Medicare Safety Net

Safety net for families

Couples and families must register as a Medicare Safety Net family. This includes those on the same Medicare card.

If you’re registered as a family or couple, we combine your medical costs so that you’re more likely to reach the thresholds sooner.

A family is:

  • a married couple - not separated, with or without dependent children
  • a couple in a de facto relationship, with or without dependent children
  • a single person with dependent children


A dependant is someone who the family supports financially and is a:

  • child under 16 years, or
  • full time student between 16 and 25 years

Dependants who are members of 2 families

Dependants can be members of 2 families. For example, because of separation or a child in care.

The out of pocket and gap amounts will count towards the Medicare Safety Net thresholds that are linked to the patient’s Medicare card that was used to claim the Medicare benefit.

Only the Medicare registered Safety Net family that pays the cost of the medical service gets the higher Medicare Safety Net benefit.

Confirming who’s in your family

When your family gets close to the threshold amount we’ll tell you, so you can confirm who’s in your family and get the higher Medicare benefit.

Page last updated: 2 January 2019