Should we get travel insurance?
A one year policy would cost somewhere in the vicinity of $1,500. Considering that we would be covered by the NHS for medical care, we wonder if it would be worth it to pay for the travel insurance policy. But what about cancellation of airfares if something were to happen before we left… or what about if we went to Paris for a weekend… or hired a car. The first few weeks we’d probably have a hire car and pay for some accommodation. Maybe it would be worth buying a policy for a shorter duration to at least cover us for the bookings we would make before leaving home and the car hire insurance excess. We could get a policy covering 2 months for about $500. I’ll have to find out about what would happen if we travelled from the UK to other countries in Europe. I wonder if British residents get travel insurance for these trips?
Are we eligible for the NHS?
From what we have learnt it appears we would be eligible for medical care under the NHS in the UK. It would involve registering with a local GP to be “on their list”. To do this you need to have a UK address and this isn’t always an easy thing for someone from Australia or New Zealand planning to live on a narrowboat. We are hoping to use a friend’s address to receive mail from the NHS and register with a local GP. I have discussed this with Derek and Dot previously of Gypsy Rover and recall Dot needing to attend an interview and obtain some sort of ID number. I’ll post an update when I check with them about this.
Australia has a bilateral health care agreement with the UK so Australian residents would be granted health care at the accident and emergency department of a hospital. I have been in this situation several years ago when I developed a corneal ulcer in my eye while I was on holiday. I asked at an optician’s clinic what I should do and they told me to go the Eye and Ear Hospital. It was a long wait (more than 4hrs) but they were very helpful, gave me necessary eye drops and asked for nothing more than seeing my passport and airline tickets.
More info here : Free NHS
What do I do about my health insurance in Australia?
I was wondering how being overseas, and cancelling your health cover, would affect the lifetime health cover loading. You can cancel your cover to go overseas without affecting the loading as long as you are gone over 12 months. For shorter periods you could apply to your insurer to have your cover suspended rather than cancelled.
More info here : Lifetime Health Cover
For up to date information for Australians travelling to the UK, including information about medical care :