THIS ADVICE IS FOR AUSTRALIAN RESIDENTS ONLY
Norfolk Island – where cows have right of way and traffic lights don’t exist. It’s somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, between mainland Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, and on the map for a lot of cruisers, sailors and all kinds of thalassophiles (lovers of the sea).
As of 1 July, 2016, the Australian Government is extending the Medicare and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) to Norfolk Island (see the latest Factsheet at http://regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/reforms/domestic-travel.aspx
To cut a long story short, this change by the Australian Government means that, from 1 July 2016, Australians travelling to Norfolk Island and Norfolk Islanders travelling to mainland Australia will be covered under Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for medical treatment and prescription medication as if they were in Australia.
Travel Insurance Changes for Norfolk Island
- For travel completed before 1 July 2016 on a policy you’ve already purchased, this change does not affect you, and your cover remains unchanged.
- For any travel from 1 July 2016 on a policy you’ve already purchased, cover under Section 1 – Emergency Medical & Dental Expenses Overseas will not extend to claims made on Norfolk Island and (as is now) on mainland Australia. Furthermore, General Exclusion 1 (page 44) – which excludes medical expenses incurred in Australia and also where cover is considered “health insurance business” – may now apply whilst you’re on Norfolk Island where it didn’t apply before.
- Also from 1 July, if you suffer an injury or illness and need to be medically evacuated off Norfolk Island to the mainland, the Australian Government will cover the cost of a medical evacuation, but we will continue to co-ordinate your care under benefit Section 2 – Medical Evacuation & Repatriation. So, please contact our Emergency Assistance team for assistance.
- For any travel to Norfolk Island from 1 July 2016 on a policy purchased before 1 July 2016, the other sections of the policy remain the same.
- For travel from 1 July 2016 that includes a cruise, we can continue to offer cover for medical expenses whilst you’re on a cruise ship between mainland Australia and Norfolk Island, but we can’t provide medical cover once you hit terra firma.
In all cases where you need a medical evacuation, we still ask that you contact our Emergency Assistance team who can help co-ordinate your care.
After 1 July 2016, policies will not be available for purchase for direct travel between Australia and Norfolk Island. These will be considered domestic trips, and unfortunately we don’t cover domestic travel.