medicare implications of moving overseas

Medicare implications of moving overseas from Australia

Moving overseas is daunting. There is new work, new maps to scrutinise and a whole new set of rules when it comes to the country’s governance and health policy. For any Australian expat who is confused about the Medicare implications of moving overseas, please see below.

An Australian resident living as an expat is still an Australian, and still must abide by Australian taxation laws. An Australian expat will remain liable for the Medicare tax levy on their tax return, which is a surcharge of 1-1.5% if they are earning over $90,000 as a single, even when they are not living in Australia.

If an expat decides to become a non-Australian resident, then they are not required to pay the Medicare levy surcharge, but nor are they liable for Medicare.

When an Australian chooses to live overseas they cannot use their Medicare rights within their new country. Benefits such as free hospital visits and bulk billing will not be covered by the Medicare system. In saying this, the resident is still eligible for all of the Medicare rights when visiting Australia within the first 5 years of moving internationally.

There is a plethora of information available regarding Australian’s rights when living overseas to access Medicare which can be quite hard to understand. The bottom line is, Australians who are living abroad are eligible to use Medicare and claim Medicare services on trips back to Australia for up to 5 years after departing the country.

The Australian expat wishing to claim Medicare when visiting Australia must have a valid Medicare card that has an expiry date exceeding 5 years. After the 5 years has ticked over, Australian residents living abroad often turn to International Health Cover Insurance, which is relevant in both the country of choice that the resident is living in, and in Australia.

To add another layer to the mix, Australia has many reciprocal health care agreements with numerous foreign countries. The country of choice’s reciprocal agreement will affect the expat’s health cover entitlements.

For further information on Medicare implications when moving overseas, chat to an expert at Expat Tax Services today.

Shane Macfarlane
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Shane Macfarlane

CEO & Founder at Expat Tax Services
Shane's an Australian Chartered Accountant and Australian expat tax specialist who's also an expat himself (based in Asia).Shane's passionate about tax and legitimate tax minimisation, particularly as it relates to Australian expats who are often subject to high rates of tax back home in Australia.Beyond tax and accounting, Shane's an entrepreneur, having devised, created and founded a successful accounting startup, Fifo Workpapers (acquired by accounting software giant, Intuit inc. in 2013)

In short Shane's a tax and software techno-geek, who recognised that Australian expats were unable to obtain the specialist advice and quality service, that they needed from their accountants. Accordingly, Shane founded Expat Tax Services to provide Australian expats with access to specialist, quality advice at fair and reasonable prices (no hourly rates, fees quoted upfront with unlimited support included) . . . receive the support and advice you need without having to take second-mortgage to pay your accountant's bill! Speak to Shane & the team today.
Shane Macfarlane
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