Other Medicare support

We have a range of programs to help with some specific health care needs.

Support for children

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Scheme

The Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Scheme helps families with the cost of treating cleft lip and cleft palate conditions. You may get treatment under the scheme if it’s done by any of the following:

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

Ask your health professional if they can treat you as a prescribed dental patient under the scheme.

Find out more about how we can help with children’s health care.

Continence Aids Payment Scheme

If your child has permanent and severe incontinence, the Continence Aids Payment Scheme can help with your costs. It’s a yearly payment to help you buy continence aids for them.

To find out if you’re eligible and how to apply, read more about the Continence Aids Payment Scheme.

Children aged 5 to 14 with continence problems should see a registered health professional. It’s important to have your child checked at least every 2 years to:

  • see how their needs have changed
  • review their management plan
  • change the plan to meet their current needs.

Read more about help for children on the Bladder and Bowel website.

Support for long term conditions

Chronic Disease Management Plan

A chronic condition is one that lasts for at least 6 months or longer. Examples are:

  • asthma
  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • arthritis
  • cancer.

These conditions need special care and attention. It’s important to get the help you need to treat and manage them.

If you have a chronic condition, talk to your GP. They can:

  • identify your health care needs and treatment options
  • create a Chronic Disease Management Plan with you.

Your plan may include visits to allied health providers, such as a physiotherapist. If you’re eligible, you may be able to get Medicare benefits for these services.

If you have complex care needs and a chronic condition, your GP may make a Team Care Arrangements plan. This outlines the treatment you get from your GP and at least 2 other health professionals.

Read more about chronic disease management on the Department of Health and Aged Care website.

Continence Aids Payment Scheme

If you have permanent and severe incontinence, the Continence Aids Payment Scheme can help with your costs. It’s a yearly payment to help you buy continence aids.

To find out if you’re eligible and how to apply, read more about the Continence Aids Payment Scheme.

Read about managing incontinence on the Department of Health and Aged Care bladder and bowel website.

Stoma Appliance Scheme

The Stoma Appliance Scheme can help you get free stoma products if you’re a member of an Australian stoma association.

Ask your stomal therapy nurse to help you join a stoma association if you haven’t already.

To register for the scheme you need to do all of the following:

You can also apply for additional stoma products if any of these apply to you:

  • have a medical need
  • live in a remote area
  • are on a holiday for up to 6 months
  • live on Norfolk Island.

Complete an Application for additional stoma supplies form (PB050) then follow the instructions on the form for next steps.

Find out more about the Stoma Appliance Scheme on the Department of Health and Aged Care website.

Support for cancer recovery or testing

External Breast Prostheses Reimbursement Program

We can help with the cost of an external breast prosthesis if:

  • you’ve had breast surgery as a result of breast cancer
  • you’re in Medicare
  • you haven’t claimed from this program in the last 2 years.

We pay up to $400 for each prosthesis. You claim this money back from us after you’ve bought it.

Read more about the External Breast Prostheses Reimbursement Program.

Support for overseas travel

Reciprocal Health Care Agreements

We have reciprocal health care agreements with 11 countries.

If you travel to these countries, you may not have to pay for necessary health care. You need to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

Read more about reciprocal health care agreements to find out what you need to do in each country.

In return, we may cover necessary care in Australia for visitors from those countries.

Support after a disaster

Disaster Health Care Assistance Scheme

We may be able to help with out of pocket health care costs. This is if you have some from an act of terrorism or natural disaster the scheme covers. This is only if the care you got was due to one of these events:

  • Balimed: Bombing in Bali on 12 October 2002
  • Tsunami: Indian Ocean tsunami on 26 December 2004
  • London: Bombing in London on 7 July 2005
  • Bali 2005: Bombing in Bali on 1 October 2005
  • Dahab Egypt: Bombing in Dahab, Egypt on 24 April 2006.

Read more about the Disaster Health Care Assistance Scheme.

Support for all Australians

Australian Immunisation Register

The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) is a national register that records vaccines given to people of all ages in Australia. If you enrol in Medicare, you’ll have a record on the AIR.

You can get a copy of your immunisation history statement by using either:

If you think a vaccine is missing from your immunisation history statement, ask your provider to update the AIR.

Page last updated: 3 August 2023.
QC 60331