Medicare is a national scheme that provides free or subsidised healthcare for Australians. This includes visits to doctors, specialists, optometrists and in some cases other health professionals such as dentists.
Medicare provides free treatment and accommodation for public patients in public hospitals and may also cover part of the fees for private patients in public or private hospitals.
You are eligible for Medicare if you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen living in Australia, are a permanent resident, have applied for a permanent visa that is not a parent visa, have permission to work in Australia, or can prove your relationship to an Australian citizen or are covered by a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with another country.
How to access
Medicare rebates vary depending on the type of healthcare received. Contact Medicare if you would like more information about cost.
- Some clinics offer electronic claiming either through the clinic’s EFTPOS terminal using your EFTPOS card, or through a secure internet connection. Your Medicare benefit will usually be paid into your nominated bank account by the next working day.
- If the clinic does not offer electronic claiming, you can claim your Medicare rebate by post, phone, online, by visiting a Medicare branch or by using the Express Plus Medicare app.
- If you see a doctor often, or have tests regularly, your medical costs could be high. Visiting a doctor or having tests may cost you less once you reach the Medicare Safety Net threshold.
- Individuals don’t need to register for the Medicare Safety Net, but couples and families do.
- If you are overseas, Medicare may cover some medical treatments.