Bridging Visa Holders and Medicare in Australia

In an earlier post we discussed whether Medicare in Australia is available if you have applied for an onshore visa such as an Aged Parent subclass 804 visa.

We have communicated with the Department of Human Services, and the position has been confirmed as follows:

  • When a person has an application for a Parent visa (subclass 804) with Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) s/he is only eligible to enrol in Medicare if s/he was residing in a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) country immediately before arriving in Australia.
  • The Australian Government has signed Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) with the Governments of Belgium, Finland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
  • These Agreements provide eligible visitors to Australia with access to limited subsidised health services for medically necessary treatment.
  • The following services are generally covered under each RHCA:
    • Medicare benefits for medically necessary out-of-hospital treatment (except for New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland)
    • Medically necessary treatment as a public patient in a public hospital including pregnancy related services. Person seeking treatment must provide individual hospitals with a valid RHCA Medicare card or visitors from the Republic of Ireland or New Zealand must provide their passport or documents to confirm residency with that country
    • Medicines available on prescription which are subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
  • The period of entitlement varies depending on the Agreement with the individual country. More information about these Agreements can be found at the Department of Human Services website (click on Visitors to Australia).
  • Students from Norway, Finland, Malta and the Republic of Ireland aren’t covered by Agreements with those countries.

Medically necessary treatment relates to a medical condition that needs immediate attention, and pertains to any ill health or injury which occurs while an individual is in Australia.

The Australian Government only has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with the countries listed above. If you are applying for an Aged Parent visa and are not covered by a RHCA you should consider taking out suitable private health insurance: complete the enquiry form to the right of this page (click on Other, and type Private Health Insurance details for visitors to Australia please in the box) to receive contact details for private health funds we know of that provide private health cover for visitors to Australia.