Are you covered by a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement?
Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCAs) entitle citizens from specific countries to receive some subsidised health services for essential medical treatment while visiting Australia.
The Australian Government has signed RHCAs with the following countries:
Republic of Ireland
If you’re travelling from one of the above countries, you’ll need to enrol in Medicare before you can receive any subsidised health services. Refer to the Department of Human Services website to see whether you’re eligible for Medicare, and if so, how to enrol.
RHCAs are not designed to replace private health insurance. For example, they do not cover things like treatments in private hospitals, ambulance services, or extras services such as dental, physio and optical. You can find a full list of exclusions on the Australian Government website.
Illness and accidents can happen at any time, and medical costs in Australia can be very high. Getting health insurance can help to protect you against some of these costs.
It’s also important to note that even if you’re covered by an RHCA, you may still need to maintain health insurance to satisfy your visa requirements.
Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS)
The MLS is an additional tax that may affect you if you're:
in Australia on a working visa
single and earning over $90,000 a year (or a couple or family earning over $180,000 a year)
considered a resident in Australia for tax purposes
successfully enrolled in Medicare (for any level of benefits, including reciprocal and interim)
You might be able to avoid paying this extra tax by buying an appropriate level of resident’s hospital cover (not OVC). Call us on 13 29 39 to find out whether this extra tax might apply to you, and if so, whether you can save money by buying private hospital insurance.