Everyone asks: will Medicare cover a cruise ship doctor visit or do you need travel insurance?
Michael Gebicki, The Tripologist from SMH Travel penned the following article we thought worth sharing. It outlines how to determine if you can use Medicare or need travel insurance.
If I take a cruise along Australia’s coastline and need to see the ship’s doctor, are my medical expenses covered by Medicare?
Probably not. Chances are you might see a doctor who is not registered to practice in Australia and who does not have a provider number, and therefore any medical expenses you incur would be your responsibility.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smart Traveller website advises “Medicare benefits are only payable to cruise passengers if you are travelling between two Australian ports, with no intermediate stops outside Australia, and services are provided by a Medicare-eligible doctor.”
Even when a vessel is sailing from one Australian port to another, there is no requirement that any doctor employed aboard be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
You can contact your cruise line to find out whether your cruise vessel will have a Medicare-eligible doctor, and get it in writing.
If not, this is yet another good reason to get travel insurance.
By Michael Gebicki (April 2014)
Travel Insurance for Peace of Mind
In a worst-case scenario, a medical emergency that cannot be treated on board might require a medical evacuation at sea, and the cost could be skywards of $100,000.
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