RHCA - visiting from the United Kingdom

To be eligible for Medicare you must be a resident of the United Kingdom (UK) before arriving in Australia.

You need to enrol in Medicare to get a benefit for any medically necessary care under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) we have with the United Kingdom.

If you’re in Australia for a short time and don’t need medical care, there’s no need to enrol.

What’s covered

It covers:

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

Enrol in Medicare

To enrol, you need to visit a service centre with a completed Medicare enrolment application form and documents you need to show.

For treatment you had beforehand you can claim for an assessment of benefit after enrolling. Your benefit starts the day you arrived in Australia.

Documents you need to show

If you’re a British citizen

You’ll need to show:

  • your British passport, or
  • your Northern Ireland passport

You may need to show at least 2 documents that prove you’re a British citizen or resident.

If you’re not a British citizen

You’ll need to show your passport, and:

  • your European Health Insurance Card with the initials UK
  • your National Health Insurance card if you’re from Great Britain or the Isle of Man
  • your Health Service card if you’re from Northern Ireland
  • a Health card from the Health and Social Services department from of the States of Jersey
  • proof of insurance from the Guernsey States Insurance Authority
  • other proof that you’re a resident of Guernsey, or
  • 2 documents showing you’re a UK resident

Documents proving you live in the UK:

  • 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

Documents must have a date marked on them on.

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 here on a student visa, you’re eligible for Medicare.


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

Page last updated: 27 August 2017