Medicare services for conceiving, pregnancy and birth

We can cover some or all of the health care costs of having a baby.

How to manage pregnancy costs

We may help you with your pregnancy costs. These can include doctor and midwife visits, pathology tests, and diagnostic imaging.

Private health insurance may also help you with your costs. Ask your insurer what your policy covers. Keep in mind, most have a 12 month waiting time before you can claim pregnancy and birth costs.

Read more about private health insurance and pregnancy on the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby website.

What Medicare covers if you need help to conceive

It can be expensive to get pregnant if you need fertility treatment or IVF. It’s a good idea to register for the Medicare Safety Net. It can help to reduce your out of hospital costs once you meet the threshold. You don’t need to register if you’re single. If you register as a family or a couple, we combine your medical costs.

We can help you cover costs for:

  • fertility treatments
  • assisted reproductive treatments such as IVF.

IVF and fertility

If your doctor refers you for fertility treatments, you can claim some money back from us.

There’s no limit on the number of treatment rounds you can have.

Most people will still have to pay some of the costs themselves. These costs depend on:

  • which services you need
  • how much your fertility doctor charges
  • whether you have private health insurance.

It’s important to talk to your doctor, the specialist clinic and your insurer to find out what:

  • the different costs are
  • we cover
  • your insurer covers
  • you’ll have to pay for.

What Medicare covers while you’re pregnant

We may help with the costs of:

  • routine ultrasounds
  • pregnancy counselling
  • blood tests
  • some immunisations
  • care from midwives and obstetricians
  • telehealth/telephone consults.

Pregnancy counselling

Being pregnant and having a baby can bring up confusing emotions. We help to pay for 3 counselling sessions to support you. Ask your doctor to refer you to a pregnancy counsellor.

Read more about pregnancy support counselling on the Department of Health and Aged Care website.

Blood borne viruses, sexual or reproductive health services (temporary)

You can temporarily have video or phone consults for:

  • sexual and reproductive health
  • blood borne viruses.

You can have these consults with a doctor you haven’t seen before. This can help you if you’re worried about privacy or limited service availability.

The Department of Health and Aged Care website has more information about:

Immunisation during pregnancy

Before you become pregnant, ask your vaccination provider to check you’re up to date with your immunisations.

Pregnant women should have vaccinations for:

  • whooping cough
  • influenza.

You can get these vaccines free through the National Immunisation Program. Your state or territory government may cover the costs of other vaccines as well.

Read more about immunisation for pregnancy on the Department of Health and Aged Care website.

What Medicare covers when you give birth

When you give birth, we may pay for services given by midwives and obstetricians.

If you give birth in a hospital you can choose to be a public or private patient. As a public patient at a public hospital, you won’t have to pay.

If you give birth at a birthing centre you should ask about costs when you make your booking.

You’ll find helpful information about being pregnant and having a baby on the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby website.

After you have your baby

If your baby needs extra care, such as specialist and intensive care unit services, we may help with costs.

We also cover some or all of the costs of:

  • care from midwives and obstetricians
  • immunisations for your baby
  • visits to your GP.

Your state or territory government’s health service may also help cover post birth services. Check with your hospital or birthing centre when you make your booking.

For Centrelink payments and services to support your family when your baby arrives, read more about having a baby.

Adding your baby to your Medicare card

It’s important to add your new baby to your Medicare card as soon as possible. Once you’ve added them, we’ll send you an updated card. If you have the Express Plus Medicare mobile app, your digital Medicare card will show your baby’s name straight away.

Your midwife or hospital will give you a form as part of the new Parent Pack. You can use this form to add your baby to your card.

Find out more about how to add your newborn to your Medicare card.

Page last updated: 11 September 2023.
QC 60333