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Adding your new baby to Medicare

6-minute read

Key facts

  • When you add your baby to your Medicare card, they will be able to access free, or lower cost healthcare.
  • Enrolling your new baby in Medicare allows access to free or lower cost prescription medicines. Your baby will also get free treatment in a public hospital.
  • By enrolling your baby in Medicare, you will also register them with the Australian Immunisation Register, to help you keep track of when their vaccinations are due.
  • The Newborn Child Declaration form will enable you to register for My Health Record.

How do I add my baby to my Medicare card?

If your baby is less than 1 year old, you can register them using a Newborn Child Declaration form. This form is provided in the Parent Pack you get from your midwife or hospital when your baby is born. The back page of the form needs to be filled out and signed by the midwife or doctor who was at your baby’s birth. Submitting this form automatically enrols your baby in Medicare.

You should fill in the Newborn Child Declaration form and submit it through one of the following:

You can also enrol your baby using your Centrelink online account when you claim any of these payments:

  • Family Tax Benefit including Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement
  • Parental Leave Pay
  • Dad and Partner Pay

A new Medicare card with your baby’s name on it will be sent to you in 3 to 4 weeks. You can get a digital version of the card straight away in the Express Plus Medicare app.

What if I don’t have a Newborn Child Declaration form?

If you don’t have a Newborn Child Declaration form, or if your baby is older than 1 year, you can use a Medicare enrolment application form. You will need your child’s birth certificate and some supporting documents. You can mail or email the form to Medicare.

Read more on the Services Australia website.

What if I belong to the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people?

If you want to add an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander baby to your Medicare card and you do not have identification documents, you should fill in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medicare enrolment and amendment form.

You will need someone to be a referee and sign the form. The form explains who can sign as a referee.

If you need help with the form, you can call the Services Australia Indigenous access line on 1800 556 955 Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm.

When should I enrol my newborn in Medicare?

It is a good idea to add your baby as soon as possible after they are born. Once your baby is on your Medicare card, they will be able to receive free or subsidised healthcare through Medicare.

Whose Medicare card should my baby be added to?

You can add your baby to either parent’s Medicare card. Once your baby is on your Medicare card you can apply to add your baby onto one other Medicare card.

What else should I consider when enrolling my baby in Medicare?

My Health Record is a secure online summary of your child’s health information. It allows you to share your child’s health information with doctors and other healthcare providers online. It can help you manage your child’s health information including vaccination records, allergy information and medicines they are taking. You can get a My Health Record for your newborn by completing the questions on the Newborn Child Declaration form in your newborn pack, or when you enrol your baby for Medicare.

Enrolling your baby in Medicare will also register them with the Australian Immunisation Register. This register keeps track of your child’s immunisations.

How do I find a doctor for my newborn?

You can visit Pregnancy, Birth and Baby’s health service finder to find local health services in your area.

FIND A HEALTH SERVICE — The Service Finder can help you find doctors, pharmacies, hospitals and other health services.

Speak to a maternal child health nurse

Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: August 2022


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Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

This information is for your general information and use only and is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes.

The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.

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