1 February marks the start of the new eligibility period for the prescription subsidy which aims to reduce medicine costs for high-users and families.
You can become eligible for the subsidy once you have paid the prescription charge (usually $5) for 20 new items. Once you become eligible you are exempt from paying prescription charges until 31 January the following year.
You can combine purchases for partners and dependent children aged between 13 and 18 to reach the 20-item threshold. Talk to your pharmacist about linking all your family members in the system. Because prescriptions for children under 13 are free, they don’t count towards the 20 item total.
You no longer need to keep all your prescription receipts – any pharmacy can check your eligibility status electronically.
The Ministry of Health website has more information about the prescription subsidy and how to qualify: Prescription Subsidy scheme.