Preparing for a baby requires planning, including financial considerations.
Some financial considerations are outlined below:
- Your private health insurance
- Medicare eligibility
- Medicare safety net
- Income support
- Paid parental leave scheme
Your Private Health Insurance
It is important to understand your level of private health coverage and what out of pocket expenses you can expect.
Some questions you may like to ask your health fund provider include:
- What pregnancy health care costs can I currently claim through my private health insurance?
- Am I covered for care in a private hospital?
- Am I covered for a single room or a shared room?
- Do I have to pay an accommodation excess?
- Do I need to make a co-payment for my accommodation?
- Will my baby be covered under my policy as a private patient?
- Will I need to pay an excess if my baby needs treatment in a Newborn Care Centre?
Private health insurance does not cover appointments at the doctors, known as outpatient costs. Appointments are partially rebated through Medicare. Please make sure you are registered on the Medicare Safety Net at the beginning of your pregnancy. You can register online through the Medicare Australia website.
Medicare is Australia’s health care scheme. It entitles public patients to free health care and supplements the health costs of private patients.
Who is eligible for Medicare?
Most Australians are eligible for Medicare support. You may be ineligible for Medicare if you do not have a Medicare card or you are an overseas visitor.
Overseas visitors may have some of their health care expenses covered through the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement. Several countries have an agreement with Australia for their citizens to be covered from some health care costs while they are in Australia. Please check with Medicare Australia for more information.
Overseas students, studying in Australia, are required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) as part of their visa conditions.
If you are ineligible for Medicare you will need to pay for your health care at the Medicare ineligible rates. Ask your health care providers and hospital for more information on your health care costs.
Income Support For Parents
What income support may be available?
You may be entitled to paternity leave, Centerlink or Austudy benefits during pregnancy, the Baby Bonus, Paid Parental Leave, Maternity Immunisation Allowance or the Family Tax Benefit.
How do I find out about paternity leave entitlements?
If you have worked for your employer for more than 12 months, you may be entitled to 52 weeks leave, part of which may be paid leave. You will need to check your employee award conditions for specific entitlements.
You can also contact the relevant State government department to get advice about your entitlements. Staff at the Department can also advise of workplace safety issues during pregnancy and when you may need to inform your employer of your intention to have maternity leave.
- New South Wales Department of Industrial Relations
- Northern Territory Government
- Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney General
- South Australian Government
- Tasmanian Department of Premier and Cabinet
- Western Australia Department of Commerce
- Workforce Victoria
How Do I Find More Information on Government Benefits?
Contact Centrelink for more information on benefits you may be entitled to including the Baby Bonus, Paid Parental Leave, Maternity Immunisation Allowance or the Family Tax Benefit.