How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Leon Your Own Question
Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 42348
Experience:  BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
Type Your Australia Law Question Here...
Leon is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Re the Australia/iItaly Reciprocal Health Care agreement Hello, Just

This answer was rated:

Re the Australia/iItaly Reciprocal Health Care agreement


Just when I thought I understood my eligibility--as an Italian citizen intending to visit Australia annually for 6 months as a tourist--to be covered by AU's Medicare for the duration of each annual stay, I came across the following information on an Australian-government website. I've tried to determine its meaning and import but am unable to find additional information at this time (I'm presently in a remote area with spotty internet).

Please let me know whether the ahead government text regarding the Subclass Visa 410 is relevant in any way to my situation (I've never been to Australia).

"The Australian Government has signed Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) with the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Norway, Slovenia, Malta and Italy. These agreements entitle you to some subsidised health services for essential medical treatment while visiting Australia.

If you applied for, or received a Subclass Visa 410 (Retiree Visa) before 1 December 1998, you may be able to access Medicare under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement of your home country.

If you applied for Subclass Visa 410 after 1 December 1998, you’re not eligible for Medicare and you’re not covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreements."

Thank you.
Good Morning

Thank you for your question. To Introduce myself I am a sydney based Solicitor and will do my best to provide you with relevant information to assist you.

The only people that are eligible to get Medicare benefits are permanent residents of Australia.

This means that the Australian Government will be reimbursed medical costs by Italy. In order for you to be eligible for this your visa must have been applied for it before 1 December 1998.

If you applied after that date you are not covered.

When did you apply.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well, now I'm totally confused. The information (below) from another Justanswer/Australian attorney the other day stated that I was entitled to Medicare coverage under that reciprocal agreement with Italy solely upon the presentation of my Italian passport (also,as I stated in my question to you, I have never been to Australia; nor have I ever applied for a visa).


Here is my recent query (in blue) and the other Australian attorney's response:


You have received an Answer!

From Alex

Saturday, June 15, 2013 2:24 PM EST

If one is a citizen of Italy but is resident in Canada, would the presentation of the Italian passport upon arrival as a tourist in Australia be considered adequate documentation for Australian Medicare coverage during the 6-month stay (via the reciprocal AU/IT agreement) or is it mandatory that additional documentation be shown?

Answer: There is no need for further documentation. All you need to do is prove you are an Italian citizen, and your Italian passport would suffice for that. So that is all you need.

So are you quite confident that I do NOT have any rights, as an Italian citizen/resident, to access the Australian Medicare system for essential healthcare, without cost, during my future tourist visits to Australia? Thanks again.

Good Morning

I cannot comment on the information provided from my colleague as I am not certain whether it relates to the same question.

You asked me to comment on the information that you provided from the Australian government website.

the following is from your question:

"If you applied for Subclass Visa 410 after 1 December 1998, you’re not eligible for Medicare and you’re not covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreements."

If your application for a subclass Visa 410 is after 1 December 1998 you are not eligible for Medicare and you are not covered under the RHCA.

I can only comment on this.

My colleague may have looked at the entire reciprocal agreement and was responding to a very different question.

Are you applying for a subclass 410 Visa?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.



I don't know anything about the various classes of visa so can't answer your specific question about the category of visa I'd be pursuing. As I indicated previously, I would simply be arriving as a tourist for six months.


You stated, in your reply to me, "The only people that are eligible to get Medicare benefits are permanent residents of Australia."


Is that truly accurate? I'm questioning whether it is, given the following related information from an Australian-government website:


"Citizens of the UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Republic of Ireland* and NZ* are covered for the duration of your approved time in Australia.


Citizens of Malta and Italy are covered by Medicare for a period of 6 months from the date of arrival in Australia."


So, without commenting on another lawyer's prior comments, would you please simply tell me if, as an Italian citizen/resident, I am entitled to access the Australian Medicare system during my six-month visit as a tourist. Thank you very much.

Good Morning,

Following link is from the Department of human services and indicates that if you are a visitor from Italy provided you do not stay more than 6 months you are entitled to medicate under the agreement.

We need to read it carefully as to exactly what you are entitled to as the recital is very detailed.

If you stay longer than the 6 months I do not believe you are entitled to get Medicare.

It also lists what services are not covered under the agreement.

If you intend applying for a 410 Visa You are not covered by the agreement.

So when you decide to come you must ask ever applies for your Visa that you apply for a tourist Visa not a retirement Visa.

Is this clearer?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ah, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX clearer. Just so I have an accurate understanding based on your last reply--am I correct that it's not quite accurate that only permanent Australian residents are entitled to Medicare coverage and that, in fact, ANY Italian citizen/resident (with no criminal record, etc.) may, with an Australian tourist visa--and regardless of whether the visa application is made after 1998--have Medicare coverage as described/specified in the actual, formal reciprocal health care agreement. Is that fair to say?


Thanks for that clarification, by the way.

Good Morning,

From what I have read, you are entitled to enter on a tourist Visa for up to 6 months and you will get some entitlements under Medicare.

The issue about criminal records, come into play when you apply for the Visa, if you have a record you may be refused the Visa and therefore you would not be permitted to enter into Australia.

The actual treatments available are listed in the link I provided you with, I cannot comment about the actual agreement because I have not read it.

But the link I provided you is a very good summary of what is covered.

The 1998 date only applies to retirement visas being a 405 or 410. Provided you do not apply for any of those visas you will be covered.

I hope this makes a little clearer.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you; I have it now.


Oddly, there's no option on this page to rate your (excellent) service--there's just the option to "reply".



Good Morning,

Now that we have completed our discussions and you are happy with the response on this next link you will be able to rate my work.

I'm happy to have been of assistance and if there is any other questions in the future please do not hesitate to contact me.

I hope this is of assistance. If I have missed anything, or you have any further questions please let me know before leaving any feedback.

If I have assisted please do not forget to leave me with positive feedback.

Leon and other Australia Law Specialists are ready to help you