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    1. #1

      RHCA medicare enrolment on 475

      Hi all,
      I'm a happy 475er, coming over to Adelaide in a few months' time. I'm currently trying to sort medical insurance out and am very confused with the Medicare reciprocal agreement. Hoping someone here can enlighten me.

      According to Medicare's website, "If you are a resident of the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Norway or the Netherlands you are covered for the duration of your approved visit to Australia". I've been living in the Netherlands for some years now and an email enquiry response from Medicare told me that I do fall under Medicare's definition of "resident" of the Netherlands and that I am eligible for RHCA Medicare enrolment regardless of my own nationality, which isn't any of the reciprocal agreement countries. Great news. However, I was also told that I can only be enrolled with Medicare for the duration of my enrolment to the Dutch National healthcare. This is where I am confused. Doesn't that contradicts to "you are covered for the duration of your approved visit to Australia"?

      It doesn't really make sense to keep paying premium to full Dutch National healthcare just for the sakes of RHCA partial Medicare coverage and I presume that must be the case for most of people from reciprocal agreement countries on 475 who plan to go for permanency in a few years' time. I'm also getting a slight feeling that Medicare could be telling you different stories depending on who you talk to.

      Does Medicare really ask for a document showing the duration of their National healthcare back in Europe when enrolling?
      Thanks for your help!

    2. #2
      Hi there Zaza
      I can't help with the Dutch aspect, sorry.
      What I can tell you is that we went into the Medicare office with our UK NHS Cards, and were given Reciprocal Health Care cards valid for 3 years from the date we arrived in Australia (so the lifetime of our 475 visa)
      Hope this helps?

    3. #3
      Thanks you for that Ali,

      Since Medicare seems to categorise UK and the Netherlands in the same bracket for reciprocal agreement, I am assuming that the requirement should be the same. I am not bright with British health care systemthough, do your NHS cards have expiry dates?
      What I'm trying to get grip on here is wheather eligibility duration of Medicare reciprocal enrollment is dictated by the validity period on European insurance card or simply for the length of granted visa (three years for 475) regardless of duration of the European insurance card. Since Dutch health card gets replaced every year, each card is valid only for one year. That makes me wonder if I will have to worry about finiding a private insurance to replace Medicare after one year.

      Thank you again!

    4. #4

      Senior Member
      Join Date
      Aug 2008
      Wattle park, dec 08
      224 times
      im not 100% about this..............do you hold a dutch or british passport?

      NHS numbers do NOT have an expiry date unless you are a foreign national on a short term visa; all British citizens have an nhs number, regardless of origin.
      the system for reciprocal health care would be based on the contribution to the public health systems in the mentioned countries; which as a tax payer, you should be doing!

      Reciprocal health cover DOES NOT give you cover for an ambulance etc, and using the public health system puts you into the same category as anyone else...i.e you will wait your turn!
      Emergency surgery etc is covered.
      Using a gp, you will still have to pay the gap involved, which i think is about $30 each time.

      Hope that helps.

    5. #5
      Thank you for that Scouse,
      I think I get the idea... assuming the Medicare enquiry person is correct, I probably am eligible for the Medicare reciprocal only while my Dutch card is valid since I am a temporal resident in the Netherlands (and no citizen of UK nor NL). That's fair enough as I have been contributing to the Dutch National healthcare scheme only for the past few years. But I also know now that I'd want to have private health insurance to cover the extra stuff (ambulance and dental etc) so I should look into it either ways!
      Thanks again guys.

    6. #6

      Join Date
      Apr 2009
      7 times


      My hubby and son are Irish citizens.They are covered with recipricoral agreement(475 visa holders).Went to medicare to ask for any card for them,lady sad sorry can't help they are not PR.Could anyone help should we get any card at all now,or not....Just want to clear that.Thanks


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