July 1 changes to Medicare and your bills 18



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Today is the first of July and while it means the start of the new financial year it also is the day that the new Medicare policies take effect.

As of today, there will be no more Medicare patient cheques sent. To claim these funds, you will need to login to the Medicare website and register your online banking details. These changes can be done by visiting the Department of Human Services website and following the prompts.

Other changes that come into effect from today are a potential increase in medical costs as some new fees for tests are set to come in. Because of the continuation of the Medicare rebate freeze as well you might see some GPs decide to either stop bulk-billing or raise appointment fees by $10 or more.

While road tolls across the country are also set to rise up to seven cents for access, your power bill will also be on the rise. While some areas of the country like NSW and South Australia, who already have the countries highest power bills, are set to increase you should check with your power distributor as some fees might rise up to $260 a year.

If you have previously used artwork, jewellery, vintage cars, or other collectables for your Super the new policy that goes into effect today will no longer allow these items to be stored at your house. Superfun Partners told News.com.au “As the Auditors, or the ATO cannot be at your home to verify the existence of the collectable, or that it truly is not being used, the decision was made to remove the temptation and remove the collectable from reach. Therefore, the new legislation states that any collectable must not be stored at the SMSF trustee’s residence.”

It is not all doom and gloom with the start of the new financial year as the new “Country of Origin” labelling system comes into affect. New labels will be appearing on your shopping goods to cleared show you where they come from. This will take a short time to catch up to your local as products produced for the deadline don’t have to have it.

What do you think of the new changes? Are there any others that you are excited or sad about?

Scott Black

  1. Our Pm said there would never be changes to Medicare, but it has already happened. Since January 2016 I have had to pay at my Drs surgery where he bulked billed for 40 years! I don’t know what the situation will be when I need to have a blood test however I expect to pay there as well. At our time in life, you can’t afford to find another Dr and start all over again. I can’t. Believe it when he gets up and swears there will be no changes to Medicare. It has already happened!!!!

    1 REPLY
    • We don’t pay at our Doctors and blood tests have been bulk billed. Also had nuclear scans plus several other images taken and all have been bulk billed. Ask your Dr some questions.

  2. Spot on Roslyn. Our GP already charges $37 on top of the rebate. I can see that going to $50 in the near future. Though, an experience with a bulk bill GP was less than satisfactory, I had difficulty understanding his poor English and he had problems understanding me. It was a diabolical experience.

  3. The replacement of repayment by cheque system was brought in approx. 2 years ago. Bank details are supplied to Medicare and on leaving your Doctors reimbursement back in to your account is immediate! They only fazing the old fashioned cheque system out now completely.

  4. You may not have noticed but Medicare has been changing for the last eight years with integration to Centrelink offices, payments into bank accounts and slowly reducing customer service through cashless payments. This is saving the government millions of dollars very sneaky!

  5. I will be eligible for the age pension, next year but they told me that I will be receiving $5.00 a week less than the current pensioners because the power bills went down when the carbon tax was removed. Yet power bills are going up again, what a joke.

    1 REPLY
    • I only got less then a dollar when the Carbon Tax was removed. How does this work. Why should you get $5 less. Power bills go up again today.

  6. When we had a Medicare office, you could drop a form in the box and leave. If you needed further assistance, you would be attended to after a short wait. Now after the “improvements” you need to wait in a queue of people just to drop a form in. Rockingham is often 15 minutes in the queue. If you need further assistance, you then need to wait to be called to a person with very little knowledge of the system and the wait for this will vary from another 10 minutes to over 30 minutes.
    This sort of “improvement” we can do without.

  7. Yes of course we pensioners are angry, since LNP were voted in the Medicare has changed drastically. I can see Pensioners not going to Dr and just curl up and die. Is this what we want.
    Pensioners get NO increase and yet Electricity increases today and so does Car Rego and I am sure there is other items of increase. We are going backwards and will be in poverty which some are already.

  8. This government, the liberals need to go they have ruined this country they have ruined us, we can’t afford to live, we might as well die or kill ourselves, we can’t afford to eat, go to the doctors, use heating or cooling what’s the point of living so bad in poverty

    1 REPLY
    • I moved to Thailand 3 years ago, I go to my Thai doctor ( he speaks perfect English) every month, for blood pressure check and an injection for low testosterone and medication for type 2 diabetes, I get enough pills for a month and all up it costs me around $40 Aud ( he owns the Pharmacy ) and my waiting time is never more than about 10 to 15 mins. My friend went for just a blood pressure check and he paid $8 Aud

  9. My doctor charges $70 every time I visit, even if it is for a prescription. I have been with this doctor for years, but I’m seriously thinking of changing as I cannot continue to pay this every 3 months and then pay for blood tests, MRI’s and echo’s on a yearly basis.

    1 REPLY
    • I’m in agreement my local dr whom I have a great respect for as a a dr is now far too expensive to visit. I have to save I case I go over allocated time and the account jumps from$65 tom$108 and up again I another 5 mins
      I recently found another dr closer to home who at this stage still bulk bills pensioners and children he is lovely and a good dr
      It’s worth looking for another dr

  10. I’m curious as to what will happen to the medicare rebates for people who do not have a computer or computer skills. That’s the big change – it seems that it MUST be done online. Does the receipt have to be scanned in – not posible for me – or do they just need Dr names & receipt Nos.???

    2 REPLY
    • There are actual forms available to supply your account details, most helpful doctors surgeries have some to give out and you can post them in. I work in a bank and we had a circular about this happening so I printed out some to help my “oldies” fill them out and get them off . It is a better system once set up, no list or forgotten cheque

    • You’ll find that most doctors have the forms and are only too happy to use the new system . I have to pay the full amount up front but the refund comes into my account within 24 hours. Some really techo-savvy doctors have special eftpos machines which do the refund instantly. This will probably become more common now that the old system has been phased out. I was actually surprised that some people still wait in queues as its a complete waste of your time and government resources. I do agree with this change but not the others.

  11. Some Drs are adding to the bottom line
    I had a Drs secretary ring to advise that the flu injection was available
    The call lasted maybe 30 secs and it wasn’t from my dr but his partner
    I found out later that they processed a claim for this service. Normal consultation fee

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