Visiting from New Zealand

If you’re visiting Australia from New Zealand, you may be eligible for medical care under Medicare while you’re here.

You’re covered for medically necessary inpatient and outpatient care in a public hospital under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement. Outpatient care doesn’t include visits to a medical practitioner.

You don’t need to enrol in Medicare and won’t get a Medicare card.

Who can get

To be eligible for Medicare you must have been both:

  • a New Zealand citizen or resident of New Zealand before arriving in Australia
  • temporarily visiting Australia.

If you’re a student, you’re eligible for Medicare. You'll need to enrol in Medicare.

If you're a diplomat

You and your family are eligible for Medicare for the whole time you’re posted here as a diplomat. You don’t need to enrol in Medicare.

What’s covered

The agreement covers both:

  • medically necessary care as a public patient including public hospital inpatient and outpatient services
  • some Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescription medicines at the general rate under the PBS.

Your cover is for public inpatient and outpatient hospital care only. You won’t get a Medicare benefit for out of hospital services under the agreement.

If you’re a student

Your cover isn’t limited to inpatient and outpatient care. You’re entitled to full Medicare benefits.

If you’re a diplomat

You’ll get the same entitlements as a non-diplomatic New Zealand citizen. Your cover isn’t limited to inpatient and outpatient care, and you’re entitled to full Medicare benefits.

What documents you need to show

At a public hospital or pharmacy you need to ask staff to treat you under the reciprocal health care agreement.

You’ll also need to show your New Zealand passport proving you’re a New Zealand citizen or resident.

When your cover starts and ends

Your cover starts the day you arrive in Australia. It ends the day you leave Australia.

Page last updated: 10 May 2021