RHCA - visiting from the Republic of Ireland

To be eligible for Medicare you must be a resident of Ireland, and have been living there for at least 6 months before arriving in Australia.

You don’t need to enrol in Medicare and won’t get a Medicare card.

Your cover is for hospital care only. You won’t get a Medicare benefit for out of hospital services under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA).

What’s covered

It covers:

  • medically necessary care as a public patient in a public hospital
  • some prescription medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

What documents you need to show

At the hospital or pharmacy you need to ask staff to treat you under the reciprocal health care agreement. You’ll also need to show evidence of your valid visa and:

  • your Irish passport, or
  • your European Health Insurance Card with the initials IE

You may need to show at least 2 documents proving you live in Ireland:

  • work contract
  • rental or lease agreement or bond receipt
  • bank statement
  • evidence of child enrolled in childcare or school
  • property or contents insurance
  • gas, electricity, water or rates account

When your cover starts and ends

Your cover starts the day you arrive in Australia.

It ends the day your visa expires.

If you're a student

If you’re here on a student visa, you’re not eligible for Medicare.

If you're a diplomat

You and your family are eligible for Medicare the whole time you’re posted here as a diplomat.

Your cover isn’t limited and you’re entitled to full Medicare benefits. You need to enrol in Medicare.

Page last updated: 10 November 2017