Medicare is the Federal Government’s public health care system. Who is covered by Medicare?
Everyone who lives in Australia—excluding Norfolk Island residents—is eligible for a Medicare card if they:
- hold Australian citizenship
- hold New Zealand citizenship (documentation required).
- have been issued with a permanent visa
- have applied for a permanent visa (excludes an application for a parent visa), have permission to work in Australia or can prove relationship to an Australian Citizen — other requirements may also apply.
Visitors to Australia from a country that has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia are also eligible for medically necessary treatment.
People who are eligible for Medicare have access to the public hospital system and doctor services.What types of things does Medicare cover?
Medicare covers you for treatment in a public hospital as a public patient. It also helps cover costs associated with doctor and specialist consultations and examinations. What doesn’t Medicare cover?
Medicare does not cover you for any private patient hospital costs, ambulance or any extras such as dental, physio and optical.How is Medicare paid for?
Medicare is partly funded by Australian taxpayers through the Medicare Levy. This levy is 2% of your taxable income.
There is also a Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS).
You will be required to pay the MLS if your income
for MLS purposes is above the base income threshold and you or your family do
not have an appropriate level of private patient hospital cover. This applies
unless you are exempt from paying the Medicare levy and your dependents are
also exempt or have an appropriate level of private cover.
The base income
threshold is $90,000 for singles and $180,000 for families. However, you do not
have to pay the MLS if your family income exceeds the threshold but your own
income for MLS purposes was $20,896 or less.
For singles, an
appropriate level of cover must have an excess of $500 or less. Couples or
families must have an excess of $1,000 or less.
How can I avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge?
If you’re a high
income earner, you can take out any of our Hospital Covers to avoid the
Medicare Levy Surcharge. Get a
Quote now to avoid the
Medicare Levy Surcharge. You can find out more about the MLS here.