I am
Sorting out your finances after a heart attack
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Explore how to manage your financial concerns after a heart attack.

Key takeaways

  • About half of all heart attack patients worry about money during their recovery. 
  • Insurance policies may be affected by your condition. 
  • Financial assistance is available. 
3 min read
It’s common for people to worry about money after a heart attack. The costs can really add up, especially if you can’t work for a while. It’s also hard on pensioners and people without private health insurance. 

If you’re having money worries, you’re not alone. Many other people are too. Your doctor or social worker will be able to tell you where you can get help or advice. 

Health insurance and ambulance cover  

Your health insurance will be affected by your heart attack. You may find that your premiums go up, or there may be some new terms. You may even have to have a medical check-up. This is because your heart attack means you now have a ‘pre-existing condition’. You’ll need to contact your health insurance provider to find out if there are any changes. 

If you don’t have health insurance you can still get some, but there might be a waiting period. Talk to your doctor first. 

It’s also a good idea to think about ambulance cover if your health insurance doesn’t include this. If you live in Queensland or Tasmania, there’s no need – everyone is automatically covered.

Income protection and life insurance 

Life insurance and income protection insurance are still usually available to you too, but they might cost a bit more, or have a few more terms.  

This will depend on things like: 
 
  • Your family history 
  • How severe your heart condition is 
  • How well it’s controlled. 
It might mean that you’re not covered for any future problems with your heart. It’s best to call them to check. 

Benefits and financial support  

If your heart condition means you can’t work or look after yourself, you may be able to get some financial support.  

Here are some of the different supports available: 
 
  • Sick leave through your employer.  
  • Insurance and superannuation policies, which may cover some bills or replace some income. 
  • Transport cover or subsidies through your hospital.  
  • Mobility Allowance - check if you’re eligible
  • Concessions, healthcare cards and benefits (like Sickness Allowance or the Disability Support Pension) can be arranged through Centrelink. Access to benefits depends on your finances, age, health and how long you’ve lived in Australia.  
  • Emergency relief charities can help out with food, transport and vouchers. They can also help you with bills, or budgeting. Emergency relief is free, but you might have to qualify. There are many different providers who may be suitable for your needs.  


Here are some other things you can do to save money: 

 
  • Make sure your pharmacy has your Medicare number on file, so you’ll only be charged the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) price. There’s a PBS Safety Net too, so once you’ve spent a certain amount on prescription medication (per calendar year), the rest is free or cheaper.  
  • Have your medication reviewed to make sure you’re not buying things you no longer need. Your doctor or pharmacist can do this, or you can apply for a Home Medicines Review
  • You can also save money at the pharmacy by buying cheaper generic brands and receiving subsidies. Just ask. 
  • If you have debts, call the company you owe and explain the situation. Many companies have hardship officers who can help work out repayment plans.   

If you need more financial advice, the MoneySmart website is a great resource.  

You might also be interested in

Cardiac arrest at 26: adjusting to a new ‘normal’

Cardiac arrest at 26: adjusting to a new ‘normal’

Cardiac arrest at 26: adjusting to a new ‘normal’

Action Plans

Action Plans

Action Plans

Recovery is a long journey, so having a plan makes a huge difference. Using an action plan gives you a step-by-step guide to improving your lifestyle....

Alcohol action plan

Alcohol action plan

What is cardiac rehab?

What is cardiac rehab?

What is cardiac rehab?

Cardiac rehab is proven to keep you out of hospital and reduce your risk of death from heart conditions....

From diagnosis at 37 to heart surgery, rehab and now

From diagnosis at 37 to heart surgery, rehab and now

From diagnosis at 37 to heart surgery, rehab and now

Claude Lam, Open heart surgery survivor...

Blood pressure action plan

Blood pressure action plan

Key steps that can help you manage your blood pressure....

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Explore our guide for driving and heart attack recovery. ...

Debbie's heart story

Debbie's heart story

Debbie's heart story

Debbie decided to give cardiac rehab a go and hasn’t looked back since. ...

Find a cardiac rehabilitation service near you

Find a cardiac rehabilitation service near you

This cardiac services directory presents information on cardiac rehab programs offered across Australia....

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

This is a guide to how you might be feeling after a heart attack. ...

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

And the heartache lasts a lifetime. But you can help the Heart Foundation fund life-saving research to keep more families together....

