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Medicare Plus safety net reduces the cost of visiting a GP.



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Media Release

Bob Baldwin MP

Federal Member for Paterson 5th July 2004 MEDICARE PLUS SAFETY NET REDUCES THE COST OF VISITING A GP Paterson MP Bob Baldwin is encouraging people to make sure they are registered for the Medicare Plus Safety Net, which is helping people with their out-of-hospital medical bills, including x-rays, scans, blood tests, specialist consultations and visits to the GP. The safety net meets 80% of the out-of-pocket costs of Medicare services provided out of hospital for families and individuals covered by the Commonwealth concession card or receiving Family Tax Benefit (A) once their out-of-pocket, out-of-hospital expenses exceed $300 in a calendar year. Other individuals and families are eligible for safety net benefits once their out-of-pocket, out-of-hospital expenses exceed $700 in a calendar year. “The Medicare Safety Net significantly reduces the out-of-hospital costs of patients including a visit to your local GP,” Mr Baldwin said. “For example, if a patient who has exceeded the safety net threshold is charged $40 for a visit to their GP, they can receive a Medicare rebate of $37 and not the normal rebate of $25. “For patients in Paterson, I strongly encourage people to make sure they are registered for the safety net, so they can benefit from the new initiative.” More than 2.85million Australian families have registered for the safety net. Of that, 93,000 families and more than 21,000 individuals have reached the $300 threshold and 25,000 families and more than 8,000 individuals have reached the $700 threshold. 415,000 individuals are registered for the safety net. To make sure you or your family are registered for the Medicare Safety Net, contact your nearest Medicare office, call 1800 011 163 or visit www.health.gov.au