If you’re visiting Australia from Italy you may be eligible for medical care under Medicare while you’re here.

You need to enrol in Medicare to get a benefit.

Who’s eligible

To be eligible, you must be:

  • a citizen of Italy
  • eligible to use Italy’s national health insurance

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

What’s covered

The agreement covers:

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

How to enrol in Medicare

To enrol, you need to visit a service centre. You must bring a completed Medicare enrolment form and documents you need to show us.

Documents you need to show us

You’ll need to show your Italian passport, evidence of current visa, and:

  • your valid European Health Insurance Card with the initials IT
  • your valid Italian Health Insurance Card, or
  • a statutory declaration that says you can get medical and hospital care under Italy’s national health law

When your cover starts and ends

Your cover starts the day you arrive in Australia.

If you get medical treatment in Australia before you enrol in Medicare, you may get a Medicare benefit for it. Once you enrol in Medicare, you should submit a claim. We’ll then be able to tell you if you can get a benefit under the agreement or not.

It ends after 6 months, or sooner if 1 of these expires:

  • your European Health Insurance Card
  • your Italian health insurance cover
  • your visa

If you're a diplomat

If you’re a diplomat, you and your family are eligible to enrol in Medicare for the time you’re posted here. This means the cover under the agreement will apply for as long as you’re in Australia.

When you’re not eligible

If you’re not eligible for Medicare, you can’t claim a benefit for treatment you have in Australia. But, if you need to lodge an income tax return in Australia, you may be eligible for a Medicare levy exemption. This applies if you weren’t eligible for Medicare for all or part of the financial year. You’ll need to get a Medicare Entitlement Statement from us to do this.

Read more about the Medicare levy exemption on the Australian Taxation Office website.

Page last updated: 21 August 2018