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Medicare and Temporary Visa Holders

Author: Alan Collett
Date: Monday, August 26, 2002
We are often asked about eligibility for enrolment in the Medicare system, particularly by those moving to Australia on 410 Retirement Visas and other temporary visas. In no small part is this because of the lack of information on the website of the Health Insurance Commission which administers Medicare.

So here is the situation as we understand it, which in turn is as advised by the HIC:

410 Retirement Visa Holders
The holder of a 410 visa who was a resident of a country with which Australia has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement and who obtained or applied for a 410 visa before 01/12/1998 has the option of either participating in the Medicare system or opting out and obtaining an exemption from payment of the Medicare Levy.

RHCA countries are:
- The UK
- The Republic of Ireland
- Sweden
- Finland
- Holland
- Italy
- Malta
- New Zealand

Post 01/12/1998 410 visa holders cannot apply to enrol in the Medicare system, but can apply for an exemption from paying the Medicare levy on their income using the pdf form below.

Other Temporary Visa Holders
If the temporary visa holder is from a country with which Australia has a RHCA he/she is eligible for enrolment in the Medicare program - and therefore cannot apply for an exemption from paying the Medicare Levy on his/her assessable income.

Prospective Marriage and Spouse Visa Holders
While an individual is in Australia on a Prospective Marriage visa he/she cannot access Medicare benefits unless he/she is from a country with which Australia has a RHCA.

However, once the individual has been granted a Provisional Spouse visa he/she can enrol in the Medicare program.

Where an individual is not eligible for Medicare and intends to remain in Australia for a prolonged period it is strongly recommended that he/she obtains Overseas Visitors Health Cover from one of the Australian Health Funds that provides this type of cover (not all do). And of course 410-visa holders are required to maintain comprehensive private health insurance as a condition of their visa.

Details of Australian health funds are available by clicking here, and we can confirm that we can arrange health cover with an Australian insurer that provides Overseas Visitors Cover (as well as the more comprehensive private health cover that is available to Australian citizens and permanent residents) - if you would like an indication of premiums please contact us.

Weblink:  http://www.hic.gov.au/CA256976001D0618/Lookup/PDF_FORMS_CONS/$file/cfrm_med_levyexempt.pdf

 PDF Document  Download 'Medicare Levy Exemption Application Form' .pdf document


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