Moving to Australia from New Zealand?

Get all information you need to make a successful and stress-free move across the ditch.

Do you need it, how much does it cost and where to compare policies…

If you are making plans to move to Australia, applying for health insurance is an important part of the process. Aside from that, it’s always a good idea to prepare for the unexpected.

In Australia, the public health system Medicare covers most Australian residents for health care. However, Medicare does not cover everything and you can choose to take out private health insurance to give yourself a wider range of healthcare options and more comprehensive coverage.

There are two types of health insurance: hospital & general treatment (ancillary or extras). You can buy them separately or most funds offer combined policies. There will be limitations on what and when you can claim with any policy you buy.

Most Australians with private health insurance currently receive a rebate from the Australian Government to help cover the cost of their premiums. You can find more information on this rebate below.

Medicare Australia

For information on Medicare, including how to apply, what you’re entitled to, costs of healthcare and more, please visit my Medicare Australia post.

Do you have health insurance in NZ?

For the same reasons you should get health insurance in Australia

Australian residents are proactively encouraged to take out Private Health Cover (Health Insurance) to complement Medicare services, including the 30% Health Insurance Rebate from the Australian Government.

How much does Health Insurance cost in Australia?

Health insurance costs approximately $2,000 per year depending on your circumstances (single, couple, family or single parent) and the level of coverage you select.

Compare Policies

To allow for simpler comparison of health insurance products all Australian health insurers are required by law to provide details of each of their products to the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman. PrivateHealth.gov.au contains details of every health insurance policy available in Australia, as well as its Private Health Information Statement.

This government website gives you facts that are not biased or trying to sell you anything! It gives you comprehensive, independent private health insurance information.

Search tips

  • All you need is who is covered, where you live, and the type of cover you want.
  • Selecting specific hospital services or general treatments will provide more tailored results but will take a bit longer.
  • It’s worth looking at the restricted insurers to see if you qualify for any of them. It could save you money.
  • Click or tap on the icon for more information.

Start comparing policies here.

Australian Government Private Health Insurance Rebate

Most Australians, and New Zealanders on an SCV, with private health insurance currently receive a rebate from the Australian Government to help cover the cost of their premiums. The private health insurance rebate is income tested. The table below details the different rebate amounts. The rebate applies to general treatment, hospital and ambulance policies. It does not apply to overseas visitors’ health cover. The rebate levels applicable from 1 April 2021* are:

Singles
Families
≤$90,000
≤$180,000
$90,001-105,000
$180,001-210,000
$105,001-140,000
$210,001-280,000
≥$140,001
≥$280,001
Rebate
Base TierTier 1Tier 2Tier 3
< age 6524.608%16.405%8.202%0%
Age 65-6928.710%20.507%12.303%0%
Age 70+32.812%24.608%16.405%0%

Single parents and couples (including de facto couples) are subject to family tiers. For families with children, the income thresholds are increased by $1,500 for each child after the first.

*The income thresholds are indexed and will remain the same until 30 June 2023.

How can you work out my rebate entitlement?

You can use the table above or the Private Health Insurance Rebate Calculator on the ATO website, or you can call the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on 132 861.

Claiming the Rebate

If you are eligible for the rebate, there are two ways you can claim it:

  • as a premium reduction through your private health insurer (you pay less upfront to your insurer). If you want to claim your rebate as a reduced premium, contact your insurer; or
  • as a tax offset when lodging your annual tax return. For more information about claiming your rebate as a tax offset, visit the Australian Taxation Office or call 132 861.

If you choose to receive your rebate through your insurer, you will be asked to nominate the income tier you expect to fall into. You can nominate your tier by contacting your insurer or by filling out the Medicare rebate claim form.

For further information about claiming the rebate please visit the ATO’s website: Private Health Insurance Rebate.

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Still, got unanswered questions?

If you’ve read the above content and the answer to your question isn’t there, please write a comment below and I’ll research the answer for you. Please note, if the answer to your question is in the content above, I will not reply. Sorry, I just get too many questions these days and I can’t keep up.

Can I help you find something else?

If you need advice on moving to Australia from New Zealand, I’ve created a helpful little questionnaire to point you in the right direction. It takes less than 30 seconds, so give it a go!

11 Comments

  1. Barbara Smith

    May 11, 2024 at 4:31 pm

    Is there any private health Insurance Company who operates in both Australia and in New Zealand and who would cover a New Zealander in Australia ?

    Reply
  2. Julie

    September 10, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    Hi JJ.
    As NZ citizens now permanently living in Aus, after we purchase Health Insurance are we entitled to the 30% Private Health Insurance rebate scheme?
    Cheers.

    Reply
  3. Jazz

    July 16, 2022 at 8:13 am

    Hi JJ
    Can a NZ permanent resident with serious health condition be able to access Medicare and/or private Healthcare in Australia? Also will they be entitled to the benefit payment as they are currently getting in NZ. Thanks.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      July 17, 2022 at 6:38 pm

      Hi Jazz,
      Thanks for your comment.
      However, I’m not an immigration specialist. I don’t know what NZ Permanent Residents are eligible for in Australia, because they don’t get the SCV. The visa New Zealand citizens move to Australia with (https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/australian-visa/).
      Good luck finding out what visa you are eligible for and what you’re entitled to.
      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.
      Thanks

      Reply
  4. Sarah

    May 25, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    If you are an NZ citizen with a health condition can you access Medicare as soon as you move to Australia? Thanks

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      May 30, 2021 at 11:23 pm

      Hi Sarah,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Yes NZ citizen’s on an SCV are able to access Medicare as soon as you arrive in Australia.
      You will need to apply in person in a Medicare Office. Please remember to take your passport.
      You get a Medicare card when you enrol in Medicare. They’ll usually tell you your Medicare number straight away and send your card in 3 to 4 weeks. They’ll send it to the address you give them. You can use a digital copy of your Medicare card as soon as you enrol.
      More info: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/medicare-australia/.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  5. Claire Williams

    March 9, 2021 at 4:53 am

    Can you transfer NZ Southern Cross medical insurance to Australia?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      March 14, 2021 at 10:03 pm

      Hi Claire,
      Thank you for your comment.
      As there is no Southern Cross in Australia, you can not transfer your cover over. They do offer to put your policy on hold, which could be beneficial while your settling in, just incase you change your mind and want to move home. Your policy can be suspended for up to 5 years (60 months) in total: https://www.southerncross.co.nz/society/for-members/managing-your-policy/going-overseas.
      You will need to find new private health insurance in Australia. Product review is Australia’s largest opinion site and here is the reviews for health insurance providers: https://www.productreview.com.au/c/health-insurance.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply

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