Cookie Preferences

By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

Posted in:

Healthcare Arrangements For Working Holiday Makers In Australia

Leah Osborne
Nov 24, 2022

Citizens of certain countries have reciprocal healthcare arrangements in Australia, meaning travellers are eligible for Australia’s universal healthcare system (Medicare).

These countries align with many of those eligible for 417 Working Holiday visas.

They include:

  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

Each country has specific arrangements, which you can view via the Services Australia website.

What’s covered by the reciprocal healthcare arrangements in Australia

The reciprocal agreements generally cover:

  • medically necessary care out of hospital
  • medically necessary care as a public patient in a public hospital
  • some PBS prescription medicines at the general rate.

Read more about the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

What you’ll need to do to apply for Medicare

To enrol, you need to visit a Services Australia service centre after you arrive down-under. You must take a completed Medicare enrolment form and the documents you need to show them.

Documents you need to show to enrol for reciprocal healthcare arrangements

Ultimately in order to obtain the reciprocal healthcare cover, you’ll need to attend a Services Australia service centre once you arrive and show your passport, evidence of your current visa, and either:

  • your country’s Health Insurance Card; or
  • your valid European Health Insurance Card.

When your healthcare cover starts and ends

Your cover starts the day you arrive in Australia. It ends when the first of these expires:

  • your country’s Health Insurance Card
  • your European Health Insurance Card
  • your visa.

Reciprocal Health Agreements in Australia and travel insurance

The reciprocal health care agreements are not a substitute for travel insurance. You still need a travel insurance policy (which Work In Australia can help you with).

For example, evacuations aren’t covered by any of the reciprocal health care agreements. You must ensure your policy covers you for medical evacuations. These often cost thousands of dollars. Without appropriate insurance, you risk being stuck with a large bill.

Leah Osborne
December 2, 2022