Can I get Medicare?

What is Medicare?

Medicare provides eligible Australian residents with affordable, high quality health care, free treatment as a public patient in a public hospital and subsidised treatment by medical practitioners, including general practitioners. Medicare can also give you valuable access to subsidised medicines.

Who can get Medicare?

​The Department of Human Services (DHS) decides whether or not a visa applicant or visa holder is eligible for Medicare benefits.

The following people might be eligible for Medicare benefits if they are living in Australia:

  • a permanent resident
  • the holder of a resident return visa
  • an applicant for a permanent visa who has the right to work in Australia
  • an applicant for a permanent visa who is sponsored by a family member
  • the holder of certain temporary visas
  • a temporary visa holder who lives in a country that has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia. Some agreements require clients to be a resident and a citizen of the relevant country.

You can find more information about eligibility for Medicare on the Department of Human Services (DHS) website.

What documents will Medicare want to see?

The first thing to do is to view the Department of Human Services website and read the most up-to-date information on Medicare eligibility. Medicare can ask for a wide range of documents, including the following:

  • your birth certificate and the birth certificates for all accompanying family members
  • your passport and the passports of all accompanying family members
  • a copy of your ‘Acknowledgement of application received’ for a permanent residence application, including the names of all applicants included in your visa application
  • a copy of your visa grant notification, including the visa grant letters received by your accompanying family members
  • your bridging visa grant notification
  • evidence of your relationship with your sponsoring spouse, parent, child etc
  • evidence of an appeal to AAT if your visa application was refused
Australia has one of the very best healthcare systems in the world. If you are eligible for Medicare benefits, it is a good idea to visit you nearest Medicare Office as soon as possible. Don’t miss out!