Charging for consultations about COVID-19 vaccination

Vaccines are free for everyone in Australia regardless of Medicare or visa status. Find out what COVID-19 vaccination-related services you can charge for.

COVID-19 vaccines are free for patients

COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone in Australia regardless of Medicare or visa status. 

You cannot charge new or existing patients for a COVID-19 vaccine, or for an appointment to get a vaccine. 

Charging a patient any costs associated with the administration of the COVID-19 vaccination (including booking fees) is a breach of the requirements under the program.

You may not charge for any other service as a prerequisite to getting a vaccination, such as requiring the patient to have a general check-up.

You (or the practice) cannot charge booking fees or patient registration fees for patients seeking a vaccination.

Medicare Benefits Schedule items

The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) funds general practices to provide vaccination services.

The Australian Government has introduced 16 temporary MBS COVID-19 vaccine suitability assessment items. This allows GPs and other suitably qualified health professionals to assess patients for their suitability to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

In-depth assessment

GPs and other medical professionals can also claim 2 MBS items for in-depth, clinical assessments. See the MBS Online fact sheet on in-depth assessment.

Use your professional judgment to determine the most clinically appropriate services to provide. The claiming GP must be satisfied that all requirements are met in claiming the MBS item.

If you complete a vaccine suitability assessment, you can claim the appropriate MBS item regardless of the assessment outcome.

If the patient comes back another day, you must reassess their suitability for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Patients must attend the GP or other qualified clinic face-to-face to qualify for MBS requirements.

It is a requirement of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Program that a supervising GP must accept full responsibility for services provided under the COVID-19 vaccination suitability assessment MBS items. However, there is no requirement for the GP to physically be present at the vaccination episode.

Flag-fall fee

GPs and other medical professionals can claim a flag-fall fee for COVID-19 vaccine suitability assessment services conducted in a:

  • residential aged care facility (RACF)
  • residential disability setting
  • patient’s residence.

The flag-fall helps with transport costs to see a patient where they live. See the MBS Online fact sheet on flag-fall.

Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) patients

For Medicare-eligible DVA patients, general practices can use the same MBS item numbers used for the general public. 

DVA clients can use their Veteran Card with usual arrangements for: 

  • using a Veteran Gold Card 
  • using a Veteran White Card if it relates to an accepted condition (Services Australia will accept the clinical judgement of the general practitioner to determine what accepted condition requires the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine). 

General practices should invoice DVA for COVID-19 vaccination administered to eligible DVA patients. 

Charging for consultations to discuss vaccination

You can charge patients for a consultation to discuss vaccination if they are clear when booking that they don't intend to proceed with vaccination at that time.

You must let the patient know they will be charged for the consultation beforehand.

Date last updated:

Help us improve

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.