Just as you would in a car accident, in a medical emergency make sure you and anyone you’re with are safe, call 000 for an ambulance or go to a hospital emergency department, and call your insurer (that’s us) as soon as you can. We can step you through your options and help you avoid extra costs.
If it's not an emergency
If you’re sick but it's not immediately life threatening, you might need to see a local doctor - a General Practitioner, or GP. Overseas members can find a General Practitioner in our network to help keep costs to a minimum (Australian residents are covered for GP services by Medicare).
At the hospital
Have your healthcare cards handy
At the hospital, a nurse or admin staff member may ask for your nib card, and if you’re an Australian resident, your Medicare card. Even if you aren’t admitted or don’t use your health insurance, you’ll probably still need to show your card.
Am I a public or private patient?
Australian residents with private health insurance can choose to be treated as a public or private patient. If you need immediate treatment, you may be treated as a public patient so the emergency team can take care of you right away. If you’re not critically injured and have time to make some decisions, you can review your options as a private patient.
Overseas members will always be treated as a private patient.
Seeing a specialist and further treatment
Depending on your condition, you may be given a referral to see a specialist for further examination and treatment. If you use your health insurance, you'll have more options in choosing who you see. You can research an experienced specialist with good recommendations, or find one closer to you.
Search for a specialist in our healthcare network to get the best value from your policy, and if you’re an Australian resident, you can log in to use our going to hospital tool to check if you’re covered and see the potential cost of your treatment.
It’s important to ask your specialist about the costs involved with your treatment and any out of pocket expenses you may be charged, above what your health insurance can cover. For example, will any of following people will be involved in your procedure and what will their fees be?
You can also ask about your treatment before, during and after surgery, if required. Take a look at the list of questions to ask on our Choosing a specialist page.
We always recommend talking to us about your options before seeking treatment. We’ll help you get the most from your cover and minimise out of pocket costs.