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Australian Government Coat of Arms

Budget | 2014-15

Budget 2014-15
Australian Government Coat of Arms, Budget 2014-15

Patient contributions for health care

New patient contributions towards the costs of medical services and medicines will ensure Australians can continue to affordably access world-class health care and medicines

The Government's health reforms will build a stronger and more sustainable health system that delivers quality health care for all Australians.

This Budget will take steps to put health spending growth on a sustainable path, with all Australians making a contribution to the cost of health services.

Contributing to the cost of health care

From 1 July 2015, previously bulk-billed patients can expect to contribute $7 per visit towards the cost of standard GP consultations and out-of-hospital pathology and imaging services.

For each $7 patient contribution, $5 will be reinvested in the new Medical Research Future Fund. This will come from reducing Medicare Benefits Schedule rebates for these services by $5. $2 will go to the provider.

For concessional patients and children under 16 years the contribution will be for the first 10 services each calendar year.

From 1 January 2015, increased costs of PBS medicines and Safety Net thresholds will keep the PBS sustainable, ensuring the Government can continue to provide access to new and innovative medicines.

New Medicare Safety Net — Three safety nets into one

From 1 July 2016, a new Medicare Safety Net will simplify existing safety nets for out-of-hospital services whilst continuing to protect vulnerable patients. The new Medicare Safety Net will have lower thresholds for most people. Safety net benefits, and fees that count towards safety net thresholds, will be capped.

Patient contributions will apply to 70 per cent of Medicare services
Patient contributions will apply to 70 per cent of Medicare services. Services requiring patient contributions will comprise of 31% pathology (blood tests, tissue sampling etc), 6% diagnostic imaging (ultrasound, radiology etc), and 33% general practitioner services.
New, simple Medicare Safety Net
The three existing Safety Nets (Original Medicare Safety Net, Extended Medicare Safety Net and The Greatest Permissible Gap) will be simplified into one New Medicare Safety Net.