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Reciprocal Health Care Agreement

Medicare and Australians Travelling Overseas

Medicare does not provide benefits for treatment received overseas. However, eligible Australian residents are entitled to assistance with the cost of medical treatment in the following countries who have signed Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with the Australian Government:

•    The United Kingdom

•    The Republic of Ireland

•    Sweden

•    The Netherlands

•    Finland

•    Italy

•    Malta

•    Norway

•    Belgium

•    New Zealand

•    Slovenia


Benefits vary from country to country and may have limitations on the treatment you can receive and the period for which you can receive benefits.

We suggest you take out an appropriate level of travel insurance when travelling overseas as the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement is unlikely to cover all medical costs incurred while in these countries.

Travelling overseas with PBS medicine

If you are planning on working overseas, you should consider an appropriate Expatriate Health Insurance cover to ensure that you and your family have adequate cover. These policies are specifically designed to cover expatriates anywhere in the world.

You will also have to suspend your existing health insurance to ensure that you retain your existing life time health cover loading. If you are away for more than 5 years special requirements apply on your return.

Please contact us if you require any further assistance or clarification.

Overseas Visitors with Reciprocal Health Care Agreements

Australia has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with - New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Norway, Malta, Belgium, Slovenia and Ireland. Each reciprocal agreement is different, varying in both benefits and duration of eligibility. The Agreements do not cover all health services.
Some services not covered under the agreements are:

•    Treatment that is not immediately necessary,
•    Ambulance cover,
•    Dental care,
•    Para Medical Services,
•    Medical evacuation to your home country,
•    Funerals,
•    Treatment and accommodation in private hospitals, or as a private patient in a public hospital,
•    Elective treatment,
•    Treatment that has been prearranged before arrival in Australia.

For this reason it is strongly recommended that all visitors to Australia from Reciprocal Health Care Agreement countries acquire appropriate health insurance. HICA has a number of policies designed especially for overseas visitors depending on the type of visa and the duration of your stay in Australia.
Should you wish to take advantage of our free assessment / quotation service we would ask you to complete an assessment form so that we can provide you with our professional recommendations and quotations for the policies that will best suit your particular requirements

Click here for HICA's Overseas Assessment form or Enquire now.