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. ...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Research Directory

Research Directory

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

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

Apricot & pecan muffin bars

Apricot & pecan muffin bars

Apricot & pecan muffin bars

30 minutes
Serves 8

Dessert recipes

Dessert recipes

Dessert recipes

Find heart healthy dessert recipes....

Heart procedures and devices

Heart procedures and devices

Heart procedures and devices

If you have a heart condition, your doctor may recommend treatment or procedures...

Physical activity resources for patients and consumers

Physical activity resources for patients and consumers

Physical activity information for professionals...

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Find heart healthy beef recipes....

Absolute CVD risk assessment resources

Absolute CVD risk assessment resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Fit, active and healthy – Sharon wasn’t expecting a heart attack

Fit, active and healthy – Sharon wasn’t expecting a heart attack

Fit, active and healthy – Sharon wasn’t expecting a heart attack

Fit, active and healthy, Sharon wasn’t expecting a heart attack. However, after experiencing a ‘widow maker’, she counts herself lucky....

GLOBAL CARDIOVASCULAR RESEARCH FUNDERS FORUM

GLOBAL CARDIOVASCULAR RESEARCH FUNDERS FORUM

GLOBAL CARDIOVASCULAR RESEARCH FUNDERS FORUM

FACILITATING INTERNATIONAL CLINICAL TRIALS ...

Heart Health Check Toolkit – Post-use evaluation survey

Heart Health Check Toolkit – Post-use evaluation survey

Remember a loved one with a tribute

Remember a loved one with a tribute

Remember a loved one with a tribute

Honour the life of a loved one with a donation to the Heart Foundation. Your donation offers hope for Australian hearts....

Moroccan chickpea tagine

Moroccan chickpea tagine

25-40 minutes
Serves 4

Heart failure resources for patients

Heart failure resources for patients

Educate your patients on everything they need to know about heart failure and managing their condition ...

Queensland Cardiovascular Research Network

Queensland Cardiovascular Research Network

Queensland Cardiovascular Research Network

QCVRN provides a framework to strengthen cardiovascular research in Queensland...

Reading food labels

Reading food labels

Reading food labels

Nutrition information panels and ingredients lists are a good way of comparing similar foods so you can choose the healthiest option....

Breakfast tacos

Breakfast tacos

Breakfast tacos

5 minutes
Serves 1

Kids recipes

Kids recipes

Kids recipes

Find heart healthy kids recipes...

WEBINAR | Research Alumni Series 2020

WEBINAR | Research Alumni Series 2020

WEBINAR | Research Alumni Series 2020

The Heart Foundation is delivering a research webinar series for Heart Foundation research alumni....

Key Statistics: Heart attack

Key Statistics: Heart attack

Statistics and information on heart attack in Australia...

Christmas recipes

Christmas recipes

Christmas recipes

Find heart healthy festive recipes. ...

WEBINAR | Pressure rising: Clinical controversies and updates in hypertension

WEBINAR | Pressure rising: Clinical controversies and updates in hypertension

WEBINAR | Pressure rising: Clinical controversies and updates in hypertension

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....

Dinner recipes

Dinner recipes

Dinner recipes

Search our heart healthy dinner recipes for tonights main meal...

What's your BMI?

What's your BMI?

What's your BMI?

Are you within a healthy weight range for your height?...

Physical activity after a heart attack

Physical activity after a heart attack

Physical activity after a heart attack

Discover what you need to know about being active after a heart attack....

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Your role as a carer for a heart attack patient is an important one – explore some useful things to know....

Your heart medicines

Your heart medicines

Your heart medicines

Information about commonly prescribed heart medicines. ...

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. ...