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HealthInfo West Coast-Te Tai Poutini

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 scheme

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. On the West Coast, this is called the West Coast PHO long-term conditions management programme (LTCM).

This programme helps with funding for people who have to visit a GP or nurse more often, because of a long-term health condition.

To find out more about the West Coast PHO long-term conditions management programme, and to see if you are eligible, talk to your doctor or practice nurse.

People with a Community Services Card and their dependants aged 14 to 17 who are enrolled with a general practice pay less for their visits to see a doctor or nurse.

Children under 14 who are enrolled with a general practice aren't charged a fee for visits to most general practices. See Zero fees for under-14s for more information.

Disability Allowance for adults

If you have a disability that's 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. It can help to pay for a wide range of health-related costs, including GP fees.

WINZ may also provide funding for other treatment, such as physiotherapy and counselling. They'll provide this funding if they believe the treatment is related to your disability.

To be eligible, your weekly income must be below a threshold. The threshold depends on several things, including whether you have a partner or children.

For more information, see Disability Allowance on the Work and Income (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 Work and Income (WINZ) website.

Prescription subsidy scheme

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

Transport and parking

You may be eligible for a mobility parking permit, or for the Total Mobility half-price taxi fare scheme.

For more information, see the links above or contact CCS Disability Action on 0800‑227‑2255 or the Greymouth office on (03) 768‑4675.

St John offers a health shuttle service that runs from Hokitika to Greymouth and areas within about a 20-minute radius of Greymouth.

Red Cross runs a health shuttle from Westport to Greymouth.

The National Travel Assistance Scheme may help pay for some travel costs if you're referred by your specialist to see another specialist at a different location.

If you're eligible, you may get financial help towards your travel and accommodation costs. Your specialist will need to approve your accommodation and specialised transport needs.

You may be eligible for travel assistance if you can answer yes to any of the following:

For more information about eligibility, see Who's eligible for travel assistance.

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. Last reviewed April 2018. Last updated January 2019.

Page reference: 58024

Review key: HISNY-105442