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Human Services Amendment (Photographic Identification and Fraud Prevention) Bill 2019

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2016-2017-2018-2019

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

HUMAN SERVICES AMENDMENT (PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION AND FRAUD PREVENTION) BILL 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of Senator Hanson)



HUMAN SERVICES AMENDMENT (PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION AND FRAUD PREVENTION) BILL 2019

 

OUTLINE

 

If enacted, the Human Services Amendment (Photographic Identification and Fraud Prevention) Bill 2019 (the Bill) will require photographic identification on Medicare cards to mitigate against fraudulent use by someone other than the person to whom it is allocated.

 

At present the use of a Medicare card to obtain Government-paid or subsidised medical treatment does not require any verification that the user is the person to whom the card was allocated.  Fraudulent use is at significant cost to the health budget.

 

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

Clause 1: Short Title

1.       Clause 1 is a formal provision specifying the short title of the Bill.

Clause 2: Commencement

2.       Sections 1 to 3 and anything else apart from Schedule 1 will commence the day of Royal Assent.  Schedule 1 will commence the day after the Act receives Royal Assent.

Clause 3: Schedules

3.       Each Act specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as is set out in the applicable items in the Schedule.  Any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1—Amendments

Human Services (Medicare) Act 1973

Item 1 - Section 3

4.       This item inserts definitions into the Act::

·          “eligible person” has the same meaning as in the Health Insurance Act 1973 ;

·          “medicare card” has the same meaning as in Part VII of the National Health Act 1953

·          “medicare card information” means the information on the front of a medicare card, including the medicare holder’s photograph;  and

·          “medicare number” has the same meaning as in Part VII of the National Health Act 1953.

Item 2 - The following proposed sections are inserted in the Human Services (Medicare Act) 1973 :

5.       Section 41A          Medicare card information

This section requires that a medicare card when issued must include “medicare card information.”

6.       Section 41B          Minister to be satisfied of a person’s eligibility and identity

Section 41B will ensure that the identity and eligibility of anyone issued with a medicare card is established before it is issued.

7.       Section 41BA       Payment obtained through fraud etc.

This section establishes that fraudulent use of another person’s medicare card or by impersonating a card holder to obtain a benefit or payment under the Human Services (Medicare Act) 1973 , the Health Insurance Act 1973 or the National Health Act 1953 , is subject to two years’ imprisonment and/or 50 penalty units.

This offence is modelled on offences established by subsection 103(5) of the National Health Act 1953 which relate to obtaining pharmaceutical benefits by deception or fraud.



Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

Human Services Amendment (Photographic Identification and Fraud Prevention) Bill 2019

 

This Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 .

 

Overview of the Bill

The purpose of the Bill is to provide for the inclusion of photographic evidence on Medicare cards issued to eligible persons and for penalties for the fraudulent use by someone other than the person to whom it is issued, including penalties for allowing such use.

The bill proposes to ensure that the integrity of the Medicare Scheme is strengthened.

 

Human rights implications

This Bill does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms.

 

Conclusion

This Bill is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.

 

Senator Pauline Hanson