Agreements with 11 countries that covers the cost of medically necessary care when Australians visit certain countries and visitors from these countries visit Australia.
About reciprocal health care agreements
These are agreements with some countries where visitors can get publicly funded medically necessary care.
Countries we have an agreement with
We have agreements with:
- the Netherlands
- New Zealand
- the Republic of Ireland
- the United Kingdom
If you live in Australia
You can get help with costs for medically necessary care when you visit any of those countries.
- emergency care
- care for an illness or injury that can’t wait till you get home
Some agreement countries don’t cover the cost of medicine when you travel to them. Others will partly cover the cost of prescribed medicine.
Countries that don’t cover medicine costs
Under the agreement, your medicine costs aren’t covered if you travel to:
- Italy, or
- Norway – up to a set amount
Countries that partly cover prescribed medicine costs
Under the agreement, your prescribed medicine costs are partly covered if you travel to:
- Belgium - conditions apply
- Ireland - conditions apply
- New Zealand - inpatient only
- the Netherlands
- Norway – over a set amount
- Slovenia - conditions apply
- the United Kingdom - conditions apply
Read more about travelling with prescription medicine.
How to prove you’re eligible
You’ll need to prove you’re from Australia and eligible for Medicare when you’re in another country.
When you are in another country
Ask staff at the hospital or doctor to treat you under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia.
You’ll need to show:
- your Australian passport or another valid passport, which shows you are a permanent Australian resident, and
- your current Medicare card
In the Netherlands
If you are travelling to the Netherlands you also need to fill in the Application for an A111 Certificate of eligibility form. Post it to:Zilveren Kruis
Groep Buitenlands Recht
7300 AR Apeldoorn Netherlands
You can do this before you leave home or when you get to the Netherlands.
Medical care when you travel to another country
To be covered under a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with Australia, you’ll need to meet the agreement conditions.
Read the agreement conditions for the RHCA country you are travelling to, from the list below:
Visitors to Australia
Health care for visitors to Australia
Some of your costs for medically necessary care in Australia may be covered if your country has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia.
Medical care when you visit Australia
To enrol in Medicare under a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) and receive benefits for some medical services in Australia, you must meet the RHCA conditions.
The agreement conditions tell you:
- what medical care you can get under Medicare while you visit Australia, and
- the documents you need to show us to prove that you are eligible under the RHCA
Read the agreement conditions for the RHCA country you were living in before coming to Australia, from the list below.
405 and 410 visa holders
Normally you’re not eligible to enrol in Medicare if you’re in Australia on a:
- 405 investor retirement visa, or
- 410 retirement visa - applied for or issued after 1 December 1998
You must meet certain criteria to enrol in Medicare.
Assessing your eligibility
To access Medicare when you travel to Australia on a 405 or 410 visa, you must meet certain criteria.
If you applied for or received a subclass 410 (Retirement) visa before 1 December 1998, you may be eligible for Medicare under a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement. You must have lived in a country in which Australia has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA). Exceptions apply to Italy and Malta.
If you hold a subclass 410 or 405 visa after 1 December 1998, you may be eligible under the RHCA if you:
- have lived in a country in which Australia has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) (exceptions apply to Italy and Malta), and
- meet the assessment criteria for a person with exceptional circumstances
Read the assessment criteria to find out if you might be eligible for Medicare under a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA).
More about travelling overseas information
You should always get travel health insurance. Even in a country Australia has a reciprocal health care agreement with.
The smartraveller website helps you find travel insurance that suits the country you’re going to.
If you need to take prescription medicine for your health with you when you travel, read about going overseas with PBS medicine. You need to do this if you plan to:
- take medicine with you
- buy it overseas
Health issues when you travel
The smartraveller website gives up to date advice on:
- avoiding diseases
- health care on a cruise
- going overseas for health care
- mental health
- health checks