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Reimbursements now available for breast prostheses.



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THE HON NICOLA ROXON MP

Minister for Health and Ageing

MEDIA RELEASE

1 December 2008

Reimbursements now available for breast prostheses

Australian women who have had a mastectomy as a result of breast cancer will welcome the news that the Rudd Government has fulfilled its election and Budget commitment to reimburse the cost of breast prostheses up to $400.

The new program provides, for the first time, nationally consistent financial support to eligible women who require external breast prostheses as a result of breast cancer.

The reimbursement covers both new and replacement external breast prostheses purchased from 1 July 2008.

Since the program was announced on 9 September 2008, Medicare Australia has received more than 1,000 claim forms for reimbursement.

From today, the program is operational and claims processing has commenced.

To claim the reimbursement a Medicare claim form needs to be completed, which is available from any Medicare office or from the Medicare website.

All reimbursements will be made by electronic funds transfer to a nominated bank account.

Women who are permanent residents of Australia, have a current Medicare entitlement and have had a mastectomy as a result of breast cancer are eligible to claim the reimbursement.

Women can access information about the program by contacting Medicare Australia via the website www.medicareaustralia.gov.au or by telephoning 132 011.

This builds on other funding the Government has committed:

• $12 million through the McGrath Foundation for breast care nurses in 44 locations

• Listed the drug Tykerb® (lapatinib) on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for women with advanced breast cancer

• Provided $2.5 million over five years towards the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s cohort study of 100,000 women’s experiences of breast cancer.

For all media inquiries, please contact the Minister's Office on 02 6277 7220.