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Medicare for children
When you enrol your child in Medicare, they can access the same benefits you do. They can also access our programs that can help with:
- dental care costs when you’re on certain income support payments
- costs for cleft and craniofacial condition care.
Read more about what Medicare covers.
Your child can get their own Medicare card if they’re 15 or older.
Support for children’s dental treatment
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule covers part or all of the cost of some dental services for children. It covers:
- fissure sealing
- root canals
For your child to be eligible, they must be:
- between 0 and 17 years
- eligible for Medicare
- getting a payment from us at least once a year, or have a parent getting a payment from us at least once a year.
Getting help with cleft and craniofacial treatment
Cleft and craniofacial services helps families with the cost of treating cleft and craniofacial conditions. A child can get treatment under the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) from:
- an orthodontist
- an oral and maxillofacial surgeon
- a dentist.
Ask your health professional if they can treat your child as a patient with a cleft or craniofacial condition.
Support for childhood immunisations
Children need different vaccines at birth and as they grow to protect them from disease. The National Immunisation Program covers the cost of vaccines. To find out which ones your child needs, read about immunisation for children on the Department of Health and Aged Care website.
Your child must meet immunisation requirements if you get some family payments from us. Immunisation requirements apply to both:
- Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A
- Child Care Subsidy.
When your child gets vaccinated, your provider will record it in the Australian Immunisation Register. This is a national register that records vaccines given to people of all ages in Australia.
We use the information in the register to check if you meet requirements for our payments.
Support for children with disability
When you’re a carer
You may also be able to get other payments such as:
- Carer Payment if you can’t work because you’re caring for someone
- Carer Allowance for income support if you provide extra daily care
- Carer Supplement to help with the costs of care
- Carer Adjustment Payment for help after a catastrophic event.
You can find helpful information about caring for someone on the Carer Gateway website.
When your child gets an early diagnosis and treatment
Complex neurodevelopmental disorder and eligible disability services can help with the cost of some medical services. This helps with early diagnosis and treatment of children with an eligible condition.
It can help cover the costs of the following services from health professionals:
- up to 8 diagnostic or assessment services
- up to 20 treatment services.
When your child has a significant or permanent disability
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) helps people with disability reach their goals. It also supports carers and families of people with disability. Read more about the NDIS on their website.
When your child turns 16, they may be eligible for the Disability Support Pension.
Support for children with autism
The Helping Children with Autism program can help with the costs of:
- treatment and management plans.
Read more about eligibility for the Helping Children with Autism program on the Department of Health and Aged Care website.
It can help cover the costs of the following services from health professionals such as psychologists and speech pathologists:
- up to 4 diagnostic or assessment services
- up to 20 treatment services.
Diagnosis and treatment services can still cost a lot of money. Read more about financial support for children with autism spectrum disorder on the Raising Children Network website. It also explains the state and territory funding arrangements before and after an autism diagnosis.
Support for eye tests and glasses for children
It’s important for your child to have regular eye tests to help identify any eye or vision problems.
We may help cover the costs of your child’s eye tests. Use the find a health service tool on the healthdirect website to find an optometrist near you.
Your optometrist can choose to bulk bill you for your appointment. If they do, we’ll cover the costs and you won’t have to pay. We don’t cover the cost of:
- contact lenses.
If you have private health insurance, ask your provider if they cover the cost of glasses or contact lenses.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to get help from your state or territory government. It’s best to ask your optometrist what help is available.