How to apply, what your entitled to, costs of healthcare and more…

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 Enrollment for NZ Citizens

Here is all the information you will need for Medicare enrollment for New Zealand Citizens: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/medicare-enrolment-new-zealand-citizens.

You will need to apply in person in a Medicare Office. Please remember to take your passport.

Medicare Enrollment Application form

You can fill out this form before you go into the Medicare Office to save time: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/3101-1306en.pdf.

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

As a NZ Citizen with a CSV you are eligable for Medicare in Australia. 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. Make sure you take your passport with you.

You can fill out the application form before you go in to save time. You can download it here: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/3101-1306en.pdf.

Medicare Australia Contact Details

For more information on Medicare visit: http://www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/.

Still got questions?

If there is anything else you would like to know about, please ask me a question using the below comment system and I will do my best to find the information you need.

24 Comments

  1. Shoibvan

    November 4, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    Hi there to get my Medicare card and other things am I able to use my Nz birth certificate? As the only identifications that I have is my passport and birth certificate.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      November 4, 2019 at 11:49 pm

      Hi Shoibvan,
      Thanks for your message.
      To apply for Medicare Australia card you need to satisfy to 100 Point Identification Check (https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/art/Documents/100-point-id-check.pdf)
      Primary documents: 70 points
      – Birth Certificate
      – Birth card issued by the NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages
      – Citizenship Certificate
      – Current Australia Passport
      – Expired Australian Passport which has not been cancelled and was current within the preceding two years
      – Current passport from another country or diplomatic documents
      Secondary documents –must have a photograph and a name. The first item from this list is worth 40 points. Any additional items used are worth only 25 points each:
      – Current driver photo licence issued by an Australia state of territory
      – Identification card issued to a public employee
      – Identification card issued by the Australian or any state government as evidence of a person’s entitlement to a financial benefit
      – Identification card issued to a student at a tertiary education institution
      Document – must have name and address: 35 points
      – Document held by a cash dealer giving security over property
      – A mortgage or other instrument of security held by a financial body
      – Council rates notice
      – Document from current employer or previous employer within the last two years
      – Land Titles Office record
      – Document form the Credit Reference Association of Australia
      Document – must have name: 25 points
      – Current credit card of account card from a bank, building society or credit union
      – Current telephone, water, gas or electricity bill
      – Foreign driver’s licence
      – Medicare card
      – Electoral roll compiled by the Australian electoral Commission
      – Lease / rent agreement
      – Current rent receipt from a licensed real estate agent
      – Records of a primary, secondary or tertiary education institution attended by the applicant within the last 10 years
      – Records of a professional or trade association of which the applicant is a member
      According to the above you can use your passport, birth certificate and utility bill.
      If you are still unsure you can contact Medicare: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/contact-us.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  2. Gina Barrell

    October 23, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    Hi there
    Firstly, thank you for your website…it’s sooo helpful.
    My son and I are moving to GC in January.
    Just an enquiry about Medicare…does that cover dentists do you know?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      October 23, 2019 at 10:39 pm

      Hi Gina,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Children in New Zealand who meet the eligibility criteria for publicly funded health and disability services are entitled to free basic oral health services from birth to 17 years of age (until their 18th birthday).
      You have to pay privately for the majority of adult dental services. A limited range of dental services are funded for some adults:
      – People with disabilities or medical conditions such as mouth cancer may be referred to a hospital for their dental treatment by their usual dental practitioner or GP.
      – People on low incomes who have a Community Services Card may be able to get emergency dental care, such as pain relief or extractions.
      Here is a good article to read: https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/services-and-support/health-care-services/visiting-dentist/publicly-funded-dental-care.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  3. Karu

    October 1, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    You are r dong an excellent service. The advice to open an account with a exchange company to transfer money helped me a lot to save a substantial amount of money.
    Now we are on the next step of the process.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      October 9, 2019 at 12:11 am

      Hi Karu,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I’m so glad to hear you took the advice and saved your hard earned cash!
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.

      Reply
  4. Fawzan

    September 10, 2019 at 6:33 am

    Hi,
    I’m a Kiwi looking to move to Melbourne and wife is in Melbourne on student Visa (Sri Lankan). We want to have a baby soon. I am wondering if she will be eligible when she gets pregnant as I’m Kiwi.

    Cheers!

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      September 11, 2019 at 12:31 am

      Hi Fawzan,
      Thanks for your comment, but unfortunately I am not an immigration specialist and can’t help.
      You can find an immigration specialist on the Australian Government website, Migration Agents Registration Authority (https://www.mara.gov.au/). Search Auckland for advisers specialising in Australia.
      However, you may be able to find the answer on the Australian Government – Department of Immigration and Citizenship website (http://www.immi.gov.au).
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Sorry I could not be of more help.

