Enrolling in Medicare
Find out how to get a Medicare card and enrol in Medicare.
You can enrol in Medicare if you live in Australia and you’re either:
- an Australian citizen
- a New Zealand citizen
- an Australian permanent resident
- applying for permanent residency
- covered by a ministerial order.
You can also enrol if you’re a citizen or permanent resident of either:
- Norfolk Island
- Cocos (Keeling) Islands
- Christmas Island
- Lord Howe Island.
You may be able to enrol if you’re visiting from a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement country.
What you need to enrol
You need to give us different documents depending on your circumstances. Read about the documents you need if:
- you’re an Australian citizen
- you’re a New Zealand citizen
- you’re a permanent resident
- you’re applying for permanent residency
- you’ve adopted a child.
If you’re visiting Australia, you’ll need different documents depending on where you’re from. Read more about Reciprocal Health Care Agreements.
You get a Medicare card when you enrol in Medicare. We’ll usually tell you your Medicare number straight away. Your card should arrive in 3 to 4 weeks. We’ll send it to the address you give us.
You can use a digital copy of your Medicare card as soon as you enrol. To get the digital version you’ll need to sign into the Express Plus Medicare app. To use the app, you need a myGov account linked to your Medicare online account. If you don’t have these, set them up and then download the app.
Enrolling when you’re on your parent’s Medicare card
If you’re on your parent’s Medicare card, you’re already enrolled. This means you don’t need to re-enrol. When you’re 15 years old, you can get your own Medicare card.
You can enrol your newborn baby by using the Newborn Child Declaration. You’ll get the declaration from the hospital. Find out how to enrol your baby.
If you’ve adopted a child or your child was born overseas, you’ll need to give us extra documents. Read more about what to do:
If you’re Indigenous and don’t have common identity documents, you can use a referee instead. You and your referee need to fill in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medicare enrolment and amendment form. The form says who can be a referee.
Call the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access Line if you need help with the form.
We can cover some health care costs if you’re from a country we have an agreement with. You can get care as a public patient in a public hospital without enrolling in Medicare.
Read more about medical care for visitors to Australia.
Keep in mind, if you’re visiting on a 405 or 410 visa, you may not be able to enrol in Medicare.
Read about assessing your eligibility.
To enrol as an Australian resident you need to have a permanent resident visa or have applied for one.
You need to provide documents that prove your identity and residency.
To enrol in Medicare you need to prove you live in Australia.
To enrol as an Australian citizen in Medicare you need to prove your identity and residency.
Page last updated: 7 August 2019