PBS Safety Net for pharmacists

PBS Safety Net cross-over arrangements

In a calendar year, a patient or their family member’s entitlement status may change between general patient and concessional patient.

A patient should apply for the PBS Safety Net card based on their status at the time they apply.

Examples of cross-over arrangements

General patient becomes a concession card holder patient

These patients can apply for a PBS Safety Net entitlement card when they reach the concessional PBS Safety Net threshold. In this case, the PBS medicines previously supplied at the general patient contribution rate in that calendar year will be counted at the concession patient contribution rate.

Concession card holder patient becomes a general patient

These patients can apply for a PBS Safety Net concession card when they reach the general PBS Safety Net threshold. In this case, any PBS medicines previously supplied at the concession patient contribution rate in that calendar year will be counted at the concession patient contribution rate.

Families with different entitlement statuses

A family can chose to apply for either an SN card or a CN card if one parent is a concession card holder.

For an SN card, all PBS medicines in that calendar year, including those paid at the general patient contribution rate, are counted at the concessional patient contribution rate.

For a CN card, the PBS medicines paid at the general patient contribution rate will be counted at the general patient contribution rate and the PBS medicines paid at the concession patient contribution rate will be counted at the concession rate in that calendar year.

If 1 dependent child in the family holds a concession card and other family members don't, the family can choose to either:

  • count their child’s PBS medicine expenditure towards an individual SN card for the child. The other family members including the parents can't use this card as they're not dependents of the child
  • count their child’s PBS medicine expenditure towards a CN card with the rest of the family. The child’s PBS medicines will be counted at the concession patient contribution rate.

Page last updated: 22 February 2019