Not entitled to Medicare benefits
If you were not entitled to Medicare benefits during the year, you may not have to pay the Medicare levy. This is also known as an exemption under category 3.
On this page
Claiming an exemption
You can claim a full exemption for any period that you:
If you qualify for an exemption, you claim the exemption through your tax return.
Medicare Entitlement Statement
A Medicare Entitlement StatementExternal Link (MES) from Services Australia shows the period in a year that you were not entitled to Medicare benefits.
Applying for a MES and lodging your tax return
- Apply for a Medicare Entitlement StatementExternal Link. Even if you have received the exemption before, it doesn’t mean you’ll get it every year.
- Wait to receive your MES before lodging your tax return. It can take up to eight weeks for your application to be processed and for you to receive your MES from Services Australia.
- Lodge your tax return once you have received your MES. We will work out if you are exempt from paying the Medicare levy when we assess your tax return. If you have an MES, it doesn't automatically mean you are exempt from the Medicare levy. All your dependants are also required to be in a Medicare levy exemption category.
This exemption is known as exemption category 3 on your tax return when you complete the Medicare levy section.
Example – Don't have to pay the Medicare levy
In 2021–22, Priya was on a Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) and has no dependants. Priya wasn't entitled to Medicare benefits and wants to claim an exemption from paying the Medicare levy.
Priya needs a Medicare Entitlement Statement (MES) to show she wasn't entitled to Medicare benefits in 2021–22 before completing her 2021–22 tax return.
Priya applies to Services Australia for a MES. It takes up to six weeks to receive the MES from Services Australia.
Priya receives the MES stating she was not entitled to Medicare benefits for the full year, from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022. Priya keeps a copy of the MES for her records.
Priya can claim a full Medicare levy exemption for the full year as she has a MES for the period 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022 and she doesn’t have any dependants.
If Priya completes her tax return using myTax, she enters ‘365’ as the number of days she qualified for the Full 2% levy exemption and answers ‘Yes’ to the question ‘Were you a temporary resident for Medicare purposes and have a Medicare entitlement statement from Services Australia?’
End of example
Example – Have to pay the Medicare levy
In 2021-22, Jed was on a Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) and had a spouse for the full year. Jed wasn't entitled to Medicare benefits and wants to claim an exemption from paying the Medicare levy. Jed’s spouse is entitled to Medicare benefits.
Jed applied and received a Medicare Entitlement Statement (MES) showing he wasn't entitled to Medicare benefits for the full year, from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022.
Even though Jed has a MES and wasn't entitled to Medicare benefits, Jed can't claim the exemption because he has a spouse who is not in a Medicare levy exemption category.
End of example
Member of a diplomatic mission or consular post in Australia
You do not have to pay the Medicare levy if you are a member of a diplomatic mission or consular post in Australia (or a member of such a person's family and you were living with them) and:
You may not have to pay the Medicare levy if you were not entitled to Medicare benefits (known as category 3) or you meet another condition.
- were not an Australian citizen, and
- do not ordinarily live in Australia, and
- you did not have any dependants for that period, or
- all your dependants (including your spouse) were in a Medicare levy exemption category for that period.