Medicare and the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement - Am I covered?
What is the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA)?
The RCHA is individual agreements between Australia and certain countries where visitors can get publicly funded medically necessary care.
What countries are covered in Australia?
Australia has agreements with Belgium, Finland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden, the United Kingdom.
What is covered under the RHCA?
The coverage for each country differs between agreements. For further information regarding eligibility and coverage please refer to the Department of Human Services.
Do I need additional health insurance in Australia if I qualify under RHCA?
It is important to be familiar with what you are exactly covered for under the RHCA and for you to make the personal decision as to whether this meets your needs, or if you also want to have additional private health insurance and/or travel insurance. It is important to understand what is covered, before you need to utilise it, rather than finding out the care you require is not covered which could leave you with expensive medical bills.
Some examples of services not covered under RHCA, which can be covered by Overseas Visitor Health Insurance include:
Ambulance transport (varies by state and territory)
Treatment and accommodation in hospital
If working in Australia and paying taxes, you should also be aware of any tax implications regarding holding private health insurance as well as being eligible for RHCA, regardless of if you enrol. This will be dependent on your personal circumstances and earnings. You should seek tax advice regarding this.
It is also important to be aware of the conditions of your visa and that you hold the required health insurance to meet the conditions.
Where can I find more information?
For further information regarding the RHCA, refer to the Department of Human Services.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein is of a general nature only and does not constitute immigration advice. For more detailed and case specific information or advice, please contact SCA Connect.