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:

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:

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:

Medicare Australia Contact Details

For more information on Medicare visit:

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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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 🙂

    • 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:
      Here is all the information he will need for Medicare enrollment for New Zealand Citizens:
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.

      • Rob

        February 21, 2019 at 2:50 am

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

  3. 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.

    • 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.

  4. 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


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