Changes to Medicare rebate processes to hurt customers

Can Medicare savings help improve our public health service?

medicare card and money

The Liberal Party’s federal director Tony Nutt may have lambasted Labor’s ‘Mediscare’ campaign, but leaked documents could prove that there was a modicum of truth in its pre-election claims.

In his post-election press conference at the National Press Club in Canberra last week, Mr Nutt repeatedly referred to Labor’s Medicare privatisation claim as a “cold blooded lie”, that was aimed at putting the fear of losing cover into older and poorer voters.

Leaked documents provided to News Corp are said to outline changes to Medicare that would have a substantial impact on processing time for claims, especially on expensive treatments. Rather than being processed at the customer’s local Medicare office, claims are being sent to one of 17 centres nationwide, which is said to be resulting in delays.

A source told News Corp, “We were told yesterday in a team huddle that by December there will no longer be any face-to-face Medicare services, customers will only be able to claim digitally or through the service provider.’’

“Apparently we won’t even have a Medicare dropbox, the little old ladies will have to fill in a form and post it and we know how much mail already goes missing. Who knows if they’ll get their forms through?’’

However, Human Services Minster Alan Tudge said the claims were false and customers would not see any difference in processing times, with 82 per cent of all claims made at a service centre processed within 10 days. Of the changes, Mr Tudge said, “There has been a huge ­reduction in demand for face-to-face claiming so we are consolidating ‘back of house’ processing work to ensure we provide high quality, consistent services.

“Nationally, 96 per cent of all Medicare claims are lodged electronically – this is saving time for millions of Australians who no longer have to visit a service centre to claim.’’

Catherine King, Opposition spokeswoman on health and Medicare, responded by saying, "We've heard the Government is proposing to close down the remaining frontline services in Centrelink offices across the country for people accessing Medicare payments."

"For many older Australians a delay in getting their Medicare rebate back is a delay which means they're actually delaying going to see a doctor."

Read more at Dailytelegraph.com.au
Read more at ABC.net.au

Opinion: A bigger health fix needed

With reports last week that private health insurance will soon be unaffordable for more than one fifth of those currently paying premiums, the strain on the public health system and, by association, Medicare, is only likely to increase. So then, isn't it prudent that the Government tries to save money where it can?

There is a perception that older Australians are unable to deal with modern technology commonly used for making payments and claims online, but the reality is far from the truth. While some people, regardless of age, may struggle to get their heads around the digital world, many older Australians are embracing technology that saves them time and makes their lives easier.

By using technology to make claims for Medicare either online or at the point of service, older Australians, like many other people, are saving themselves a trip to their local Medicare office. And if the demand for such a service is no longer there, then providing it is surely just a waste of money.

However, any such money saved from the streamlining of these processes must be invested back into our health service. Extended waiting times for appointments to see medical professionals through the public health service or not being able to receive medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is a lot more serious for peoples’ health than having to wait for their Medicare claims to be processed.

It’s time to envisage a health service that works for all, not just those who can afford to pay.

What do you think? Is it necessary to have access to a Medicare office? Are you able to process Medicare claims online? Or have you been affected by a delayed Medicare rebate payment?

