Health care

We cover some or all of your child’s health care costs.

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 lip and cleft palate 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:

  • examinations
  • x-rays
  • cleaning
  • fissure sealing
  • fillings
  • root canals
  • extractions.

For your child to be eligible:

  • they must be between 2 and 17 years
  • you or they must be getting certain payments from us.

Getting help with cleft lip and cleft palate treatment

The Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Scheme helps families with the cost of treating cleft lip and cleft palate conditions. A child can get treatment under the scheme from:

  • an orthodontist
  • an oral and maxillofacial surgeon
  • a dentist we recognise.

Ask your health professional if we recognise them and if they can treat your child under the scheme.

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 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.

Access your child’s immunisation history statement, if they are aged under 14, using your Medicare online account or the Express Plus Medicare mobile app.

Support for children with disability

When you’re a carer

If you’re a parent or carer of a child with disability, you may be eligible for the Child Disability Assistance Payment. You must already get Carer Allowance.

You may also be able to get other payments such as:

You can find helpful information about caring for someone on the Carer Gateway website.

When your child gets an early diagnosis and treatment

The Better Start for Children with Disability Scheme 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 4 diagnostic or assessment services
  • up to 20 treatment services.

Read more about eligible conditions for the Better Start for Children with Disability Scheme on the Department of Health website.

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:

  • assessment
  • diagnosis
  • treatment and management plans.

Read more about eligibility for the Helping Children with Autism program on the Department of Health 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:

  • glasses
  • 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.

Page last updated: 10 December 2021