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Understand Medicare

Health care systems are different all around the world, that’s why it’s important as an international student, that you understand how the Australian healthcare system works.

In total there are two components that make up the Australian healthcare system:

  1. The public health system administered by the Australian Government known as Medicare and,
  2. the private health system (known as private health insurance (PHI)) to which nib is part of.
    • Medicare provides free or subsidised cover for certain health care costs. But to be eligible for Medicare you must meet one of the two criteria.
      1. Be an Australia citizen or,
      2. A permanent resident.
    • PHI covers extra services such as dental, optical, physio, chiro, private hospital costs and ambulance transport

How Medicare works with your cover

The Australian private health insurance industry is regulated so that nib, like all Private health insurers, can only pay benefits for medical services that are approved by Medicare with a Medicare item number. This means that if you need hospital treatment, nib can only pay benefits for procedures that have a Medicare item number listed under the Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS). However in all instances, you should check your nib Health Cover as there are some services that are excluded and are not covered under your policy. If you are unsure, please contact nib for more information.

All services listed in the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) are issued a Medicare item number. To find out if your procedure is listed on in the MBS and has a Medicare item number, please ask your referring doctor.

If your service / procedure does not have a Medicare item number, your nib Health Cover cannot pay a benefit for that service.