Prescription subsidy scheme
If you’ve paid for 20 prescriptions in a year (from 1 February), you won’t have to pay the $5 charge for any new prescriptions until 1 February the next year.
Who can get the subsidy
You’re eligible for a prescription subsidy once you or your family have paid for and collected 20 new prescriptions.
They must be:
- paid for on or after 1 February in any year
- for medicines that are funded by the government.
If you live with a partner or any dependent children under 18, their prescriptions also count towards the total of 20 you need before you can get the prescription subsidy.
Most prescriptions for children under 14 are free and do not count towards the total.
What is not included
The subsidy does not include:
- any remedies, supplements or medicines that you buy without a prescription
- any medicines that are not funded by the government — you still pay the full cost of these.
You can check online, or with your pharmacist or doctor to find out which medicines have extra charges.
How you get the subsidy
Your pharmacist gives you the subsidy when you visit them to get your medicine, if you’re eligible.
They check electronic records to see how many prescriptions you (and any eligible family members) have paid for since 1 February. If you have paid for at least 20 items you can get the subsidy.
Any pharmacy can check your eligibility.
You may pay less for doctor’s visits if you have a High Use Health Card. You can get one if you visit your doctor more than 12 times a year for an illness or ongoing health concerns.
If you’re on a low income, a Community Services Card can help you and your family with healthcare costs.