Health insurance in Australia

Health insurance in Australia

  • Flexible cover

  • Free & fast online quote

  • Expats, WHP, student insurance

Australia has one of the best health systems in the world (ranked 1st among 11 OECD countries in terms of equity and health outcomes and 3rd in overall health system performance (1)). Expatriates in Australia can therefore expect to have access to high-quality primary care as well as to specialist care and other health services.

(1) Commonwealth Fund healthcare report 2021

Health insurance for expats in Australia

How does the healthcare system work in Australia?

  • Australian and New Zealand citizens

  • permanent foreign residents

  • temporary residents covered by a Ministerial Order

  • citizens or residents of countries with a reciprocal healthcare agreement

Australia’s Medicare system allows its members to seek treatment in public hospitals throughout the country without having to pay upfront (however, beneficiaries are not able to choose their doctors). Medicare also covers 100% of general medical consultations, based on a basic fee (e.g., $75 for a 20-minute consultation) and 85% of the basic fee for specialist consultations. Additional fees for doctors (gap payments) are not covered and must be paid by the patient.

On the other hand, many services that are considered non-essential are not covered by Medicare. These include optical care, dental exams and treatment, speech therapy as well as many outpatient treatments, or out-of-hospital services. 

For private, be it scheduled or emergency hospital care, Medicare covers only 75% of the basic fee, with patients being responsible for the remainder of fees, including any additional charges. The same applies for treatment in a public hospital if the patient wishes to choose their own doctor (they are then considered “private patients”).

How to choose health insurance in Australia: local or international?

In order to cover their out-of-pocket expenses, and in particular to be better reimbursed for care provided in the private sector, many Australian citizens and residents choose to take out private health insurance. In order to better regulate access to healthcare in Australia, the Australian government encourages people to use the private healthcare system if they have the possibility to do so; to this end, an additional tax is imposed on high-income people who do not have private health insurance.

Depending on their needs, expats moving to Australia in the medium to long term may be well advised to take out international health insurance. While local private health insurance options are available, international health insurance can cover expats in their home country or other countries, as well as in Australia, and provides dedicated benefits.

The cost of healthcare in Australia

Medical consultations and hospitalisation with "MyHealth International"

Examples of reimbursements with MyHealth International COMFORT in relation to the cost of care in Australia in the private sector*

  • GP consultation
    • AUD 0.00
    • AUD 170.00
  • Gastroscopy (doctor’s fees + private clinic services)
    • AUD 0.00
    • AUD 6,740.00
  • Natural delivery (doctor’s fees + private clinic services)
    • AUD 0.00
    • AUD 8,700.00
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • APRIL International

Care in Australia

Choosing hospitals in Australia

Australia has a large number of public and private health centres that offer a high standard of care. 

For primary care, there are GPs in private practice as well as walk-in centres, which are open 7 days a week and are completely free of charge for Medicare patients, who are seen quickly by a nursing team (and referred to a doctor or hospital if necessary).

To help you find a doctor or hospital, as well as many other health services, the Australian government provides a web-based platform, Health Direct, which allows you to select professionals according to their speciality, location, and other preferences. 

The official Medical Costs Finder platform allows you to evaluate the cost and benefit of a wide range of hospital services, according to several criteria. 

Health facilities


Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

+61 2 9515 6111

Local call rates apply


The Alfred Hospital

+61 3 9076 2000

Local call rates apply

Herston, Brisbane

Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital

+61 7 3646 8111

Local call rates apply

Emergency numbers in Australia

  • 000
    General emergencies
  • 112
    General emergencies (mobile phone only)
  • 106
    General emergencies (for those using a TTY or dedice for the deaf)

Why choose APRIL International

What our customers say
4.5 / 5