Medicare during Pregnancy

The Australian Government has a health insurance scheme called Medicare to cover the medical expenses during pregnancy. Continue reading for more details.

Last Updated: 23 October 2020

Medicare during Pregnancy
Medicare during Pregnancy
When it was started?

In July 2011, the department of health services of Australian Government has initiated a health insurance scheme called Medicare to cover the expenses during a pregnancy.

All Australian residents are eligible for the scheme. Certain categories of visitors of Australia are also eligible.  You can check out your eligibility status at the Department of health services. If you do not possess a Medicare card, you can apply to the card as well.

What is the coverage?

If you hold a Medicare card, the costs of your pregnancy and birth will be subsidized. The coverage may vary depending on the choice of care and the place where you give birth.

Does Medicare cover the cost of fertility treatments?

If you are planning to have fertility treatment, you can register at Medicare Safety Net. The total costs can be reduced when you register as a couple. Medicare can help you to cover some of the costs of Assisted Reproductive treatments like IVF and other fertility treatments you receive.

Medicare during pregnancy

The cost of routine ultrasound, pregnancy counseling (up to 3), blood test, some immunizations and the care you receive from obstetricians will be fully or partially covered under Medicare.

During birth

Medicare will pay for the services given by midwives and obstetricians. When you are planning to give birth in a hospital, you can either opt to be a public or a private patient. If you are a public patient at a public hospital, you don’t have to pay.  If you give birth at a birthing centre or a community care you must ask about costs when you make an admission. If you consult a private obstetrician in a private or public hospital, free or subsidized care will be provided.

Postnatal care

The postnatal care by Medicare includes

Free care in public hospitals or publicly funded homebirth program

One to three free home visits from midwives (after your hospital discharge)

Free or subsidised care from private obstetricians

For the baby

In some cases, when your baby needs extra care like intensive care services, immunisations and specialty services, such costs will be covered under Medicare. Free or subsidized care from a pediatrician will be provided.

What is not covered by Medicare?

The things that are not covered in Medicare are

Hospital stay as a private patient in a private hospital or public hospital

Gap fees for private obstetricians, eligible privately practicing midwives or your doctor caring for you during pregnancy or after the birth

Any fees associated with private midwifery care for you during labour and birth at home

Out of pocket private hospital expenses, including medicines


It is also important to add your baby’s name in the Medicare card to avail the benefits. More information can be gathered from the Department of Human Services website. 

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