Changes to the Medicare Safety Net 2010

The Medicare Safety Net was introduced by the federal government in 2004 to provide an additional rebate for patients who incur significant out of pocket expenses for outpatient services in a calendar year (not a financial year). Out of pocket expense is commonly referred to as the “gap” between the doctor/clinic fee and the Medicare rebate. The Medicare Safety Net does not apply to any services and procedures performed in hospital (inpatient services). In order to receive this additional rebate, patients must reach the relevant threshold for outpatient expenses. As of the 1st January 2010 the Medicare Safety Net Threshold for non-concession card holders is $1126 and $562.90 for concession card holders. Patients receive an additional 80% Medicare Safety Net rebate for the remainder of the calendar year once they have reached their relevant threshold. Medicare Australia annually revises the thresholds.

From the 1st January 2010 the Medicare Safety Net rebate will be “capped” for Assisted Reproductive Technology services. The Medicare Safety Net is not means tested, nor is a restriction placed on the number of treatment cycles patients can undertake in a calendar year. Medicare Australia will continue to calculate the safety net threshold as 80% of the patients out of pocket expenses once the patient has reached their relevant Medicare Safety Net Threshold. Once calculated, if this amount is more than the capped amount for a particular treatment cycle, patients receive the Medicare Safety Net rebate at the capped amount. However, if the calculation is less than the capped amount for a particular treatment cycle, patients receive the Medicare Safety Net rebate at the lesser amount.
City Fertility Centre is committed to providing patients with outstanding quality care and offers the latest technology available for assisted reproductive services. All patients are provided with informed financial consent prior to commencing each treatment cycle. Should you require further information, do not hesitate to contact a member of the Patient Services team who will be glad to discuss the costs involved in your treatment cycle.

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