Medicare services for rural and remote Australians
We can help you get health care if you live in a rural or remote area.
Seeing a doctor
Keep in mind, we don’t cover the cost of travel to medical appointments.
Video medical appointments
If you live a long way from a major city, you may be able to see a doctor by video instead. You can also use the find a health service tool to check if they do telehealth video appointments. We can help pay for video appointments with some GPs and specialists.
Video appointments can happen at:
- your GP
- an Aboriginal Medical Service
- a residential aged care home
- your home if the specialist agrees.
You can ask for a GP or health worker to be in the room with you during the video call.
Cost of appointments
Ask your doctor how much the appointment is likely to cost.
If your doctor bulk bills, you won’t need to pay anything. If they don’t, you’ll have to pay for the appointment. You’ll often be able to claim some of this money back from us.
Read more about Medicare claims.
Accessing Medicare in your location
You can access Medicare online. You can also visit mobile service centres, agents and access points.
Use your Medicare online account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, wherever you are.
- update contact details
- update bank account details
- order a replacement or duplicate Medicare card
- make a claim for a Medicare benefit
- manage your online letters preference.
If you don’t have an online account, you’ll need to set up a Medicare online account.
When you have your Medicare online account, you can use our Express Plus Medicare mobile app. The app makes it easier to manage your Medicare and claim online.
Mobile service centres
Our mobile service centres travel to rural and remote areas. They can help you with:
- Medicare claims
- enrolling in Medicare
- using Medicare online
- using the Express Plus Medicare app
- checking your identity documents, for example, certifying a copy of your birth certificate.
Check our schedule to find out when we’ll be visiting your town.
Agents and access points
We have agents and access points to help you in rural and remote areas across Australia.
Our agents and access points can talk to you in person and help you with our Medicare self service options. Read more about agents and access points.
There may be times when you need to see us in person. For example, you may need to bring documents to show us or you might not have access to the internet. Use our find us tool to find your nearest service centre.
Finding other health services
You can read about rural health services are available in different states and territories on the healthdirect website. It has helpful information on:
- attending hospital and health services in the city
- accessing mental health services
- supporting farmer health
- travelling to health services
- getting emergency assistance.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service provides the following services in rural and remote areas:
- 24 hour emergency medical flights
- GP and nurse clinics
- telehealth services
- dental care
- patient transfers.
Find out more about what they do on The Royal Flying Doctor website.
Page last updated: 21 February 2020
This information was printed 11 August 2020 from https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/whos-covered-medicare/medicare-services-rural-and-remote-australians. It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/site-notices when using this material.