There is a great deal of confusing and conflicting information when it comes to your options for your private health insurance and Medicare cover as an Australian expat living abroad.
Firstly, it’s important that you don’t simply ignore Medicare or your private health insurance in Australia just because you’ve moved abroad. The first key consideration is to determine whether you are a Resident or Non-Resident for tax purposes in Australia.
If you’re an Australian resident for tax purposes then:
- You will continue to be liable for the Medicare Levy on your taxable income
- Medicare provides Australians with access to healthcare from the taxpayers who pay 2% of their Australian taxable income.
- You’ll also be liable for the Medicare Levy Surcharge if your income exceeds a threshold and if you don’t have an appropriate level of private health cover in place. You can find out more about the surcharge here – https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/medicare-levy/medicare-levy-surcharge/
If you’re NOT an Australian resident for tax purposes then:
- You will not be liable for the Medicare Levy or the Medicare Levy Surcharge
The information with regard to whether you will continue to be covered by Medicare while you’re abroad is far from crystal clear. The HIC has outlined that Australians living abroad will continue to be covered by Medicare for a period of 5 years, beyond which the Medicare Card will expire and you would need to rely on your International Health Insurance.
If you plan to rely on Medicare for your health cover, then we’d suggest speaking with a professional adviser and consulting Medicare where necessary.
We hope you found this article with regard to Medicare for Australian expats helpful.
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Jarrad Brown is the trusted fee-based financial adviser for Australian expatriates living in Singapore and throughout Asia-Pacific.
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