Medicare Australia Entitlements

Medicare Australia

Medicare is a publicly funded universal health care scheme in Australia. Operated by the government authority Medicare Australia, Medicare is the primary funder of health care in Australia, funding primary health care for Australian citizens and permanent residents (except for those on Norfolk Island).

Residents are entitled to subsidised treatment from medical practitioners, eligible midwives, nurse practitioners and allied health professionals who have been issued a Medicare provider number, and can also obtain free treatment in public hospitals.

Medicare Australia Entitlements

  • Free treatment as a public hospital patient.
  • An 85% rebate on the schedule fee for treatments when you haven't been admitted to hospital (ie. A visit to the doctor).
  • Medicare Safety Net - If you pay over and above the Medicare rebate you may be eligible. To find out more visit Medicare Safety Net.
  • Health Care Cards are available from Centrelink for those requiring additional financial help. Permanent residents are usually subject to a 2 year waiting period before one will be provided.

Medicare Eligibility

Go to Medicare's eligibility criteria to find out how to enroll with Medicare.

You are eligible to enroll for Medicare if you are living in Australia and:

  • have been granted permanent resident status; or
  • have applied for certain permanent resident visas, and you:
  • hold a valid visa with permission to work in Australia; or
  • hold a valid visa and your parent, spouse or child is an Australian citizen; or
  • hold a valid visa and your parent, spouse or child is the holder of permanent resident status.

You might not be eligible for Medicare if you:

  • have a current parent visa application being considered; or
  • have a current application for a protection visa and have previously applied for a parent visa.

If you have a temporary prospective marriage visa (fiance-subclass 300), you are not eligible for Medicare until you have had an application for a permanent resident visa accepted by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs.

Costs of Healthcare through Medicare

Prescription Medicine

The PBS rebate is deducted before being sold on to you. After this most people should pay a maximum of $23.10 towards the cost of a medicine covered by PBS, concession card holder a maximum of $3.70.

Doctor Visits

If your doctor Bulk Bills (rather hard to find but more common for concession card holders), you should not have to pay anything for an appointment with your doctor.

If they do not bulk bill, you will need to pay the 'gap' between the Medicare rebate and the fee if the surgery will do the rebate on the spot, or the entire amount (most common). If you pay the entire amount you need to apply to Medicare for the rebate, in person or via the post.

The Medicare scheduled fee for a standard appointment is approximately $29.45 and the doctor's fee can be around $40. Your out of pocket expenses are what is taken into account if you register for the Medicare Safety Net.

How to apply for Medicare

Migrants and Applicants for Permanent Resident Status (including applicants for a permanent protection visa) You need to apply in person at a Medicare office. It is recommended you wait one week after your arrival in Australia before applying, to allow time for Medicare to receive your visa details from the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs. Please bring your passport or travel document with you.

Medicare Australia Contact Details

For more information on Medicare visit:

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