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Zero Fees for under 13 years

Posted by on 30 June 2015

From 1 July 1 2015, the ‘zero fees’ scheme already in place for children aged under six will be extended to enrolled children under 13 for general practice visits*, both during the day and after-hours. Under 13s are also exempt from the standard $5 pharmacy charge for each prescription item from 1 July 2015.

The ‘zero fees’ scheme aims to improve child health outcomes by reducing financial barriers to primary health care. Improving access to primary care can reduce complications from childhood illnesses and reduce the number of children presenting to hospital emergency departments.

Who is eligible for ‘zero fees’?

From 1 July 2015 all enrolled children aged under 13 are eligible for free care during the day from a GP or nurse at their usual practice.

What does the scheme cover?

The zero-fees scheme applies to a standard daytime visit to a GP or nurse at the usual practice where the child is enrolled, or to an after-hours visit to a participating clinic. It also applies to injury related visits covered by ACC.

If this is not your regular practice you will still be charged a fee.

Fees for extended consultations, procedures and non-subsidised services such as liquid nitrogen, travel vaccines and chicken pox vaccines will continue to be charged in the usual way. 

What about after-hours care?

Children under 13 have access to zero-fee after-hours care and prescription medicines.

What about consultations covered by ACC?

All patients under 13 will be eligible for free ACC consults.

What about prescription charges?

From July 1 2015, the $5 charge for each item of prescription medicine will be removed for children under-13, though pharmacies may charges for extra services such as medicines delivery or packaging. Fees for medicines that are not fully funded by Pharmac remain the same. Check with your pharmacist about any additional fees.

Where to go for Advice

Visit www.health.govt.nz for more information.  You can also get advice from a trained nurse by calling Healthline on 0800 611 116 or Plunketline on 0800 933 922.