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Medicare and other benefits

3-minute read

Australian families are able to access health care and financial benefits including Medicare, newborn payments, child care payments and parental leave pay.

Medicare is Australia’s universal health insurance scheme. It provides access to medical and hospital services for all Australian residents as well as some visitors to Australia.

Medicare covers:

  • free or subsidised treatment by health care professionals such as GPs and specialists, and participating allied health professionals such as optometrists and dentists
  • treatment and accommodation for public Medicare patients in a public hospital free of charge
  • part payment for services and procedures if you are a private patient in a public or private hospital.

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is also available and provides medicines at a lower cost to Australian residents.

In addition to Medicare and PBS there are a range of other health care and financial benefits put in my place by the Australian government to support families.

Newborn and parental leave payments

When you have a baby or adopt a child, there are 2 types of payments available. You are only able to claim one type of payment per child.

The Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement is available to eligible parents. It is an increase to your Family Tax Benefit Part A payment when you have a baby or adopt a child.

Another type of payment is the Parental Leave Pay which is a payment for up to 18 weeks to help eligible parents take time off work to care for a newborn or recently adopted child. There is also Dad and Partner Pay, which is payment for up to 2 weeks while you care for your new child.

The baby bonus is no longer available.

Visit the Services Australia to find out if you are eligible for the payments.

Family Tax Benefit

The Family Tax Benefit is a 2 part payment that helps you with the cost of raising a child. The payment is usually available if you have a child aged 19 or under and you meet the eligibility income test.

More information on eligibility and claiming can be found at the Services Australia.

In order to receive the Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement and Child Care Benefit, your child needs to be up to date with their immunisation schedule or have a medical exemption if they are unable to be vaccinated.

Child care

A range of payments and services is available to help families with the costs of child care. The Child Care Subsidy helps to cover the cost of child care.

To be eligible for child care assistance, your child must either be immunised, on an immunisation catch up schedule, or exempt from immunisation requirements. The Australian Childhood Immunisation Register can provide details of your child’s immunisation history.

Find out more, including finding a child care service at Child Care Finder.

Payments for families

The Australian Government provide a range of additional payments and services that help you to look after your children’s education and health care.

For more information visit Services Australia.

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

Last reviewed: February 2020

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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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