We know that many of our patients are finding the current inflationary environment difficult.
We have only put our fees up by $3 in 10 years (0.35% per year) in an effort to enable affordable access. While we are not increasing our consult fees, we have started to charge for some services we previously provided free of charge (e.g., ear syringes), as current funding does not cover the costs of our equipment and nursing to provide this service.
Many of our patients are eligible for certain bulk billed appointments subject to Medicare criteria. We will endeavour to email eligible patients and encourage you to take advantage of this service. Medicare rules require us to follow certain procedures but we have designed the service in such away to achieve the best outcomes.
To help patients financially, we can schedule GP Management Plans (Care Plans), Team Care Arrangements, and Annual Health Assessments, which will attract a reduced out of pocket cost:
- GP Management Plans (Item 721) and Team Care Arrangements (Item 723) are recommended every 12 months and will be bulk billed if you are eligible for these Medicare items.
- Reviews of GP Management Plans (Item 732) and Team Care Arrangements (also Item 732) are recommended every 6 months and will have a fixed $40 out of pocket cost if scheduled in advance.
- Over 75 Health assessments (Item 705 or 707) are recommended every 12 months and will be bulk billed if you are eligible for these Medicare items.
The Medicare Safety Net: Concession card holders such as Commonwealth Senior Health Card holders (over 67) may be eligible for the extended Medicare Safety Net once their out-of-pocket expenses reach $770.30. Once this threshold is reached, Medicare will usually reimburse 80% of the gap up to a gap limit of $93.20. For further information see health.gov.au/topics/medicare/about/safety-nets
Eligibility details for Commonwealth Seniors Health Card can be found here.
To meet the income test, you must earn less than the following:
- $90,000 a year if you’re single
- $144,000 a year for couples
- $180,000 a year for couples separated by illness, respite care or prison.
There is no assets test.
If you’re part of a family or couple, you can also register as a family for the Medicare Safety Net to combine your costs. This means you’re more likely to reach the thresholds sooner. Even if all family members are on the same Medicare card, you’ll still need to register.
You only need to register once.
You can register or tell Medicare about a change in your family situation by either:
- Filling in the Medicare Safety Net couples and families registration and amendment form
- Calling the Medicare program.