Same-Sex Relationships Act 2008

Effective from 1 January 2009, same-sex couples and their children can register as a family for Medicare safety net purposes.

Page last updated: 15 December 2008

The Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws—General Law Reform) Act 2008 received Royal Assent on 9 December 2008. It removes discrimination against same-sex couples and their children from a wide range of Commonwealth laws and programs.

As part of the Act, the Health Insurance Act 1973 has been amended to recognise same-sex relationships and allow same-sex couples and their children to register as a family for Medicare Safety Net purposes, and thereby receive the same entitlements as opposite-sex couples and their children. It is to take effect from 1 January 2009.

For further information on the administration of the Medicare Safety Nets visit the Medicare Australia website.

For a summary of all Commonwealth legislation and programs which have changed following the Same-Sex Relationships Act, visit the Attorney-General’s Department website.

To view the legislative amendments:



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Created on 15 December 2008.