Medical care while overseas

Last updated: 
20 December 2019

You may be able to claim expenses if you need medical care overseas. 

Overseas medical expenses

You may be able to claim expenses for your medical care overseas if:

  • you have an accepted condition or injury (contact us if you don't know what this is)
  • a medical professional has assessed that you have a clinical need for treatment

The care and costs must be similar to, or the same as in Australia.

You should do the following before you go:

  1. Notify us and get information.
  2. Tell your medical provider about your plans.
  3. Organise travel insurance.

Sometimes things go wrong when you are overseas. You should know what to do if you can't pay for treatment.

You cannot use your DVA Veteran Card outside Australia.

What to do before you go

1. Notify us and get information

Before you travel, tell us your plans so we can let you know if we will cover you. To do this, you can:

We will then give you information about:

  • what medical care you are entitled to receive overseas
  • how to ask us to pre-approve non-urgent care
  • which countries may agree to treat you
  • limits that apply to some services
  • contact details for DVA officers who can help when you are away
  • how to claim for expenses

You should know that being overseas can affect your income support pension and supplements.

2. Tell your medical provider about your plans

Before you travel, you should see your medical provider about your health and go prepared. This includes getting any vaccinations you need.

If you have a Veteran Gold Card, you can claim the cost of travel vaccinations if you received them in Australia.

3. Organise travel insurance

We encourage you to organise travel insurance that covers treatment for all general health conditions.

This is because when you are overseas, we will only cover you for your accepted condition or injury.

 

What to do if you can't pay

If you can't pay for a health professional to treat your accepted condition or injury while you are overseas, you should get in touch with:

  • the DVA officers we gave you contact details for (after you notified us about your travel plans)
  • your nearest Australian high commission, embassy or consulate

In an emergency, Australian officials can contact us to arrange payment. This payment can only be for your accepted condition or injury.

How to claim

To claim for medical care overseas, you will need to do 1 of the following:

  • fill out the claim form
  • send us a signed letter requesting a refund of your treatment costs

You should make your claim within 6 months of the date a health professional treated you. The claim must include:

  • your name and all other details written clearly
  • the injuries or conditions you were treated for
  • details of how a medical professional treated you and any medicines they gave you
  • original receipts for treatment
  • if relevant, a certificate from the health provider to show they treated you in an emergency
  • the documents translated into English (contact us if you need advice about this)

What we can't fund

We can't fund the following while you are overseas:

  • medical evacuation
  • travel to and from appointments
  • treatment overseas when your reason for travel was to receive the treatment

We can't pay for your treatment overseas if we cover you for care in Australia under our:

Contact us

Phone: 1800 555 254

Email: overseas.treatment [at] dva.gov.au