About Medicare

Medicare provides access to medical and hospital services for all Australian residents and certain categories of visitors to Australia. We administer Medicare, including the payment of Medicare benefits on behalf of the Department of Health, which is responsible for developing Medicare policy.

Medicare covers:

  • free or subsidised treatment by health professionals such as doctors, specialists, optometrists and in specific circumstances dentists and other allied health practitioners
  • free treatment and accommodation as a public Medicare patient in a public hospital, and
  • 75% of the Medicare Schedule fee for services and procedures if you are a private patient in a public or private hospital. This does not include hospital accommodation and items such as theatre fees and medicines

We pay Medicare benefits in accordance with the legislation governing Medicare and we have no discretion to pay benefits outside of this legislation.

The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) lists services that are subsidised by the Australian Government under Medicare. Check if a service is listed under Medicare on the Department of Health MBS Online website.