Medicare for Italian Temporary Residents and Visitors

The healthcare system in Australia - Medicare - is of a high standard. It is no surprise that the country's population claims one of the highest life expectancies in the world.

Medicare is available to all Australian citizens, permanent residents and foreigners with certain limitations. As far as Italians are concerned, the holders of a Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) or a Student Visa are eligible for Medicare for the duration of the approved time in Australia. Italian visitors are covered for six months only in case of serious illnesses that require treatment before they return home. Medicare does not cover all treatments considered not immediately necessary. After six months, the free Medicare expires and in case visitors stay longer, it is advisable to join a private health insurance fund.

Working Holiday Visa and Student Visa holders are required to apply for a Medicare card, which is very simple. One has to fill in the registration form which can be downloaded from the Medicare website or from any Medicare office in Australia. The visitor must indicate the passport number, the type of visa he or she has been granted and the Italian tax number. After a couple of weeks, applicants will receive a Medicare car to their Australian address by mail.