Can I Get Medicare on a 482 Visa?

Can I Get Medicare on a 482 Visa?

What is Medicare, and am I eligible as a 482 Visa holder?


Medicare is an Australian Government-run health insurance scheme that enables free or subsided treatment at Government hospitals and access to medicine and some foreign employees are entitled to be covered by Medicare.


The Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa subclass 482 lets you work in Australia for up to four years, depending on your profession and skills.  As a rule, 482 Visa holders are not covered by Australia’s national health scheme (Medicare), which is common for most Temporary Visas (especially given that not all 482 Visas have a pathway to PR, which is a privilege, not a right). This requirement also applies to your family members who hold the 482 Visa as dependents. An exemption to this rule is when the 482 Visa holder is a citizen of a country that has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia.


Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with 11 countries that covers the cost of medical care when Australians visit certain countries and visitors from these countries visit Australia.


Australia has agreements with Belgium, Finland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. It is worth noting, however, that the Department of Immigration, assesses the eligibility of reciprocal Medicare coverage on an individual basis.


Essentially, visitors from these 11 countries may be eligible for medical care under Medicare while they are in Australia. Reciprocal health agreements may cover the cost of some health services and subsidise medicines and treatments for the residents from these 11 countries listed on the Medicare website. The only thing is that they can only enrol with Medicare once they have arrived in Australia. Therefore, they still need another health insurance policy to cover the period between your arrival and when you enrol with Medicare.


Irish Passport Holders: If you are a passport holder from the Republic of Ireland, who has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia, won’t need to obtain health insurance or submit evidence of health insurance coverage upon the 482 Visa application. You only need to provide a copy of your passport as evidence to obtain Medicare coverage in Australia.


Italy and Malta Passport Holders: You are only eligible for a reciprocal Medicare coverage for the first six (6) months of your stay in Australia. Therefore, even if you are enrolled with Medicare, they still must decide for health insurance options once you cease to be eligible for Medicare and therefore bridge the gap for your health cover for the entire duration of the 482 visa holders stay in Australia.


Otherwise, if you are applying or holding a 482 Visa and you are not from the listed 11 countries, you will be required to have an Overseas Visitor Health Cover (OVHC), an insurance policy to cover you and your family while you are in Australia.


Your 482 Visa will be granted subject to the condition 8501 requiring health insurance which states “The holder must maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance while the holder is in Australia”. Such a visa condition is mandatory on many Temporary Visas.


The 8501 conditions are usually required in Temporary Work Skilled Subclass Visas, Temporary Graduate Subclass and most Temporary Working Visas where the primary purpose is to work in Australia.


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