‘Once you’re out on the water; you’re on your own in terms of healthcare,’ says travel insurance expert.
A survey released last week revealed that more than eight in 10 cruisers think Medicare covers them on a domestic cruise – or anywhere, for that matter.
“It’s astounding to see how many Aussies are under the misconception that Medicare covers you while cruising domestically,” said Compare Travel Insurance director Natalie Ball.
“In fact, Medicare coverage is restricted to around 20km from Australian ports, which means that once you’re out on the water; you’re on your own in terms of healthcare."
According to Smartraveller research, nearly half go on cruise holidays without travel insurance. Many think being on a ship means they are safe, but infirmary bills can cost up to $5000 a day, and evacuation costs can be $10,000 to $20,000 in Australian waters and $50,000 overseas.
“Travel insurance is essential for a cruise holiday, whether you are overseas or in Australian waters,” said Ms Ball.
“While cruise ships do have doctors on call, this doesn’t undermine the need for travel insurance.
“In an emergency, the facilities onboard may not cut it, forcing you to evacuate to the nearest hospital. Without travel insurance, any medical fees and emergency transport expenses would be at your own cost.
“The data points to a common thread: Aussies are gravely misinformed when it comes to cruise cover.
“There is a widespread belief that cruise holidays are safer and less exposed to risk – this couldn’t be further from the truth. You are just as likely to fall ill, get injured or run into delays while cruising as you are when travelling overseas.”
Were you aware that Medicare stops once you’ve pulled out of port?
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