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HealthInfo Canterbury

Financial support for health costs

Most people on low incomes with long-term health conditions (that last longer than six months) can apply for financial help. This is to cover or partially cover general practice fees and other health-related costs.

Children and adults with disabilities can apply for disability allowances. There are also other options for specific health conditions.

The following sections provide information about sources of financial support for health costs.

 

On this page

Funding schemes at your general practice

Disability Allowance for adults

Disability Allowance for children

Prescription subsidy card

Transport and parking

Other sources

Funding schemes at your general practice

If you struggle to meet your health costs, talk to your general practice team. There is sometimes extra funding available (called enhanced capitation or access funding). Your GP may be able to use this to reduce the cost of your health care. This is especially likely if you have health conditions that mean you need regular care from your GP.

Some people may remember a scheme called Care Plus. Care Plus is no longer going in Canterbury. It has been replaced by enhanced capitation.

The Equally Well scheme funds up to four GP appointments per year. It aims to improve the physical health of people with mental health and addiction problems. See Equally Well appointments for more information.

Disability Allowance for adults

If you have a disability that is likely to last for at least six months, you may be eligible for a disability allowance. This is a means-tested Work and Income (WINZ) benefit that can help to pay for a wide range of health-related costs, including general practice fees.

To be eligible, your weekly income must be below a threshold that depends on several things, including whether or not you have a partner or children.

For more information, see Disability Allowance on the WINZ website.

Disability Allowance for children

The child disability allowance is a fortnightly payment made to the main carer of a child or young person with a serious disability. It is paid in recognition of the extra care and attention that the child needs.

You may get a child disability allowance if your child needs constant care and attention for at least 12 months because of a serious disability. You and your child also have to meet other criteria.

For more information, see Child Disability Allowance on the WINZ website.

Prescription subsidy card

Many medicines are subsidised by the government. Most people pay a $5 per item prescription charge towards the cost of the medicines they receive. You can get a Prescription subsidy card that means you don't need to pay the prescription change once you have paid for 20 items each year.

Transport and parking

If you have a medical condition that affects your mobility, you may be eligible for a mobility parking permit. See Mobility Parking for information about eligibility and how to apply for a permit.

The Total Mobility half-price taxi fare scheme provides a discount of usually 50% off the normal taxi fare. Two of the providers in Canterbury are CSS Disability Action and Aspire Canterbury.

You can phone CCS Disability Action on 0800‑227‑2255 or:

You can phone Aspire Canterbury on (03) 366‑9093.

Age Concern has produced a list of Community transport providers in Canterbury (the link downloads a Word document).

St John offers a Health shuttle service that can take you to essential medical and health-related appointments, and then bring you home again. It is available in Ashburton and North Canterbury.

Other sources

New Zealand Veterans' Affairs may be able to help with the cost of treatment and rehabilitation for specific medical conditions due to service.

The Ministry of Health provides a range of subsidies, but many of these are paid to the supplier of the service or prosthesis.

You can find information about free or subsidised services for specific conditions in the sections about those conditions.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Updated July 2017.

Page reference: 58024

Review key: HISNY-105442