Help with Medicare insurance -How does Medicare work and what does it cover?

Once you decide to move to Australia, you need to think about how to get organized. There are things you can do when you’re still in Italy, especially if you can start with the Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417), while others need to be done once you land in Australia.

How does Medicare work and what does it cover?

One of the main things is certainly Medicare, which is the health care system in force in Australia.

Below we explain how Medicare works and what it covers:

Italy and Australia have a Mutual Health Care Agreement, which means that we Italians have insurance coverage for health treatments deemed necessary (eg illnesses, injuries, etc.). Medicare is valid 6 months from entering Australia and, if you are in Working Holiday Visa, you must leave and re-enter the country after 6 months from entry to be entitled to another 6 months of coverage.

Medicare covers several services such as:

– visits to doctors (called General Pratictioner – it is at the discretion of the patient to choose their own doctor) and specialists (the GP is required),

– analysis and examinations necessary for doctors to treat diseases, including x-rays and pathological analyzes,

– eye examinations by an optometrist,

– most surgical procedures and other therapeutic procedures performed by doctors,

– some surgical procedures performed by qualified dentists, (just in case of life or death though).

It is essential to stress that Medicare usually covers 85% of the official rate for services received on an outpatient basis.

If unfortunately, you have to be hospitalized and decide to go to a public hospital, you will receive medical care from doctors and specialists chosen by the hospital. You will not have to pay for the care, treatment, and after-care by the doctor who treated you.

If you cannot leave the country to renew your Medicare, we strongly recommend that you have private insurance that covers you for the rest of your stay in Australia. For questions related to Medicare, you can always contact us at

But … how do we sign up for Medicare?

It is possible to do so at all Australian Medicare offices and it is necessary to have with them:

1. Passport;

2. A document that identifies belonging to the Italian national health system issued by its ASL;

3. The completed form available at the Medicare offices;

4. A printed copy of the visa.

Remember that when filling in the form, you will necessarily have to enter an Australian residence address – In case you are in a hostel and do not want to leave that, you can use our contacts and pick it up at our office.

The employee who will take over your case will give you a receipt that you can use until you receive your green card.

What Medicare does not cover

What Medicare does not cover

1. Medicines not included in the “Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme”;

2. Dental, dental and related treatments;

3. Treatment started before arrival in Australia;

4. Accommodation and medical treatment received in Private Hospitals;

5. Accommodation and medical treatment of patients considered private within Public Hospitals.

You may also like...