Australian Regional Visa holders will be eligible for Medicare

The Dept. of Health in Australia has declared that the new Regional Visa holders will be “treated as eligible” for the purposes of the Health Insurance Act.

This means that Subclass 491 and Subclass 494 visa holders will be able to apply for Medicare. They will be covered under Medicare for their entire stay period.

The Subclass 491 Visa replaces the Subclass 489 Visa. Subclass 489 Visa holders did not have access to Medicare. They had to pay for their medical treatment in Australia.

However, Subclass 491 Visa holders will be to go to the hospital or visit the doctor and have all or some of the expenses covered under Medicare.

The current Subclass 482 Visa requires visa holders to purchase health insurance to cover the entire duration of the visa. They need to purchase health insurance for their families too if they accompany the primary applicant to Australia. Only if you belong to a country that has reciprocal health arrangements with Australia, you may access the Medicare card.

However, under the Subclass 494 Visa (Regional Employer Sponsored), all visa holders regardless of their home country, will be eligible for Medicare. This could help Regional Visa holders save thousands of dollars in medical fees and health insurance.