What are Australia’s statutory health benefits, and what do they cover?
Australia has nationalized healthcare through Medicare, and insurance should be purchased through government-approved providers. Medical benefits are fairly comprehensive and include outpatient services, inpatient services, and prescription drugs.
Healthcare is paid for by general taxation revenue. Please see this resource for further information on the Australian healthcare system.
What health benefits do most employers offer?
It is not common to provide additional medical insurance in Australia as the national program is robust. About 25% of employers do provide supplemental medical insurance.
Foreign employees, however, are required to take out health insurance for themselves and any accompanying family members as they do not have access to the public health system or Medicare. Nationals of certain countries that have a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with Australia are exempt from the need for a private plan because they are eligible to receive subsidized healthcare/treatment/Medicare.
Additional common offerings include employee assistance program (EAP) services, and the EAP provider occasionally offers health and well-being services. It is also highly recommended that employers provide travel insurance for all employees who travel internationally.
How does an employee’s salary or level of seniority affect what benefits employers offer them?
Seniority and salary level do not affect the benefits offered in Australia.
What should we do if our company wants to offer supplemental medical benefits?
If you choose to provide supplemental medical benefits to a local national or expat, we recommend facilitating this through a medical allowance. Supplemental medical care will often provide coverage for certain gaps in the national system, such as benefits around hospitalization, ambulance services, dental, vision, physical therapy, etc.
Monthly allowances for expats and local nationals in Australia are fairly common. Amounts can be between AU$300–500 per month, but individual premiums can vary greatly depending on which plan is chosen.