Department of Human Services is changing the way Medicare rebates are paid to make the process quicker and more efficient. Medicare Service Centres have begun going cashless and will now pay rebates straight into bank accounts.
In the last year only eight per cent of payments were processed using cash, and just four per cent by cheques. Claims will now be paid directly into bank accounts by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or by swiping a debit card. There are a number of Medicare Service Centres which are now cashless and the remainder will be changing progressively throughout 2012/13. You can view the planned switchover date for your nearest Medicare centre at Humanservices.gov.au.
There are now several electronic payment options available to people claiming Medicare benefits:
- You can register your bank account details with Medicare and claim using EFT, where benefits will usually be deposited into your bank account the next business day.
- If you need immediate payment, you can swipe your debit card and payment will be instantly deposited into your bank account via credit EFTPOS.
- If you need extra help, or don’t have a bank account, Medicare staff will work with you to ensure you receive your Medicare benefit. If you don’t have a debit card or there are circumstances where the benefit can’t be paid to an account, alternative options will be offered.
If you register your bank account details with Medicare, your benefits can also be claimed directly at your local doctor, if this service is offered.
Claims can also be made online at Medicare.gov.au and via Medicare phone services on 132 011. This will enable you to lodge claims without visiting a service centre, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You can find out more about claiming Medicare benefits by visiting www.humanservices.gov.au/medicare