Sunday the 20th July 2014
Volume 324

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Dear subscribers, 


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Our clients as well as other subscribers have time and again expressed their confusion with enrolling for Medicare. Today we bring to you the experience one of our clients had while enroling for Medicare recently.

Applying for Medicare 
Vincent outside the Medicare office at MetCentre in Sydney CBD 


In Australia public healthcare services are considered a basic right; consultations with medical practitioners are available for subsidized rates and treatment at public hospitals are free to eligible residents. Medicare is the universal healthcare scheme in Australia where eligible residents entitled to the public healthcare are registered.


If you are one of the following you are entitled to Medicare:

  • Australian citizen
  • New Zealand citizen(documentation required)
  • Australian Permanent Resident 
  • Have applied for Permanent Residency (excluding parent visa applications), have permission to work in Australia or can prove relationship to an Australian Citizen - other requirements may also apply.

The good news for many migrants is that as soon as one applies for permanent residency one becomes eligible for Medicare services, all one has to do is enroll. 


Vincent applied for his permanent residency along with his partner and says he found the enrollment process easy and efficient.

Once you receive the acknowledgement of valid Permanent Visa application from the Department of Immigration and have permission to work in Australia you can enrol for Medicare.


In order to enrol for Medicare one needs to make a booking in person or on the phone with the nearest Medicare office. You can find your nearest office by entering your suburb or postcode here


Once your booking is made you need to go in for your appointment with the following:

  • Evidence of Permanent Visa lodgement
  • Evidence of Right to Work
  • Passport

Vincent says "We went in to the MetCentre office and it was pretty simple, the representative was polite, easy to talk to and answered our questions. My partner and I were discussing after the appointment that this was our best experience with a Government employee in any country!"


Once you are enrolled the representative will give you an interim receipt with your Medicare number on it which can be presented to Medical professionals while your card is on his way by post.


One can visit the Department of Human Services website, create an account and link Medicare

account to the myGov account and download the Medicare app onto your smart phone. Once you have the app connected to your Medicare account, it can also function as a virtual Medicare Card and you can use it instead of a physical card.


Vincent says "We were unable to link our Medicare to our myGov account maybe because our details were not updated on the system yet? But I was very impressed with the sheer ease with which we were able to enrol and then 

create a myGov account. The Medicare representative also explained to us that we could register for an eHealth record, a secure online summary of your entire health information that you choose to keep. It is a great way to keep all your health information updated and you can choose who has access to it."


The representative also let Vincent and his partner know of the eHealth record and showed them his virtual Medicare card on his smart phone.



eHealth records are a personally controlled secure online summary of your health information, controlled only by you where relevant information is retained or deleted.  


For eg: You may want to keep all your health records but not want to mention you saw a mental health professional to help deal with stress. You can also choose whether your doctor can update your records or have access to it.


Vincent says "We were told that eHealth records are so secure that any un-authorized access leads to some sort of alarm in Canberra and an inquiry is launched. Not only that at any point you can choose to delete your information which just goes to show that this is probably meant as an easy way to access all one's health records at one go and not as some means of having access to personal details."


You can register for eHealth records here. 


"We are so used to complaining about Government employees or policies that sometimes we forget to appreciate the wonderful job some of them are doing. As a migrant to Australia I know things can be a bit complicated to understand but one also needs to appreciate how wonderful some services that we are entitled to are."

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Australian Immigration Law Services





We thought we would cover a few useful stories for our international visitors and Medicare has been one on my list for quite a while.

I was surprised to discover that the local Medicare officers seemed to have changed their behaviour for the better in the last 15 years.

There was a time I would sent clients down to the Medicare office with their acknowledgement letter in hand, it was always with the caveat of "please don't ask me anything about Medicare".

Well, it was more of a pleading on my knees for our past experience with Medicare proved to us they were worse than the immigration department.

Now it seems the tables have turned. I now loath to send any of my clients down to the DIBP offices without an armed escort or at least a switched on Migration Agent to defend them.

Perhaps it is time the DIBP staff were re-trained to the Medicare level?

What a wonderful world that would be.


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People seeking advice on migration law should seek advice from a registered migration agent
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