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4. Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
Most medicines available on prescription are subsidised by the government under the PBS. This
means that the government helps pay for the cost of these medicines so you are charged less. To
be eligible to receive medicines under the PBS you just need to provide your pharmacist with your
Medicare card when you have your prescription filled.
If you require a lot of prescription medicine it is a good idea to keep a record of your spending on
a prescription record form (available from any pharmacy). When you reach a certain amount of
spending on your PBS medicines for the calendar year, your pharmacist can provide you with a Safety
Net Concession Card. This entitles you to receive further PBS medicines at a reduced rate for the rest
of the calendar year.
To find out more information about the costs of health care:
• Talk with your medical team
• Visit the Health Insurance Commission website: www.hic.gov.au
• Talk with your pharmacist
• Visit a Medicare office or phone them
• Contact the PBS on 132 290
• Medicare Australia: http://www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/public/register/eligibility.jsp
5. Tips to Save
If you’re saving for something or want to reduce your debts, the best place to start is with a budget.
It shows you how much you earn and how much you spend, and will calculate what you have left
over each month to play with.
5.1 Plan a budget
When you know how you’re spending your money, you may be able to find areas where you can cut
back a little. Try to be realistic about this. A budget is there to help you save money and it needs to be
flexible. If you’re too hard on yourself, the chances of sticking to your budget will decrease. However,
it is important to make savings a permanent item in your personal and household budget.
5.2 Set some goals
Once you’ve worked out where your money is going each month and how much you have left over
to save, you can then set yourself a savings goal. By understanding your short, medium and long
term savings needs you’ll have a clear idea of what you need to do to achieve your goals. You should
also choose the most effective savings account for each of your savings goals.
5.3 Start a regular savings plan
If you can get into the routine of a regular savings plan, you’ll soon get used to not having that extra
money to spend each month. Think about setting up a direct credit from your account to coincide
with pay day. That way, your money ends up in a savings account before it reaches your wallet.