Medicare Entitlement Statement

Ask for a Medicare Entitlement Statement (MES) if you’re not eligible for Medicare and want to claim the Medicare levy exemption.

What is a MES

A MES tells you the period during a financial year that you weren’t eligible for Medicare.

If you weren’t eligible, you might be exempt from paying the Medicare levy in your tax return.

You need the statement to apply for the Medicare levy exemption in your tax return. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will decide if you need to pay the Medicare levy.

You must get a new statement each year you claim a Medicare levy exemption. Just because you claimed the exemption before, doesn’t mean you’ll get it every year.

Read more about Medicare levy exemptions on the ATO website.

Who can get a MES

You can get a statement if you weren’t eligible for Medicare for all or part of a financial year.

Before you apply for a statement, check that you weren’t eligible for Medicare. Even if you don’t have a Medicare card, you may still have been eligible. Read more about enrolling in Medicare.

If you were eligible for Medicare for the whole financial year you can’t get a statement.

You may get a statement if you were either:

  • an Australian permanent resident and lived outside Australia for 12 months or more
  • a temporary visa holder and you hadn’t applied for permanent residency
  • a temporary visa holder, and you’re not eligible for Medicare under a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement
  • a New Zealand citizen who spent less than 6 months in Australia within a 12 month period
  • an Australian citizen living overseas for 5 years or more.

How to get a MES

To get the statement you need to fill in the Application for a Medicare Entitlement Statement form. You or your tax agent can complete this form. But you must sign it.

You’ll need to give us a certified copy of the photo page of your passport to prove your identity.

You may also need to give us a certified copy of your:

  • current visa
  • evidence showing you had applied for permanent residency
  • evidence showing your application for permanent residency had been refused or withdrawn
  • evidence from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Federal Court or High Court showing you appealed the decision to refuse your application for permanent residency
  • evidence that your appeal for Ministerial Intervention against the decision to refuse your permanent residency application is being considered
  • European Health Insurance Card or other proof of health insurance.

Your proof of health insurance must show an expiry date if you live in either:

  • Italy
  • the Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Belgium
  • Slovenia.

Get certified copies

A certified copy means an authorised person has endorsed the copy of your document. They must have seen the original.

Many people can certify your documents. You can use anyone in the list of authorised witnesses on the Attorney-General’s Department website.

How to submit your form

Send us your form and supporting documents by post or email. The details are on the form. Make sure you use the Application for a Medicare Entitlement Statement form, as we won't accept old versions.

To avoid delays check:

  • your form is complete and don’t forget to sign it
  • the documents you provide us are certified.

If you email your application, check documents are in PDF format and not password protected. If they’re password protected we can’t access them.

After you apply

We’ll process your application. It may take up to 6 weeks to process your application if you apply between July and November. This is because we get a lot of applications at that time.

We’ll write to you if we don’t approve your application or need more information.

If we approve your application, we’ll send your statement to the address you tell us in the form.

You'll need to tell the ATO you have a Medicare Entitlement Statement when you do your income tax return. You need your statement before you can start. Keep the statement for your records.

The ATO will decide if you need to pay the Medicare levy.

Page last updated: 20 September 2019