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.

16 Comments

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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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