As part of the RHCA membership, you may be eligible for limited Medicare benefits. Benefits apply only to primary health care or only to emergency care and under certain conditions. Many items such as ambulances, dental work, subsidized medications and private hospital fees or other incidental/extras costs do not cover. After arrival, deadlines and other restrictions may also apply. Medicare does not offer services for treatment received abroad. However, eligible Australian residents are entitled to medical assistance in the following countries that have signed mutual health agreements with the Australian government: residents of certain countries are subject to a reciprocal health care agreement (REziprok) between their country and Australia. These agreements may entitle you to limited subsidized health services for the necessary medical care during a visit to Australia. We recommend that you purchase appropriate travel insurance for travel abroad, as the mutual health care agreement is unlikely to cover all medical expenses incurred in these countries. This is why Australian international visitors must purchase health insurance prior to their arrival, unless their country has a mutual health agreement with Australia. Both travel insurance and the health protection of foreign visitors (OVHC) can contribute to the cost of medical care in Australia. Please note that this information is correct at the time of writing, but may change. You can check the current status of any mutual health agreement for which you are allowed to check here on the Australian government website.
However, there are several reasons why someone from a country with a mutual health agreement could still choose to purchase OVHC insurance. OVHC policies may cover items that are not covered by Medicare and are therefore not available to RHCA visitors without health insurance: to see if you qualify for a Medicare visit, www.medicareaustralia.gov.au illnesses and accidents can occur at any time and medical costs can be very high in Australia. Health insurance can help you protect yourself from some of these costs. Finns are covered by the reciprocal agreement for the duration of their stay in Australia until their visa expires. Travellers from certain countries may be covered by a mutual health agreement with Australia if they have a tourist visa or work visa. The agreement on mutual health care means that they can claim benefits to cover the costs of immediate necessary medical care in the public health system. Mutual health agreements (CORs) have given citizens of certain countries the right to obtain, during a visit to Australia, certain subsidized health services for basic medical treatment. Australia has mutual health agreements with New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Norway, Malta, Belgium, Slovenia and Ireland. Each mutual agreement is different and varies in terms of both benefits and eligibility duration. The agreements do not apply to all health services.
Some services that are not covered by the agreements are: – treatment that is not immediately necessary, ambulance care, dental care, para medical services, medical evacuation in your home country, burials, treatment and accommodation in private hospitals or as private patients in a public hospital, electoral treatment, pre-ordered treatment before arrival in Australia. This is why it is strongly recommended that all visitors from the countries of mutual insurance take out adequate medical insurance.