Medicare is the basis of Australia's health care system and covers many health care costs. Most Australian residents are eligible for Medicare. Under Medicare you can be treated as a public patient in a public hospital, at no charge. Medicare will also cover some or all the costs of seeing a GP or specialist outside of hospital, and some pharmaceuticals.
Medicare does not cover private patient hospital costs, ambulance services, and other out of hospital services such as dental, physiotherapy, glasses and contact lenses, hearings aids. Many of these items can be covered on private health insurance.more
Medicare is the basis of Australia's health care system and covers many health care costs. Most Australian residents are eligible for Medicare.
You can get a Medicare card if you live in Australia or Norfolk Island and meet meet certain criteria. You may also get a reciprocal Medicare card if you visit from certain countries.
You can choose whether to have Medicare cover only, or a combination of Medicare and private health insurance.
The Medicare system has three parts: hospital, medical and pharmaceutical.
Under Medicare you can be treated as a public patient in a public hospital, at no charge, by a doctor appointed by the hospital. You can choose to be treated as a public patient, even if you are privately insured.
As a public patient, you cannot choose your own doctor and you may not have a choice about when you are admitted to hospital because you may be placed on a public hospital waiting list.
When you visit a doctor outside a hospital, Medicare will reimburse 100% of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) fee for a general practitioner and 85% of the MBS fee for service provided by a specialist. If your doctor bills Medicare directly (bulk billing), you will not have to pay anything.
Medicare provides benefits for:
Under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) you pay only part of the cost of most prescription medicines purchased at pharmacies. The rest of the cost is covered by the PBS. You must present your Medicare card to obtain this benefit.
The amount you pay varies, and is dependent on the type of medicine, up to a standard maximum. People with Government-issued concession cards have a lower maximum payment.