Visiting from New Zealand

To be eligible for Medicare you must be a New Zealand citizen or resident of New Zealand before arriving in Australia, and temporarily visiting 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 PBS

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 documents proving you’re a New Zealand citizen or resident.

If you’re a citizen

Show your New Zealand passport.

If you’re a non-citizen


  • your passport
  • a certificate of identity that says you can be in New Zealand for life, or
  • a refugee travel document from the New Zealand government

When your cover starts and ends

Your cover starts the day you arrive in Australia. It ends the day you leave Australia.

If you're a student

If you’re a student, read about how to enrol in Medicare.

If you're a diplomat

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

You don’t need to enrol in Medicare. You’ll get the same entitlements as a non-diplomatic New Zealand citizen.

Page last updated: 12 July 2019