PM prescribes new Medicare safety net
The Federal Government will announce its revised Medicare package today, the core of which will be Medicare Plus, a “safety net” for lower income households. Under the new scheme, about 12 million Australians will receive an 80 per cent rebate on medical bills once these reach $500 in one year. The remaining 8 million Australians will receive the rebate once their bills top $1,000 a year.
Medicare Plus will cover GP and specialist bills and services such as X-rays, CT scans, blood tests, tissue biopsies, radiotherapy, gynaecology, and psychiatry.
The Government has dropped its initial plan to allow patients to pay the gap between the Medicare rebate and a GP's bill. Instead, the full fee will be paid upfront and the rebate deposited in bank accounts within three days.