What is Medicare?
Medicare provides access to medical and hospital services for all Australian residents and certain categories of visitors to Australia. We administer Medicare, including the payment of Medicare benefits on behalf of the Department of Health, which is responsible for developing Medicare policy. (Medicare is only available to Australian’s and countries that have a reciprocal agreement – see below)
As an international visitor tax time can be very confusing. If you come from a country that has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with Australia and you are required to complete an
Income Tax Return, you may be required to pay the Medicare Levy and the Medicare Levy Surcharge.
Can I get a Medicare card?
Click here to see if you can get one:
Medicare is the scheme that enables Australian residents access to health care. To help fund
Medicare anyone who is a resident of Australia for tax purposes is required to pay a Medicare Levy
of 1.5% of their taxable income. This levy is deducted by your employer and paid to the Australian
Taxation Office (ATO).
You may be exempt from paying the Medicare Levy if you are a temporary resident not entitled to
Medicare benefits. For information about recovering your Medicare Levy, contact the Australian
Taxation Office on 132 861.
Medicare Levy Surcharge
If you come from a country that has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with Australia and
your taxable income is above the Medicare Levy Surcharge Thresholds you could be liable for the
Medicare Levy Surcharge.
Without the appropriate level of hospital cover you may have to pay an additional 1% to 1.5% in tax
if your income exceeds the MLS thresholds.
While our health covers do not exempt you from the MLS, we can still help you avoid the levy. Check out the Private Health Care Page on our website which help you avoid the levy!
Australian Government Private Health Insurance Rebate
The Australian Government Private Health Insurance Rebate (also known as the Federal
Government Rebate) reduces the premiums for Australian private health insurance cover, including
hospital and ancillary (Extras). You could be eligible to claim this rebate if you are entitled to
Medicare and have taken out an Australian domestic health insurance product.
For more information about the Australian Government Private Health Insurance Rebate visit
www.privatehealth.gov.au or the Australian Taxation Office at www.ato.gov.au