Medicare ensures that all Australians have access to free or subsidised treatment by health professionals such as doctors, specialists, optometrists and, in special circumstances, allied health practitioners such as dentists; and accommodation in public hospitals. Medicare also provides 75 % of the Medicare Schedule fee for services and procedures for private patients in a public or private hospital (not including hospital accommodation and items such as theatre fees and medicines). For further inquiry please phone.
The Medicare Safety Net can help reduce costs for people who have to visit a doctor frequently. Once medical costs reach a threshold level, you may be eligible for additional Medicare benefits. Families and couples need to register so that combined medical expenses can be tracked. Refer to the following website for more information.
Medicare has support available for people who have a chronic medical condition needing treatment by a doctor or specialist. Talk to your GP about the Chronic Disease Management Plan and find out whether you are eligible. For more information, go to the following website.
PBS and the PBS Safety Net reduces the cost of a wide range of prescription medicines for individuals and families once a threshold has been reached. Refer to the following website for more information.
Many GPs have access to Mental Health Nurses through Divisions of General Practice. The nurses offer counselling, mental state assessment, medication review, some do family therapy/grief counselling, relaxation, meditation, advocacy and linkage to other relevant services and much more. The service is free and unlimited.
Your GP sends a MHNP to the local Division of GPs. Ask your doctor if your local Division of GPs has this service available.
Mention Mental Health Care Plans.
Centrelink Health Care Cards (HCC)
Health care cards can get you cheaper health services and medicines.
HCCs are provided with all payments issued by Centrelink. A HCC entitles you to:
- Discounts on pharmaceuticals under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
- Bulk billing from some doctors
- Various state, territory and local government concessions (for Victoria, refer to Victorian Government under Financial Services section).
- Service discounts are provided at each service provider’s discretion.
The type of HCC you can get depends on your situation. The following payments can be accessed in addition to the Disability Pension, and may also apply to other entitlements (like the NDIS or other concession cards).
The Health Care Card is for people who live in Australia, obtain some payments or supplements from Centrelink and also meets the eligibility criteria.
The Health Care Card payments or supplements include other allowance which can be refereed to Other Allowances.
The Seniors Health Card is for people who are Australian residents or holding a special category visa who have reached pension age and can’t get a payment from Centrelink while still being under the income test limit.
The Ex-Carer Allowance HCC are for people who are between 16 to 25 years of age, who meet residence rules, are full time students and had a Carer Allowance Health Care Card on the day before you turn 16. The card provides you with cheaper medicines, and extra discounts from state and local government authorities and some private organisations.
You are eligible to a low income health care card If you:
- Are aged 19 or older; or
- Are younger than 19 and are independent,
- live in Australia and are an Australian citizen; or
- hold either a permanent visa, special category visa, partner provisional visa subclass or temporary protection visa; and
- meet an income test
You can get a pensioner concession card to get cheaper medicine and some discounts if you get certain payments from Centrelink. You will must meet age rules for the payment you are getting. Please check your eligibility.