Who can get one

You can get a Medicare Entitlement Statement (MES) if you weren’t eligible for Medicare for all or part of a financial year.

Before you apply, check that you weren’t eligible for Medicare. Even if you don’t have a Medicare card, you may still have been eligible. Read more about enrolling in Medicare.

If you were eligible for Medicare for the whole financial year, you can’t get a MES.

You may get a MES if you were any of the following:

  • an Australian permanent resident and lived outside Australia for 12 months or more
  • a temporary visa holder and hadn’t applied for permanent residence
  • a temporary visa holder, and you weren’t eligible for Medicare under a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement
  • a New Zealand citizen who spent less than 6 months in Australia within a 12 month period
  • an Australian citizen living overseas for 5 years or more.

If your spouse is not eligible for Medicare, they will also need to apply for a MES. You’ll both need to have one before you can start your tax return.

Page last updated: 5 June 2023.
QC 51620