- Cancer Information
- Managing side effects
- Breast prostheses and reconstruction
- Breast prostheses
- Costs and financial assistance
Costs and financial assistance for breast prosthesis
The cost of a breast form and bra vary depending on the type.
Following is a guide to the average cost of forms and bras:
- silicone breast form – $250–$450
- silicone swim form – about $150
- foam form – about $70
- mastectomy bra – $40–$100
- bra pockets that you can sew into a regular bra – $10–$15.
Learn more about:
The cost of a new or replacement breast prosthesis can be claimed through Medicare. Women who are permanent residents of Australia, are eligible for Medicare, and have had a full or partial mastectomy as a result of breast cancer, can make a claim for a new prosthesis every two years.
At the time of publication, Medicare’s External Breast Prostheses Reimbursement Program covers up to $400 for each new or replacement breast prosthesis since July 2008. If you’ve had a bilateral mastectomy, you are eligible for a reimbursement for two breast prostheses of up to $400 each.
As policies change, check what assistance is available before you buy prostheses or bras. Visit humanservices.gov.au and search for “breast prostheses”.
How to make a claim for a replacement prosthesis:
- Allow two years or more between the purchase dates of the prostheses. In some circumstances, you may be able to make additional claims but you will need to provide a letter from your doctor or surgeon.
- Obtain a claim form from any Medicare office or download from humanservices.gov.au (search for “breast prostheses form”).
- Attach the original receipt to the claim form and return by email, post or in person at a Medicare Service Centre. The payment will be made by electronic funds transfer into your bank account.
Rebates for breast prostheses and related products such as mastectomy bras vary between private health funds. Some rebates only apply to members with extras cover.
Most health funds have waiting periods and other terms and conditions. They may also require a letter from your surgeon stating why you need a prosthesis. Ask your health fund what is covered and what information is needed.
Women with private health insurance may also be able to claim a reimbursement from Medicare. If the full price of the prosthesis wasn’t covered by your private health insurer, you can claim through Medicare, but this reimbursement will be adjusted according to the $400 limit. For example, if you buy a prosthesis for $500, and get a $200 refund from your private health fund, your Medicare reimbursement would be $200.
A/Prof Elisabeth Elder, Specialist Breast Surgeon, Westmead Breast Cancer Institute and Clinical Associate Professor, University of Sydney, NSW; Jo Cockwill, Consumer;
Suzanne Elliott, Consumer; Bronwyn Flanagan, Breast Care Nurse, Brightways, Cabrini Hospital, VIC; Maina Gordon, Consumer; Gillian Horton, Owner and Corsetry Specialist, Colleen’s Post-Mastectomy Connection, ACT; Kerry Nash, Sales and Marketing Manager, Amoena Australia, NSW; A/Prof Kerry Sherman, Macquarie University and Westmead Breast Cancer Institute, NSW. We are grateful to Amoena Australia Pty Ltd for supplying the breast form images, which appear in this section. The breast reconstruction images have been reproduced with permission from Breast Cancer: Taking Control, breastcancertakingcontrol.com © Boycare Publishing 2010.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
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