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Adding your newborn to Medicare

4-minute read

Enrolling your newborn in Medicare will allow them to receive free or lower cost healthcare and prescriptions. Your baby will also get free treatment in a public hospital as a public patient. Here is some information to help you enrol your newborn in Medicare.

As soon as you add your baby to your Medicare card, they will have access to subsidised or free healthcare.

If your baby is 52 weeks old or less, 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. The back page of the form will need to be filled out and signed by the midwife or doctor who attended your baby’s birth. Submitting this form will automatically enrol your baby in Medicare. The form has instructions on how to fill it out.

You can upload your Newborn Child Declaration form using your Medicare online account. You will be sent a Medicare card with your baby on it in 3 to 4 weeks. You can get a digital version of the card straight away in the Express Plus Medicare app.

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

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

You should fill in the Newborn Child Declaration form from your Parent Pack and submit it through either:

  • your Centrelink online account through myGov
  • your Express Plus Centrelink mobile 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 52 weeks, 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’m Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander?

If you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, 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. You can send the form in by either:

  • mail: Services Australia, Medicare Enrolment Services, PO Box 7856, Canberra BC ACT 2610, or
  • email: mes@servicesaustralia.gov.au

You should attach copies of your supporting documents. They don’t have to be certified.

Read more on the Services Australia website.

When to enrol your newborn in Medicare

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

Which parent’s Medicare card should my newborn be added to?

You can add your baby to either parent’s Medicare card. Once your baby is on your card you can copy your baby onto 1 other Medicare card.

Other things to consider when enrolling your baby in Medicare

If you are the baby’s mother, you can use the Newborn Child Declaration form to apply to be an Authorised Representative for your baby’s My Health Record, a secure online summary of their health information. This will allow you to access, control and share your child’s secure online health information with doctors and other healthcare providers. Otherwise, you can apply after your baby has been added to your Medicare card.

For more information about applying for your child’s My Health Record, visit the Australian Digital Health Agency website.

Enrolling your baby in Medicare will also automatically register them with the Australian Immunisation Register. This register keeps track of your child’s immunisations through the National Immunisation Program, which is free.

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

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

Last reviewed: October 2020


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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.

Except as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, this publication or any part of it may not be reproduced, altered, adapted, stored and/or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Healthdirect Australia.