      Reply
  5. Catrina Rooseboom deVries

    July 26, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    Hi i am moving to brisbane from nz and i wanted to know, do i need a medicare card before i get a job? I hope to set a job up for me before i leave. I am a qualified healthcare assistant. Is there anything else i may need before i get a job also?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      August 12, 2019 at 1:15 am

      Hi Catrina,
      Thank you for your comment. Sorry for the delay in replying.
      You don’t need a Medicare card before you start work. You will need to apply in person at a Medicare office in Australia. 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. Make sure you take your passport with you.
      You should apply for a tax file number as soon as you arrive in Australia. You are not able to apply from New Zealand. You can apply online here: https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/tax-file-number/apply-for-a-tfn/foreign-passport-holders,-permanent-migrants-and-temporary-visitors—tfn-application/.
      You can apply for a tax file number online if you meet these three conditions:
      – You are a foreign passport holder, permanent migrant or temporary visitor.
      – You are already in Australia.
      – Your visa is one of the following:
      – a permanent migrant visa
      – a visa with work rights
      – an overseas student visa
      – a visa allowing you to stay in Australian indefinitely (including New Zealanders automatically granted a visa on arrival).
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  6. Chris

    June 26, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    Hi there we are looking to move to Queensland from Christchurch. My wife is under the care of the neurosurgery department at our local hospital. She has a large high grade spetzler martin avm in her brain and requires multiple procedures on her brain over a period of years, she is otherwise healthy can work but is unable to drive. I’m wondering if she would qualify for Medicare and be able to have these procedures in Australia. Thank you for any help you can offer. Thanks, Chris

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      June 26, 2019 at 10:59 pm

      Hi Chris,
      Thank you for your email.
      I have read all info regarding eligibility for applying for a Medicare card and it doesn’t state anywhere about existing conditions getting taken into consideration. So you will be able to apply when you arrive in Australia.
      I can’t find any information regarding treatment of high grade spetzler martin avm in Australia.
      I recommend you talk to the neurosurgery department at your local hospital and see what they think.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  7. Cara

    May 7, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    Hi there
    My family and I are moving to Cairns in the next few months. I am currently looking into a few things and wonder if you could help me, or point me in the right direction.
    We have a baby girl who is currently 8 weeks old, and I’m wondering if there is any equivalent of Plunket in Australia? Or, if not, who I would talk to about what vaccinations she would need in Australia, and who to go to for questions about raising children and tracking her development.
    I have read the information about Medicare on your website, so that’s good at least.
    Thanks
    Cara

    Reply
  8. Rob

    February 21, 2019 at 12:51 am

    Hi there,
    first off thank you for such an awesome site!.My 23yr old son is moving to Brisbane early March and I just want to know how he can get his monthly prescriptions tranferred to Australia?
    Will he need to find a Doctor in his area in Oz first?,also transfer of medical records.
    Can you advise me on what he has to do please,
    Kind regards
    Rob 🙂

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      February 21, 2019 at 12:54 am

      Hi Rob,
      Thank you for your email.
      Your son will need to request a copy of his medical records from his doctor and give them to his new doctor in Australia. It should be quite a straight forward process and he shouldn’t hit any hurdles, as long as he has his records.
      However, before he visits his new doctor he should obtain a Medicare card. He will need to apply in person in a Medicare Office. He will need to take his passport. He can fill out this form before he goes into the Medicare Office to save time: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/3101-1306en.pdf.
      Here is all the information he will need for Medicare enrollment for New Zealand Citizens: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/medicare-enrolment-new-zealand-citizens.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.

      Reply
      • Rob

        February 21, 2019 at 2:50 am

        Thanks Johanna much appreciated. Keep up the great work and thanks for your time.
        Cheers

        Reply
  9. Sharon

    January 4, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    Hi. I have lived in Adelaide for 15 years moved back to NZ just over 2 years ago.still own property in Adelaide. My older daughter now has a head injury since returning to NZ. what medical help can she get when we return or is there a stand down period ? She cant work yet but is recovering slowly.
    Sharon

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      January 4, 2018 at 8:24 pm

      Hi Sharon,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      This is not really me field and I recommend you contact Medicare direct. However, as you have only been in NZ for two years and I’m guessing are still Australian Citizens, you should get the same care as you would have before moving.
      I wish your daughter a speedy recovery.

      Reply
  10. Michelle

    June 29, 2017 at 3:08 am

    We are Kiwis moving to Brisbane Australia in November. Myself and my four teenagers. what is the appropriate and fastest way to apply for this?
    Many thanks
    Michelle

    Reply

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