Enrol for Medicare

The public health system in Australia is covered by a Government body called Medicare. If you have been granted a Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417), then you may be eligible for Medicare cover during your time in Australia.

Citizens of the UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Republic of Ireland* and NZ* are covered for the duration of your approved time in Australia. Citizens of Malta and Italy are covered by Medicare for a period of 6 months from the date of arrival in Australia.

What’s covered?

Medicare covers treatment that is deemed ‘medically necessary’. This means any ill-health or injury which occurs while you are in Australia and requires treatment before you return home. This includes:

  • Free treatment as a public in-patient or outpatient in a public hospital
  • Subsidised medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
  • Medicare benefits for out-of-hospital medical treatment provided by doctors through private surgeries and ‘bulk bill’ community health centres.

* Resident of the Republic of Ireland and NZ are not entitled to Medicare benefits for non-hospital medical care and will not be issued with a Medicare card. To access these benefits you should show your passport at hospitals or pharmacies.

All other nationalities must pay for treatment and claim from their personal travel insurance policy, if covered.

What’s not covered?

Many treatments are not covered, including that not considered immediately necessary:

  • Medicines not subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
  • Dental work and allied health services
  • Treatment arranged before your visit to Australia
  • Accommodation and medical treatment in a private hospital
  • Accommodation and medical treatment as a private patient in a public hospital.

Enrol for Medicare: 

  • Check your Medicare entitlements on the Medicare website
  • Download a Medicare Enrolment Form. (Irish and NZ travellers do not need to enrol).
  • Take your completed form, passport, your visa and one other form of ID to your nearest Medicare office
  • If your application is approved, you will be sent a Medicare Card in the mail. (If you do not have a permanent mailing address, set up a TCP Mail Holding Service).