25 September 2023

Couples urged to unite for Medicare

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Families and couples enrolling for the Medicare Safety Net have been advised to enrol together to be eligible for medical rebates earlier.

Minister for Human Services, Michael Keenan said many people who didn’t register together could be missing out on hundreds of dollars a year.

“By registering as a couple or a family, each member of your household’s out-of-pocket expenses are combined, enabling you all to qualify for the higher rebate sooner,” Mr Keenan said.

“That’s why we are urging Australians to update their details with Medicare as soon as possible so they can access the higher rebate faster and start getting more money back in their pockets sooner.”

He said doing it was as simple as picking up the phone and calling Medicare, or updating details online through Medicare’s websites and apps.

“For a family with young children — particularly in a household where a loved one has an ongoing medical issue — the higher rebate could add up to a sizeable sum coming back into your pocket each year,” Mr Keenan said.

“Out-of-pocket expenses are the difference between what you pay your doctor and what you get back from Medicare.”

He said the threshold for concession cardholders and families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A was $668.10. For all other Medicare cardholders, the amount is $2,093.30.

A safety net system also operates for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Once people have spent over the threshold on PBS prescription medicines they are eligible for a PBS Safety Net card and reduced PBS prescription costs.

Mr Keenan said couples and families could register for the Medicare Safety Net by calling 132 011.

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