Research Directory

Research Directory

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Celebrate the life of someone you love by giving to the Heart Foundation in their memory

Celebrate the life of someone you love by giving to the Heart Foundation in their memory

Celebrate the life of someone you love by giving to the Heart Foundation in their memory

Hazelnut maple granola clusters

Hazelnut maple granola clusters

Hazelnut maple granola clusters

30 minutes
Serves Makes 635g. Serves 8 (80g serve – about ¾ cup)

Our history

Our history

Our history

For more than 60 years the Heart Foundation has been helping improve heart health across the nation....

2021 NSW CVRN Ministerial Awards for Cardiovascular Research

2021 NSW CVRN Ministerial Awards for Cardiovascular Research

Nominations are now open for the 2021 NSW Cardiovascular Research Network’s (CVRN) Ministerial Awards for Cardiovascular Research....

Taking your medicines

Taking your medicines

Taking your medicines

There are many medicines that treat heart attack, angina, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other heart conditions....

Breakfast tacos

Breakfast tacos

Breakfast tacos

5 minutes
Serves 1

Heart attack medication

Heart attack medication

Heart attack medication

There are a number of medications you could be prescribed after a heart attack....

The Heart Foundation Community

The Heart Foundation Community

The Heart Foundation Community

We need your opinion, experience and skills to help us improve the heart health of all Australians. ...

What is a cardiac arrest?

What is a cardiac arrest?

What is a cardiac arrest?

With immediate help a cardiac arrest can be survived. Learn how to save a life....

Guidelines for the assessment and management of Absolute Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Guidelines for the assessment and management of Absolute Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Guidelines for the assessment and management of Absolute Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Position Description: Consumer Representative for the update of the Guidelines for the assessment and management of Absolute Cardiovascular Disease Risk ...

What is heart disease?

What is heart disease?

What is heart disease?

Heart disease is the broad term for conditions that affect the structure and function of the heart muscle. ...

Pumpkin falafel wraps

Pumpkin falafel wraps

Pumpkin falafel wraps

10 minutes
Serves Serves 4 (as a main meal)

Wholegrains and heart health

Wholegrains and heart health

Wholegrains and heart health

All you need to know about wholegrains to put you on the right track...

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

The fundraising race where you set the pace. Run, jog or walk MyMarathon at your own pace during October....

Blood pressure and your heart

Blood pressure and your heart

Blood pressure and your heart

Understand blood pressure and how it can impact your heart health....

Finding a new purpose: Geoff Lester’s heart story

Finding a new purpose: Geoff Lester’s heart story

Finding a new purpose: Geoff Lester’s heart story

Dr Geoff Lester, 35, is training to be a cardiologist at Coffs Harbour Hospital. He has survived three high-risk open-heart surgeries and two strokes....

Heart Foundation delivers $17.2 million for cutting-edge heart research in a challenging year

Heart Foundation delivers $17.2 million for cutting-edge heart research in a challenging year

Heart Foundation delivers $17.2 million for cutting-edge heart research in a challenging year

Media Release 20 October 2020...

What is coronary heart disease?

What is coronary heart disease?

What is coronary heart disease?

Coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease occurs when a coronary artery clogs and narrows because of a buildup of plaque....

Vegetarian lasagne

Vegetarian lasagne

Vegetarian lasagne

1 hour
Serves 6

Support after a heart attack

Support after a heart attack

Support after a heart attack

Many different thoughts may go through your head after a heart attack and you may be presented with complicated medical info. Know where to get support. ...

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Clinical information and links to SCAD resources....

Strategic Grants

Strategic Grants

Strategic Grants aim to generate innovative and collaborative research in the areas of identified knowledge gaps or those deemed to be priorities of the Heart Foundation. ...

Your heart is your most important tool

Your heart is your most important tool

Your heart is your most important tool

Men’s Health Week is the perfect time to think about your heart....

Food and healthy eating during COVID-19

Food and healthy eating during COVID-19

Food and healthy eating during COVID-19

Healthy eating and COVID-19 FAQ...

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) clinical resources

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Dessert recipes

Dessert recipes

Dessert recipes

Find heart healthy dessert recipes....

Trek for Australian Hearts

Trek for Australian Hearts

Trek for Australian Hearts

Join the Heart Foundation in South Australia for the journey of a lifetime, trekking the ancient Flinders Ranges to help save Australian hearts....