17th Jul 2012

Medicare payments go electronic

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Debbie McTaggart

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





COMMENTS

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antelope38
18th Jul 2012
9:13am
About the claims on line it is a bit of a joke some services you can claim on line some you can't but they don't tell you that till you try to claim my wife had to go to the eye specialist when we tried to claim on line it would not accept the claim so I said take it to medicare and ask why the woman there told my wife that you can't claim for a specialist on line and she does not know why they did this.
I have my own idea its another incompetent department operated by an incompetent labor government.
rtrish
18th Jul 2012
11:48am
To quote - "benefits will usually be deposited into your bank account the next business day". If this is so, I will be delighted. However, forgive my scepticism; I ONCE and once only lodged a claim with Medicare to be paid into my bank account. It took a week. I needed that refund to pay the rest of my usual fortnightly expenses. It was a very tough week while waiting.
Joybells
18th Jul 2012
6:21pm
I was stunned last week when I lodged a claim at the local medicare office here in Bunbury. Upon being told they don't pay you your refund anymore in cash, I assumed I would have to wait a week to be able to withdraw it. Amazingly they told me I could draw it at the nearest ATM -and it worked. So sometimes the Government get it right. but my private medical cover refunds take five working days to get my money back.
Anonymous
19th Jul 2012
6:07pm
rtrish, the first time my gp did the new medicare thing the money didn't go into my account so (and, like antelope) it was a very lean week. Days later I rang medicare and was told a cheque was on the way to me because I HAD NOT REGISTERED for the refund to go into my bank account but, as I had now rung and given my bank account details, it would happen in future; and it has certainly worked in an instant manner since. But, from what I have since gathered, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO REGISTER your bank account details with medicare so I have no idea why the initial glitch. They should have got it right before putting into the public domain.
rtrish
27th Jul 2012
4:38pm
I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised! I think I have previously registered my details, so here's hoping.
MrsB
18th Jul 2012
12:54pm
I have been using a physiotherapist in the last two weeks, and they do not bulk bill, however they do use the the refund from Medicare, and I am so pleased, I get my eftpos card swiped for the fee charged, she then put in numbers into the medicare swiper and then re swipes my eftpos card again and credits what Medicare have refunded, all in less than two minutes, and it is there in my account straight away.I don't know why most of doctor's don't use it, it is just like one stop shopping.
Joybells
20th Jul 2012
12:06pm
Same here brewaz. Makes it so much easier when paying physio's etc. We are lucky our GP's do bulk bill so that's a benefit of being on a pension I guess.
Faithwilson
21st Nov 2013
6:16pm
"Medicare Service Centres have begun going cashless and will now pay rebates straight into bank accounts."

Good news then! By means of Electric Funds Transfer or swiping a debit card you will easily pay for your medicare. This will be less hassle and effort in today's fast paced life. Just be careful of medicare fraud near you. Medicare Fraud Operations


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