safety-net of cover in case they need medical services. The government then sets the amount it is willing to pay doctors and specialists for set consultation and services. When the doctor charges the same amount as the MBS it is termed ‘bulk billing’ and the patient will not be out-of-pocket. The truth though is that the MBS has not kept up with doctors services and most doctors charge will above these MBS rates. This means that when you require their services you will need to pay the difference. For the ‘Workers Cover Plus’ the amount covered is up to 150% of the MBS fee which reduces the changes (and the amount) patients will be out-of-pocket if they require these services.

How Does Australian Unity Compare To Other 485 Visa Health Insurance Policies

Australian Unity 485 Visa Health Insurance meets DIBP requirements for other visas holders such as the 457 working visa. The policies offered through Australian Unity are priced towards the premium end of the market. A good indication of this is the Australian Unity basic 485 visa health insurance policy for singles which is priced at $143.

Their couples cover is twice the singles amount at $293 but has some features such as private hospital cover which should be considered in any policy.

The Australian Unity 485 Visa Health Insurance family policy is the same price as the couples cover unlike IMAN who charge more for Families.

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