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Settlement Guide: How to enrol for Medicare

Medicare Source: AAP

Medicare is the Australian publicly funded universal health care system. When eligible, you can access a range of medical services for free including care as a patient in a public hospital or lower cost prescriptions. we have a look at how it works, who is eligible and how to enrol.

The Medicare system is divided into two parts.

Stephen Duckett is the program director of Health at the Grattan Institute.

He explains that the first component lets eligible people obtain free treatment in public hospitals.

The second component is linked to medical professionals like GPs, optometrists and specialists.

You can check if you're eligible on the Department of Human Services website.

Once you know you're eligible, here's how to enrol.

If the doctor doesn't bulk bill, you'll have to pay the difference.

Sometimes it might be worth it, but either way, it's good to check ahead to know exactly if you'll have to pay extra and how much.

Most of the time, if you're bank account is linked to Medicare; your claim will be processed at the doctor's office.

If you need assistance in a language other than English, the Department of Human Services can help you.

You can call the Translating and Interpreting Service at 131 450 to receive support in your language.

Some people, like those on working-holiday or student visas, are not covered by Medicare.

Stephen Duckett highly recommends that they take up a private health insurance if they don't want to risk racking up a big hospital bill.

If you're an asylum seeker who is not eligible for Medicare, there are a few organisations in each state to help you cover your medical bills.

If you want to check your eligibility for Medicare, enrol or have any questions visit the Department of Human Services website or call the Medicare general inquiries line at 132 011.


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