Visiting from the United Kingdom

If you’re visiting Australia from the United Kingdom you may be eligible for medical care under Medicare while you’re here.

Who can get it

To be eligible, you must have been living in the United Kingdom (UK) before arriving in Australia.

If you’re here on a student visa you’re eligible.

If you’re in Australia for a short time and don’t need medical care, there’s no need to enrol.

If you’re a diplomat

If you’re a diplomat, you and your family are eligible to enrol in Medicare while you’re posted here.

This means the cover under the agreement will apply for as long as you’re in Australia.

If you’re not eligible for Medicare

If you’re not eligible for Medicare, you can’t claim a benefit for treatment you have in Australia. If you need to lodge an income tax return in Australia, you may be eligible for a Medicare levy exemption. This applies if you weren’t eligible for Medicare for all or part of the financial year. You’ll need to get a Medicare Entitlement Statement from us to do this.

Read more about the Medicare levy exemption on the Australian Taxation Office website.

What’s covered

The agreement covers:

  • medically necessary care out of hospital
  • medically necessary care as a public patient in a public hospital including inpatient and outpatient services
  • some PBS prescription medicines at the general rate.

Read more about the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

How to enrol in Medicare

You’ll need to give us copies of your supporting documents. These documents don’t need to get certified. To enrol in Medicare you will need to download and complete the Medicare enrolment form. Follow the instructions on the form to enrol.

Documents you need to show us

You’ll need to show:

  • your current visa
  • your British passport or non-British passport
  • evidence you are a resident of the UK, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man.

You can prove you are a resident of UK, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man by showing us:

  • your UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)
  • your European Health Insurance Card with the initials UK
  • your National Health Insurance card if you’re from the Isle of Man
  • your Health Service card if you’re from Northern Ireland
  • a Health card from the Health and Social Services department of the States of Jersey
  • proof of insurance from the Guernsey States Insurance Authority
  • other proof that you’re a resident of Guernsey
  • 2 documents proving you live in the UK, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man.

This could include:

  • a work contract
  • a rental or lease agreement or bond receipt
  • a bank statement
  • evidence of child enrolled in childcare or school
  • property or contents insurance
  • gas, electricity, water or rates account.

Documents must have a date marked on them.

When your cover starts and ends

Your cover starts the day you arrive in Australia.

It ends when the first of these expires:

  • your British health insurance
  • your visa.

If you get medical treatment in Australia before you enrol in Medicare, you may get a Medicare benefit for it.

Once you enrol, submit a claim. We’ll then be able to tell you if you can get a benefit under the agreement or not.

Page last updated: 2 April 2024.
QC 38186