A Pinoy’s Guide to Living in Australia: Enrolling in Medicare Australia

After arriving in Australia, another important task every Filipino needs to do is to enroll in Medicare.


Medicare is a publicly funded, government-run health care scheme. Medicare is somehow similar to PhilHealth in the Philippines.


Why should you become a member of Medicare?


A membership in Medicare entitles you coverage for basic hospital and medical expenses. Also, the government subsidizes your prescription medicine and will give you access to lower cost medicine.


When visiting abroad, you can get Medicare Assistance with the Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with 11 participating countries.


Furthermore, you may opt to be insured under a private insurance company and get Australian Government Rebate thru Medicare.


Related Article: Medicare Advantages for Aussies and Non-Aussie Visitors


Hospital and Medical Benefits

Hospital and Medical Benefits

Filipinos who are Medicare members are entitled to free treatment in public hospitals in Australia. Medicare will also reimburse your doctor’s fees (100% for general practitioners and 85% for specialists) if your doctor does not directly bill Medicare. Otherwise, you won’t have to pay anything.


Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)


The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme allows members of Medicare to acquire most prescription medications at lower prices. If you are a Medicare member, PBS will cover a part of your medication’s cost. You only have to present your Medicare card upon every time you buy medicine.


Procedures Covered by Medicare:

Procedures (covered and uncovered)

Image Credit: Shutterstock

  • Eye Tests Performed by Optometrists

  • Most Surgical and Therapeutic Procedures

  • Screening and Diagnostic Tests

  • Selected Allied Health Services

  • Selected Items in the Cleft Lip and Palate Scheme,

  • Selected Items in the Enhanced Primary Care Program,

  • Some Dental Surgeries


The following are some of the items NOT Covered by Medicare:  

  • Acupuncture

  • Ambulance Services

  • Contact Lenses and Glasses

  • Hearing Instruments

  • Home Nursing

  • Life Insurance and Superannuation Examinations

  • Most Chiropractic and Podiatry Services

  • Most Dental Exams and Treatments

  • Most Physical and Occupational Therapy Services

  • Most Psychology Services

  • Most Speech and Eye Therapy Services


How do you apply for Medicare?


It is quite easy to enroll. This is an infographic for the steps to get one.

A Pinoy's Guide to Applying in Medicare Australia

A Filipino’s Guide to Applying in Medicare Australia


To learn more about Medicare enrollment and to know if you’re eligible, click here.

Rica J

I am a mother, a wife and a technology loving Filipina who loves reading hi-fiction books (dragons!) , good stories, dancing, laughter, lying on the grass and eating balut. I am born and raised in the Philippines and now resides in Australia but finds myself in the Philippines for at least 3 months a year. I am part of the Filipino Australian Community and have been living between Australia and the Philippines since 2007.


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