Changes to the Medicare Safety Net 2010

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 a hospital (inpatient services).

To receive this additional rebate, patients must reach the relevant threshold for outpatient expenses. As of January 1 this year, the Medicare Safety Net threshold for non-concession cardholders is $1126 and $562.90 for concession cardholders. Patients receive an additional 80 per cent Medicare Safety Net rebate for the remainder of the calendar year once they have reached their relevant threshold. Medicare Australia revises the thresholds annually.

Since January 1 this year, the Medicare Safety Net rebate has been “capped” for assisted reproductive technology (ART) services. The rebate is not means tested, nor is a restriction placed on the number of treatment cycles patients can undertake in a calendar year.

Medicare will continue to calculate the safety net threshold as 80 per cent of a person’s out-of-pocket expenses once the patient has reached his or her relevant limit. If this amount is more than the capped amount for a particular treatment cycle, patients receive the 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 Safety Net rebate at the lesser amount.

City Fertility Centre is committed to providing patients with outstanding quality of care and offers the latest technology in ART services.

All patients are provided with informed financial consent before starting each treatment cycle. Should you require further information, do not hesitate to contact a member of our patient services team, who will be glad to discuss the costs involved in your treatment cycle.


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