27 November 2006

The Australian Baby Journey 1

This medical journey is a good comparison with Rose's in 2004 as - like the US - we are going to a new doctor and new hospital. At the end of each post I will give a cumulative comparative cost. (That's what you get from an Accountant)

In Australia everyone is covered under Medicare which is paid by a 1.5% tax on incomes. Those on low incomes have this reduced to zero and those on higher incomes will have an additional 1% surcharge if they don't have private hospital cover. Additional funds are provided from the general tax pool.
The Australian Medical system is a Private/Public hybrid. Medical services are private, contracted to the public system where required. Any eligible payments are made to the medical provider and a refund for the official amount is received from the Medicare offices. (Like private health insurance). The Medical provider can also opt to "Bulk Bill" which means providing the service at the standard fee with no additional charge.

The US system (for the bulk of the citizens) is based on a private health system. The facilities provided - that we experienced - matched what we receive here.

In the US, health insurance for a family of 8 was around $1,400 US ($1,867 AUD) per month. I treated Health Insurance as a Tax when I compared Australian and US tax systems. It worked out around even.

No comments: