The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.S.10 Safety net (HCC, PCC, CSHC)


For the purposes of HCC, PCC and CSHC, there are 2 safety nets which protect individuals and families from large overall expenses for medicines and out-of-pocket medical costs. These are:

  • the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Safety Net, and
  • the Extended Medicare Safety Net.

PBS Safety Net & co-payment arrangements

The Government subsidises a wide range of prescription medicines through the PBS with the highest subsidies being made available to those with chronic illness, or greatest financial need. PBS Safety Net arrangements apply to further assist in limiting the cost of medicines for those patients and families who require a large number of PBS items.

For more information about the PBS Safety Net go to Services Australia PBS Safety Net thresholds website.

Extended Medicare Safety Net

The Extended Medicare Safety Net provides an additional rebate for Australian families and singles who have out-of-pocket costs for Medicare eligible out-of-hospital services once an annual threshold in out-of-pocket costs has been met.

For more information about the Extended Medicare Safety Net go to Services Australia Medicare Safety Nets website.

Last reviewed: