Health Insurance Commission

Medicare Australia provides medical assistance for all Australians. Vist the web site for information on Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) including the PBS Safety Net, the safety net for medical costs (Medicare Safety Net), the concession card, plus locations of all Medicare offices. Medicare also implements the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register and the Australian Organ Donor Register.
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Check our page How many ways are there to claim Medicare benefits? for the different ways you can make a claim.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) – The Australian Government subsidises the cost of many prescription medicines and all Australian residents are eligible for the subsidy. The medicines cost up to $23.70 for general patients or $3.80 for concession card holders, as at 1 January 2004. (Some alternative brands may cost more.) You have to show your Medicare card or Veterans Repatriation Health card to the pharmacist when you have a prescription filled (the pharmacist can record the number so you don’t have to show it every time).

As a concession card holder, when you and your family have a record of 52 prescriptions on PBS medicines in a calendar year (that’s $197.60 you and your family have spent) you can get a PBS Safety Net Entitlement Card from your pharmacist and further PBS medicines will be free for the rest of the year. If you are not a concession card holder, when you and your family have spent $726.80 you can get a Safety Net Concession Card and further PBS medicines will cost $3.80 for the rest of the calendar year. ( Figures are normally adjusted annually on 1 January. On 1 January 2005, PBS medicines will rise to $28.60 and concession card holders will pay $4.60.) For more consumer information on the PBS:
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The Medicare Safety Net protects you and your family against high medical costs. The difference between the Medicare reimbursement for out-of-hospital services and the Schedule fee is the ‘gap’. If in any one calendar year the gap exceeds $328.00 (adjusted for inflation 1 November each year) you become eligible for the Medicare Safety Net. Then the Medicare benefits will increase to the Schedule fee for the rest of the year. For more information see the HIC safety nets page:
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For further information on fees, patient contributions, benefit items and safety net thresholds Freecall 1800 020 613
TTY (for hearing impaired) Freecall 1800 552 152
Translator/interpreter 13 14 50

Medicare, including information on making claims, location of Medicare offices, and more.
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Phone 13 20 11
TTY (for hearing impaired) 1800 552 152
Translator/interpreter 13 14 50
Note: If you live in a rural or remote area you can make a Medicare claim by phone: 1300 360 460

Medicare benefits are available for a voluntary annual health assessment for people aged 75 years and over (55 years and over for indigenous people). There are also benefits for care planning and case conferencing services for people of any age with chronic illnesses and complex care needs.
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The Pharmaceutical Allowance helps you buy prescription medicines available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. It is a non-taxable payment of $5.80 a fortnight for single and $2.90 a fortnight for each eligible member of a couple ($5.80 combined) which is included in your pension, part pension, Veterans’ Affairs benefit, allowance or other benefit payment. For more information on the Pharmaceutical Allowance:
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Domiciliary Nursing Care Benefit (DNCB)
Phone 02 9263 3555



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