Medicare is Australia’s main healthcare government-funded scheme. New Zealand citizens can enrol in Medicare immediately (recommended a week after you arrive) if they provide proof that they’ll be living in Australia for the next 6 months (see below). You can enrol any time in the 6 months after you first arrive in Australia.
Until you enrol, you can get healthcare under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement. This covers essential treatment in a public hospital. You can’t enrol or get a Medicare card until you prove you live in Australia.
New Zealanders who are 66 and 6 months or older and live in Australia should be eligible for an Australian age pension. As long as they meet the resident, income, and asset eligibility criteria.
Under Australia’s international social security agreement with New Zealand, NZ citizens living in Australia can apply for the Australian Age Pension (if over the age of 66 and 6 months), Disability Support Pension (DSP) (if they are severely disabled), and Carer Payment (if they are caring for a partner on DSP), irrespective of whether they are protected or non-protected SCV holders.
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.
The cost of having a baby will vary depending on whether you give birth in the public or private system. In Australia, pregnancy care in a public hospital or birth centre is free because it is covered by Medicare, which covers New Zealanders on an SCV, Australian citizens, and some visitors to Australia. And we can receive some Government payments.
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.
As an NZ Citizen, you are eligible for Medicare Australia. However, you do need to either be living in Australia for 6 months or provide proof that you’ll be living here for the next 6 months.