Medicare and the final stage of Partner Visa processing
As readers know from our previous experience, Medicare and the sub-class 309 Partner Visa are strange bedfellows. The 309 visa holder and dependents are all entitled to full Medicare enrolment and benefits. They are also entitled to normal private insurance (by that I mean they don’t need health insurance for student or other visa holders). Yet they are treated as overseas students for post-secondary education.
The Medicare card issued initially was for one year, expiring today, June 2: the day before the anniversary of my family’s initial arrival. A couple of months ago I asked Medicare exactly what we had to do to extend the Medicare enrolment beyond June 2 as the permanent (sub-class 100) visa would not be decided by then.
“Oh, just come in with your husband and the passports and we extend it.”
I was pleased, as the first time around we went in, then had to go back and get Miss O 1: being over 16 she had been required to present her own passport! I didn’t want any surprises this time around.
No mention of completing forms! The letter from DIAC inviting us to submit the final documentation for the permanent visa stated the letter could be taken to Medicare “as evidence of an ongoing application for a permanent visa”.
“That’s good”, I thought to myself, pleased I now had something official to take to Medicare.
Our closest shopping centre has a Medicare office open on a Saturday morning. I really wanted to get it done today as the boys play soccer on Sundays: I didn’t want to have an injury on the field and not have a Medicare number!
Did I say “has”? We got there to discover Medicare and Centrelink have combined their offices and are no longer open on a Saturday morning. DAMN! Consulted the Medicare web site to seek another reasonably close office open on a Saturday. There was one 5 kms away! Yay! The site also said THIS one I was standing in front of was open on Saturday mornings though: clearly it wasn’t! So off we headed in the direction of the second office, hoping there had not been a similar departmental consolidation at the second office. We were in luck! That office was open.
I handed over the DIAC letter and the passports and was told I had to complete another enrolment form. I queried, of course, but there was no way out of it. I filled in the details for all five people yet again! Interestingly, I had lost my own Medicare card and applied for a new one: I did not have to complete an enrolment form.
As I got to the bottom of the form, it required anyone over 14 who wanted their benefits paid into the nominated bank account to sign the form. “Oh no!’ I thought, wondering did we have to go back and get the two older kids.
Luckily she said not to worry as the bank account details were already on file. In that case, so was the rest of the information so WHY on earth did we have to re-enrol? Some aspects of bureaucracy I will never understand.
We left home at 10 am and got back at 12:30 pm.
At least if the boys have a sports injury tomorrow, we can go to the hospital!
Yes, when the sub-class 100 visa is finalised, we have to enrol all five AGAIN!