The prescription medicine co-payment is a charge imposed by the Government, that is applied to funded prescription medicines by pharmacies, on behalf of the Government.
$5 for each funded prescription medicine
At the start of February each year your pharmacy is required by the Government to charge you $5 for each funded prescription medicine. The money collected by the pharmacy is paid to the Government.
Co-payment charges can really add up, particularly if you take several medicines. It’s no surprise that for some people these charges create stress, particularly when added to the time and hassle spent having to pick up your medicines too. Under normal circumstances you must pay $5 for each item, for a total of 20 funded prescription medicine items, before you become eligible for the prescription subsidy scheme. At which point you will no longer be charged the $5.
We know that direct and indirect costs can at times make picking up and using medicines correctly difficult for people. The co-payment is a direct cost that ZOOM Pharmacy believes can impact negatively on people, particularly those taking multiple medicines, and on restricted incomes.
What is the prescription subsidy scheme?
The prescription subsidy scheme is when you are no-longer required to pay the $5 funded prescription medicines co-payment charge for any funded prescription medicine items, until you reach 1st February the following year. The scheme starts once you have paid $5 each for a total of 20 funded prescription medicine items over the course of one year, starting from 1st February.
The good news is that if you live with a partner and/or have dependent children under the age of 18, their funded prescription medicines can also count towards your total. This means that once your combined total reaches 20, you all qualify for free prescriptions, until 1st February the following year.
Funded prescription medicines are medicines that are funded by the government. They do not include any remedies, supplements, or medicines that you buy without a prescription, or any medicines that are not funded by the government – you will still need to pay the full cost of these. Also note that most prescriptions for children under 14 are already free, and do not count towards this total either.
If you are unsure and want to check how many prescriptions you, or any eligible family members have paid since 1st February, just ask your pharmacist. They can easily check your electronic record to confirm if you are eligible for the prescription subsidy scheme.
Do you qualify for ZOOM Pharmacy’s free (no co-payments) monthly medicines service?
ZOOM Pharmacy believe that if we remove the impact of co-payments on people taking more than four medicines, we can save everyday Kiwis money, time, and stress. Allowing them to stay healthy while focusing on what’s important in life, spending time with those they love.
“I got my first month’s meds today and I’m totally impressed with Zoom Pharmacy. My daily meds are in individual sachets, named and dated in a roll inside a dispensing box delivered free to my door. I saved $55 which is huge for our budget as I have to see my GP every three months which is $66 so saving $55 on meds is a lifesaver.”
‘Donna’ Age 61 Wellington Region [Feb 2022]
With ZOOM Pharmacy, if you’re on four funded prescription medicines or more, and qualify for our monthly medicines service, you get free prescriptions, free monthly packing, and free delivery – to anywhere in New Zealand.
- Prescriptions & Repeats in NZ: FAQs – Your Questions Answered – ZOOM Pharmacy
- Prescription Subsidy Scheme – New Zealand Government