Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) are agreements between the Australian government and certain countries that offer an opportunity for Australians to access subsidised health care services while travelling or living overseas.
Under these agreements, residents of these countries who are temporarily visiting Australia are entitled to some forms of subsidised health care.
Additionally, Australians who are living in these countries are entitled to receive some health services at lower costs and in some cases, at no cost at all. One of the most popular health care agreements is the Medicare agreement that offers comprehensive medical coverage.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is Australia`s publicly funded national health care system. It was established in 1984, and it covers a wide range of medical services, including hospital treatment, medical imaging, specialist consultations, and general practitioner consultations.
Medicare is funded by the Australian government, and it is available to all Australian citizens and permanent residents. Most health care services provided by Medicare are bulk-billed, meaning that the cost of the service is paid directly by Medicare.
Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with Medicare
Australia has reciprocal health agreements with 11 countries, including:
– the United Kingdom
– New Zealand
– the Republic of Ireland
– the Netherlands
These agreements allow eligible residents of these countries to access some Medicare services while visiting Australia.
Under the RHCA with Medicare, visitors can access medically necessary treatment in a public hospital, general practitioner services, and prescription medicines at the same rate as Australian citizens. However, it is important to note that not all medical services are covered under the agreement.
Medical Services Covered Under the RHCA
The services that are covered under the reciprocal health care agreements with Medicare may vary depending on the country of origin. However, some of the standard medical services that are covered in Australia include:
– Medically necessary treatment in a public hospital
– Outpatient services provided by a public hospital
– Ambulance services
– Medical care from a general practitioner
– Prescribed medicines
It is essential to note that the RHCA only applies to medically necessary treatments. Therefore, it does not cover services that are not essential, such as elective surgery.
Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with Medicare provide a valuable service to Australians who are travelling overseas, as well as overseas visitors to Australia. The agreement allows eligible residents of these countries to access some Medicare services while visiting Australia.
By obtaining medical coverage through these agreements, Australians can enjoy peace of mind knowing that they are protected against any unexpected medical expenses while travelling or living abroad. On the other hand, visitors from the designated countries can access a range of essential medical services while they are in Australia.