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Medicare offices open on Saturdays in June.

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Media Release

The Hon Tony Abbott MHR Minister for Health and Ageing

3 June 2004 ABB073/04

Medicare offices open on Saturdays in June

More Australian families will have an opportunity to register for the Medicare Safety Net with most Medicare offices across Australia open on Saturday mornings in June.

Almost all Medicare offices across Australia will open between 9am and 12.30pm each Saturday in June starting Saturday June 5th.

Extended Medicare office hours will give busy families more opportunities to register for the safety net and will also provide greater access for people to claim their Medicare rebates outside of work hours.

The Medicare safety net strengthens Medicare by protecting Australians against high out-of-pocket medical costs. Families should register for the Medicare safety net to ensure that their out-of-hospital medical expenses count towards the safety net thresholds. Individuals do not have to register as their expenses are automatically calculated by Medicare towards the safety net.

There are currently 2.1 million families registered for the Medicare safety net and there are about three million families yet to register. Since the new safety net arrangements started in March more than 254,000 individuals are now receiving higher Medicare rebates as a result of the safety net. This is made up of 72,000 families and nearly 22,000 individuals who are now being reimbursed 80 per cent of their out-of-hospital medical expenses for the rest of the year. For example if a visit to the GP costs $40, they will receive $37 back from Medicare instead of the standard $25 Medicare rebate. The safety net is expected to provide financial assistance to more than one million Australians this year.

For more information on registration for the safety net or to find out if your Medicare office is opening visit a or call 1800 011 163.

Media contact: Kate Jordan, 0417 425 227