Seniors might not have to front an additional $20 to see your GP 191



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There has been a huge uproar on the Liberal government’s changes to the Medicare rebate plan that saw people an additional $20 out of pocket for a GP visit. But, there are a few things that haven’t been covered in the media and today we want to clear these up.

The changes

The changes are to any consultations that are less than 10 minutes (Level A). Under existing rules, the GP receives a government rebate of $37.05 on appointments that last less than 10 minutes. This goes back into their pockets and they charge us their current rates with the gap (which varies from GP to GP) based on this amount. What the Liberal government has introduced is for appointments lasting less than 10 minutes to only receive a rebate of $16.95 – $20.10 less than they have previously received. The government has given GPs two options – the first is to accept the additional $20.10 and be happy with less of a rebate, or to change their rates to recover the $20.10 from the customer. It is the second option that has people running scared.

The government has given a few reasons behind doing this – firstly, to deter unnecessary GP visits; secondly, Level A visits are often reserved for getting a prescription or quick test, and the government feels that the additional rebate fee is too high for work of this manner. And thirdly, because the Level A rebate has been the highest proportional rebate of all and doctors have allegedly been “rushing” through patients to maximise revenue from the rebate.

Under the new rules, consultation costs will be:

Level A consultation rebate (less than 10 minutes) – $16.95

Level B consultation rebate (10-20 minutes) – $37.05

Level C consultation rebate (20-40 minutes) – $71.70

Level D consultation rebate (more than 40 minutes) – $105.55


The important thing to note

The government has blocked these changes from affecting any concession card holders. This means that children under 16, pensioners, veterans, people with a Health Care Card and residents of aged care and nursing homes will be exempt from the changes and will continue to warrant a Level A rebate of $37.05.


Is this set in stone? 

No. The Senate will resume in February and they will have the opportunity to vote against the changes. Already three cross benchers have publicly shared their opposition to the changes. The Lower House of Representatives will however get it to the Senate as the Liberal Party hold the balance of power.

So, in amidst of all the confusion on the GP $20 payment, we hope this can give you some clarity and understanding of what is going on. It is positive to note that the changes will only affect the working Australians and will not be enforced on children, pensioners, Health Care Card holders and veterans.


Tell us, do you think under these circumstances that it is fair? Should it go ahead or should it be disallowed? 


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Once again the ordinary working man is hit, all the bludgers will get this for free. I do not include or mean to call. Pensioners bludgers ?

    5 REPLY
    • Linda how about thinking that your bludgers are actually the rich corporations who practise tax avoidance, instead of those unfortunate enough to be on a health card. And do you really think it is ok for the politicians to have $50,000 dinners?

    • Linda change your perception off bludgers. This will affect a lot off people. Maybe when people start dying then you and others will say I was wrong

    • I haven’t seen anyone die yet here because of being turned away from medical assistance or hospital. Be grateful for the country you live in and the care you do get.. Somebody has to pay for this. Some countries have no medical care.

    • I have a fair idea of what you imply by using the term bludgers, I wonder if you get these references you archaic narrow minded arriviste.

  2. The item numbers and rates you have (e.g. Level A,B,C, & D) above are the current rebate rates GPs received from Medicare – not the new ones to come into affect next week

  3. Still think it would be devastating for a family (without health care card) or those who NEED (not want) to visit the doctor often. The whole Medicare system would crumble and we would have the American system which would be terrible. That is what this fool is aiming for and the sooner he goes the better. He has no regard for the average people, just the big money group!!!

    8 REPLY
    • I totally agree. Tony Abbott is intent on scrapping medicare and implementing a US style private insurer health care model. People who rely on bulk billing will not be able to afford health insurance and those who can afford it will regularly have their claims denied so the insurance companies can pay their executives million dollar salaries and post profitable dividends to share holders.

    • do you have rocks in your head? who is going to pay for our health system, it’s already in disarray thanks to Labor & Greens.

    • Sure, make only the taxpayer fork out for this, we are happy to continue to support those who don’t want to work.

  4. from what I read today the senate are going to block it, I saw a great news article about Bill Shorten and some QLD pensioners who were worried, Shorten assured them Labor would oppose it and many of the senators including The Greens are going to as well..I am so sick of the dramas with this Government..Tony Abbott is a lame duck PM

    9 REPLY
    • I have no time for Mr a Shorten either How is he going to afford all he wants to do?Borrow borrow borrow so my grandkids have to pay, He is also a proven traitor and out for himself like all the rest of the politicians.

    • and we all should not vote for Shorten because you don’t like him Linda Allen? well I don’t like Abbott so how about none of us vote for him

    • Unfortunately we have become a society that wants and needs to depend on the Government for handouts, we need to start taking some responsibility for ourselves. I certainly dont want my grandchildren to take on my debt from Governments that keep on borrowing.

    • I agree with you Pam Donald so why has The LNP doubled the debt in there short time in office, they gave other countries $200 million for climate change just after they dismantled the only plan we had !!

  5. Even if doesn’t affect pensioners there are so many working poor this will impact badly on. It’s insane and short term thinking. People will end up at out patients at hospital. Driving costs up there and waiting times thru the roof.

    1 REPLY
  6. The item numbers and rates you have (e.g. Level A,B,C, & D) quoted in the article are the current rebate rates GPs received from Medicare – not the new ones to come into affect next week

  7. We are self funded retirees. No pension, no health card but my husband has three chronic health conditions. His doctor bulk bills, mine doesn’t. We will be out of pocket.

    4 REPLY
    • Couldn’t you change to your husband’s doctor, if his doctor bulk bills? If it is a matter of being out of pocket, change! Good luck.

    • Why haven’t you got a health care card? Self funded retirees were entitled to them as long as they are not drawing down a combined income of more than $80,000.00 per annum. If you are drawing more than that then you can afford $20 a visit surely.

    • It’s not up to total strangers to decide what someone can afford don’t know their life their bills etc if everyone could mind their own f….ing business we’d all be better off!!

  8. Relax for now but, I think don’t this Government is finished with us yet, I assume they must know they won’t be re elected, because this was an insane act politically. They are already disliked and people just see them as liars and spiteful. I am sure the Senate will support all Australian’s even if the Government won’t

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