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Difference Between Medicare and Medibank

Medicare vs Medibank

Medicare and Medibank can refer to two completely different health entities or the same health entity in Australia.
Medicare is a public health care system which is run by the Australian government. The government agency responsible for Medicare is called Medicare Australia.

The main goal of Medicare Australia is to provide affordable health care for every Australian citizen. Medicare requires a registration card. Any citizen with a registration card is entitled to free treatment in public hospitals and a reduction in doctor’s fees providing that the doctor has a provider number.

The link with Medicare and Medibank lies in Medicare’s origins. Medicare was first established as Medibank and was first introduced June 1st, 1975. Gough Whitlam, the Prime Minister of Australia and his Labor government, first created Medibank. The Whitlam government wanted to extend universal health care to all Australian citizens, and Medibank fulfilled that function.

Medibank was proposed and was backed up with legislation. It was implemented under the Whitlam government but was scrapped in 1981 by the succeeding Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. The healthcare program was re-established February 1st, 1984 by the Hawke government headed by Bob Hawke and was renamed Medicare. Aside from the name change, Medicare has different financial arrangements compared to Medibank.

Medibank can also refer to a private health insurance company in the same country. Medibank, also known as Medibank Private, is Australia’s largest private health insurer. Although Medibank is a private company, it is also owned by the Australian government.

Unlike Medicare, Medibank offers a wide range of health services. Its services include: health and auxiliary services, health insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance, life insurance, travel medicine, workplace and rehabilitation services, and well-being products. It is implied that people with Medibank can use their services in private hospitals and possibly with public hospitals.

Medibank was founded in 1976. It is part of the Health Insurance Commission. Medibank is currently based in Melbourne, Australia.


  1. Both Medicare and Medibank can refer to the same health care entity in Australia. However, it can also refer to two completely different healthcare entities in the same country.
  2. Medicare is the universal health care system in Australia. It is controlled by a government agency called Medicare Australia. On the other hand, Medibank, also called Medibank Private, is a private health insurer, the largest in the same country. Medibank is a government business enterprise, meaning it is a private company under the ownership of the Australian government. It is under the Health Insurance Commission.
  3. Medicare and Medibank are both entities under the Australian government. However, they differ in the agencies that control them. Medicare provides for all Australian citizens while Medibank is only available for people who can afford its services.
  4. Medicare requires a registration card which enables the bearer to have free treatment in public hospitals and fee reductions for selected doctors. Meanwhile, Medibank, as a private insurance provider, requires an insurance policy as well as other requirements to obtain their services.
  5. Medicare was first established in 1975 as Medibank under the Whitlam government and re-established in 1984 under Bob Hawke. It was renamed as Medicare. Meanwhile, Medibank, as a private company, was founded in 1976.
  6. Both entities use different colors for their logos. Medicare uses green and yellow while Medibank uses blue and red. The word “Medicare” in its logo is slightly slanted or italicized. In contrast, the word “Medibank” in its logo is written in a normal and straight typesetting. In addition, the letter “I” in “Medibank” is custom styled compared to the other letters in the word. Both words are written in a lowercase style.

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