Medicare trial helps ease burden on new parents

The Morrison Government is making life simpler and easier for new parents by streamlining the Medicare enrolment process for babies born at Bentley Hospital.

As part of a WA-first trial launched in August, the hospital’s staff can now automatically enrol newborns for Medicare, the Medicare Safety Net and the Australian Immunisation Register.

Minister for Human Services Michael Keenan said the trial removed the burden on busy parents to have to complete the enrolments themselves once they left hospital.

“Bringing a new baby home is an exciting time for parents who shouldn’t be worrying about filling in Medicare forms when their hands are already full caring for their little one,” Mr Keenan said.

“This trial ensures all the hard work has already been done for them before they leave hospital. For those with a myGov account, you will also be able to view your new Medicare card details in your electronic wallet straight away.”

The trial has been running successfully at Bentley Hospital where it has already helped reduce the average time between birth and enrolment for participating parents from about 40 days to just five.

Member for Swan Steve Irons said the inclusion of Bentley Hospital in the trial would benefit about 800 families a year.

“This will be welcome news for parents in my electorate who already enjoy an excellent service from the staff at Bentley Hospital,” Mr Irons said.

“Not only will they benefit from greater convenience, but the early enrolment also means they can also start claiming Medicare benefits on behalf of their child sooner.”

To assist families who don’t use Bentley Hospital, Medicare enrolment forms have also been simplified, with the introduction of a section specifically for newborn enrolments.

This has reduced the number of pages parents need to complete from six to just two.

Parents can also now post the form back to Medicare, rather than having to lodge it in person.

“These changes will benefit about 21,000 families each year and demonstrate our ongoing commitment to reducing the administrative burden on all Australians by finding smarter and more efficient ways for them to do business with Government,” Minister Keenan said.

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