What does palliative care cost?

Most palliative care services are free, but there may be some costs associated with your care.

What does palliative care cost?

Medicare will cover most of your palliative care costs. 

Private health insurance may also cover some costs if you use private health services. There are some services that may have an out-of-pocket cost, such as seeing a GP or paying for medication.

It’s important to find out as soon as you can if there will be any additional costs to pay. Who pays can depend on whether you are receiving care at home or in hospital. There may be costs for services you receive at home or outside of a hospital or hospice. There may also be limits on how long you can stay in hospital or in a hospice. This can depend on your health insurance policy and the hospital.

Your private health fund may include cover for home nursing. This may be part of your hospital cover. This means that you can receive nursing services as a private patient.

If you need an ambulance, it will cost money in some states, but not in others. Don’t be afraid to ask about the cost of these services. It is better to know in advance than receive an unexpected bill.

Some other examples of things that might cost extra are:

  • Visiting a General Practitioner (GP), there may be a gap between what the GP charges and the Medicare rebate
  • paying for medicines
  • hiring specialised equipment for use at home
  • paying for your own nursing staff if you choose to stay at home
  • paying an excess if you go to a private hospital
  • accessing respite services that charge a fee
  • paying the fee of a private health professional, such as a psychologist or physiotherapist, that isn’t fully covered by Medicare
  • paying for complementary therapies, such as massage therapy and acupuncture.

Find out more about the costs of palliative care.

Carer payments

There are two types of payments for carers.

If you have a carer, they may be eligible for a Carer Payment. This payment is for someone who is unable to work because they are caring for you full time.

The other payment is Carer Allowance. This payment is for a person providing extra daily care to someone with a severe medical condition. This can be paid along with the carer payment.

To receive either of these payments you and your carer must be eligible. Find out more about payment for carers.

Date last updated:

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