Ready to move to Australia? Don’t miss this article on how to apply for Medicare, the health insurance system in Australia.
One of the first things you should take care of as soon as you land in Australia will be health insurance, which is called Medicare here.
This is free health insurance, which starts from the day you land in Australia and allows you to enjoy all the essential health treatments you may need during your stay.
What Medicare does and doesn’t cover
The agreement, or RHCA (Reciprocal Health Care Agreement) between Australia and some countries (see the complete list here) allows you to receive coverage for the costs related to some general medical services, including 85% of the fees for outpatient treatments and 75% of hospital fees.
If, for example, you need a visit to a community health centre – Medical centre – or to a private doctor, you will be reimbursed a percentage of the medical expenses, as mentioned above.
It is worth keeping in mind that Medicare does not include any pre-existing illness expenses during your stay, but only for illnesses and/or injuries incurred during your stay in Australia.
Also remember that in Australia the ambulance service, medication not subsidised by public health, dentist, medical services in private hospitals, and also ophthalmologists, therapists, physio’s, speech therapists, chiropractors and cosmetic surgeons are not included in the coverage offered by Medicare.
Read also: Moving to Australia
How to get Medicare
In order to get Medicare, you need to go to one of the many Medicare centres in Australia, with your passport, a valid visa, and your health card. You will be asked to fill in an application form to submit right away, and you will be issued a document with your temporary Medicare number, which you can use immediately until you get your own card delivered to your home address. In the final part of the form, you can also enter your bank details to get reimbursements for incurred medical expenses, which fall under Medicare coverage.
You can look for the nearest Medical Centre by checking this link.
You can download the Medicare application form by clicking here.
The Australian healthcare system is a mixed system, in part public and in part private. Having Medicare is a great advantage that will allow you to be protected and prevent unforeseen expenses, which can sometimes be very significant. Please note that the duration of validity of Medicare is different for each country: sometimes it has a specific duration, others have the same duration of the visa; it automatically expires when your visa or the validity date of your health card expires (so double check that it’s valid for your entire period of stay).
For more information visit the official sites:
Are you thinking of coming to Australia and want to get more information? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell your story.
The Australian Way Agency staff is always at your disposal!