Medicare card

The card lets Australians get a range of medical services, low cost prescriptions and free care as a public patient in a public hospital.

Eligibility basics

  • live in Australia or Norfolk Island
  • be enrolled in Medicare
A Medicare online account is an easy way to view, update and get information. To register, you need to create a myGov account and link it to Medicare.

Medicare card



You must live in Australia or Norfolk Island to get a Medicare card. And, you must be either:

  • an Australian citizen
  • a New Zealand citizen
  • an Australian permanent resident
  • applying for permanent residency - conditions apply
  • covered by a Ministerial Order, or
  • a Resident Return visa holder

You may also get a Medicare card if you’re visiting from a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement country.

If you live on an Australian dependency island

You’re eligible for Medicare services you get in Australia if you can give us evidence you’re a citizen or permanent resident of:

  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  • Christmas Island
  • Lord Howe Island

What may be different

If you live in Australia and have applied for permanent residency, you may get a Medicare card. This doesn’t include applying for a parent visa. You must:

  • be on a visa allowing you to work, or
  • prove your parent, spouse or child is an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen living in Australia

You adopt a child from overseas

If you adopt a child from overseas, you can add them to your card if:

  • they hold a permanent resident visa, and
  • you have a letter proving the adoption is finalised

You adopt a child from Australia

If you adopt a child from Australia, you can add them to your card if:

  • you have their birth certificate, and
  • a letter proving the adoption is finalised, and
  • your Medicare card

Visiting Australia

You may get a Medicare card if you visit Australia.

We have agreements with some countries to cover your essential health care during your stay.

You may be eligible if you live in a country that Australia has an agreement with.

Read more about Reciprocal Health Care Agreements.

Medicare enrolment for New Zealand citizens

New Zealand citizens who are living in Australia can also enrol in Medicare.

Read more about Medicare enrolment for New Zealand citizens


Enrol or re-enrol in Medicare

Enrol to get a Medicare card and Medicare benefits.

Read more about how to enrol or re-enrol in Medicare

Get your own Medicare card at 15 years old

You can have your own Medicare card if you’re aged 15 years or older.

What you need to do

Complete an Application to copy or transfer from one Medicare card to another form.

Submit this at a service centre and bring either your:

  • birth certificate
  • current driver’s licence
  • current passport
  • non commemorative marriage certificate
  • current Australian school or educational photo ID, or
  • proof of age card

Once you get your Medicare card, create a Medicare online account through myGov and download the Express Plus Medicare mobile app to access a range of services using a secure digital channel.

Add your newborn to your Medicare card

To add your baby under 12 months old to your Medicare card, you’ll need to submit a form.

Read more about how to add a newborn to your Medicare card.

Medicare enrolment for children adopted from overseas

If you’ve adopted a child from overseas, you must determine their eligibility for Medicare before enrolling them.

Read more about medicare enrolment for children adopted from overseas

Copying or transferring people between Medicare cards

You can only enrol on 2 Medicare cards at the same time.

Read more about copying or transferring


Using your card

You can use your Medicare card:

  • to make a claim for Medicare benefits when you visit a doctor
  • when you're treated as a public patient in a public hospital
  • to get cheaper Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme medicines at a pharmacy

Read more about Medicare claiming.

Your Medicare card must be current to claim benefits. We’ll replace your card before it expires.

Make sure we have your current details so we can send your new Medicare card to you. Destroy your old card when you get your new one. We’ll cancel your old card when we issue your new card.

Update your personal details

You can update your address, contact details and bank account online. To change your name, date of birth or gender, you need to visit a service centre.

Read more about updating personal details on a Medicare card

Lost, stolen or damaged Medicare cards

How to get a new Medicare card if your card is lost, stolen or damaged.

Read more about lost, stolen or damaged Medicare cards

Duplicate cards

A duplicate card is a copy of your current Medicare card with the same details.

We provide duplicate cards when more than 1 family member needs their own card. We can only issue 1 duplicate card.

We can’t issue a duplicate card when you’re the only person on the Medicare card.

To ask for a duplicate card:

Expired cards

We’ll send you a new Medicare card about 4 weeks before your current card expires.

If your address has changed

Update your details if you’ve changed your address. If you don’t and your card expires, your card will go to your previous address and you’ll need to request a replacement card.

If you need to request a replacement card, you can:

If your card has expired

If your card expired 6 months ago or more, visit a service centre to request a replacement. You'll need an identity document, such as your driver’s licence. You may also need to show evidence you’re living in Australia. You should also bring 2 documents to prove you live in Australia like a utility bill, rental agreement or employment contract.

If you’re overseas

If you’re overseas, we can’t replace your card until you return to Australia to live.

This includes if you’re:

  • an Australian citizen who’s overseas for more than 5 years
  • an Australian permanent resident or New Zealand citizen who’s overseas for more than 12 months

Page last updated: 27 August 2017