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    COMMENTS

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    jackie
    26th Sep 2016
    10:35am
    Every time a Liberal government gets in they corrode away our unions, social security, public education, medicare and lower the pays and conditions of all common workers. Their only agenda is to keep the rich powerful even if they aren't Australian has been successful.
    dougie
    26th Sep 2016
    11:16am
    Not only the :ibs Jackie, I was made redundant by a Labor Government after a long and I believe very satisfactory service. The Union would not take on my case, their answer was, "get the best deal for yourself and do not worry about your staff, they are not in the union."
    It goes with all parties in all governments so I would suggest that we deride all parties not just the one whose leanings we do not subscribe to.
    GreyViper
    26th Sep 2016
    11:20am
    What a load of drivel jackie. Why can't people on this web site discuss the issues raised by the writer instead of trying to turn EVERY article into a political bun fight. Your comments bear no reference to the item above and add no value to the issue being discussed. Just an excuse to blame the government for "all the woes of the world". In case you hadn't noticed this country is nearly 400 billion dollars in debt and heading in the wrong direction!
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    11:44am
    I saw Tony Nutt crying in front of the cameras as he delivered his dishonest claims of unfair treatment.
    I remember Nutt attacking Alan Jones on election night. Vile stuff. I remember the Abbott campaign and "you have electricity prices because of the Carbon Tax". The Carbon Tax is gone but why did electricity prices not come down at least 60% after that? Answer: a blatant lie!
    I remember Abbott promising "no new taxes". After the election it was 'let's find a new tax on everything'. Even tried to increase the GST by 50%.
    I hope that the public has a deaf ear to the bleating Liberal Party which can dish it out but never accept kind for kind. Last thing to Nutt is remember the promise GetUp made a few days before the election when its payment system was hacked (guess who!)? You got what you deserved and that was totally fair.
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    11:46am
    GreyViper: you're new and sound a lot like our trolls" recycled with a new username????
    For the record we DO discuss the issues. It's just that the only issues our trolls want to discuss is pink batts and school halls, but never the failing of the current government which has failed to achieve anything other than run up another huge debt and try to give money to its rich constituents and big business.
    Peanuts
    26th Sep 2016
    11:47am
    Jackie, did you actually read the article? Are you suggesting that with so few people (4% according to the article) not electronically lodging claims, that the same level of service be provided? Your ideologically driven reaction is exactly what we get from our politicians!
    grounded
    26th Sep 2016
    12:03pm
    Very well said Comrade Jackie. Together with a copy of the latest edition of Karl's 'Manifesto', you have also won a fourteen day, all expenses paid nostalgia holiday to Moscow, plus a 30 minute private audience with Vladimir. Stinking Liberals..... taking advantage "of all common workers". Viva the Proletariat Comrade Jackie....
    grounded
    26th Sep 2016
    12:31pm
    @ Mick. For the haranguing you gave Grey Viper....I'd hazard the thoughtful guess that you are already permanently based in Moscow. "....to give money to its rich constituents.....". That sounds as if it has been directly lifted straight from Trotsky's song book. If it makes you feel better Mick...you can call me a 'Troll' also.
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    12:55pm
    Called PERSPECTIVE grounded, a commodity rusted on liberals are unable to contend with.
    Can I call you heemskerk as your comment is so similar?????
    grounded
    26th Sep 2016
    1:17pm
    Love ya Mick.....I genuinely like a lot of your transcribed thoughts...though occasionally, you do stray into absolute fantasy land.....(and that prompts me to say - 'stuff it, I have to try and sort this guys thoughts out for him'....civilised like of course)

    Nah mate....Not a dyed in the wool, rusted on Liberal...been shopping it around of late...even liked, and propped up Julia with my vote.... for a period.

    'heemskerk'....no, a strike out there too good friend. I like his material...but he can be a trifling robust at times...i.e. goes straight for the juggler.

    Me....peaceful....love softly spoken, non invasive sharp banter. Not interested in labelling my equals with silly child like names..... like 'Trolls'

    Look forward to reading your further commentary...on all subjects. Helps fill in the day. Now....I'm heading back to get under my bridge for an afternoon siesta.

    Cheers Mick....
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    1:26pm
    Don't forget the Trotsky songbook. I don't own one. Never have.
    Mags
    26th Sep 2016
    11:10am
    Medicare is already a mess! Payments to doctors being made to incorrect doctors, no reply to request for a problem solution then told it was never received by fax (my fax says it was delivered), double paying etc etc etc. Need I go on? Electronic billing is OK if Medicare didn't have internal problems already. Heaven help us if it gets worse!
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    11:47am
    I think you may wish to put into perspective by comparing to other countries, some better but others much worse. At the very least we have a (sort of) safety net. The USA does not.
    Anne Ozzie
    26th Sep 2016
    11:14am
    Totally agree. My husband has had two short stays in private hospital this year and the Drs bills have been sent to us to claim through Medicare because they are so large they cannot be claimed online in the surgery. The same with anaethesists' bills. That has been about $5000 out of pocket until I could get to the local medicare/centrelink office to claim them and then they had to be claimed from the health funds. But we dont dare drop our private health insurance cause we know what happens to oldies then - drop to the bottom of the list and by the time your name comes up cancer has spread to bones and you're dead - we have already had this happen to one friend and another has a 2 year wait for hip replacement
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    11:48am
    Private health insurance is a double edged sword and you discovered the bad side of it.
    Blossom
    26th Sep 2016
    10:07pm
    It is true that sometimes Cancer Surgery is delayed in the public system for so long that the patient has either passed away or it is too late to operate or begin other treatment.
    Even in the public system I know a child who had to wait 12 months to have her tonsils removed even though she had been ill enough to be admitted to hospital on 3 occasions during that 12 months.
    Not Senile Yet!
    26th Sep 2016
    11:29am
    The only liars are the Party Puppets of all Parties!
    They have their own Agendas.....that being whatever the ruling faction within the Party happens to be!
    They are Clubs/Factions witin each Party that are Corrupt with power!
    There is no longer any Mp's that serve....they now just want to Rule! To change whatever to suit themselves...their Party....and not listen or serve the people!
    Looking forward to everyone voting ALL Party Puppets into OBLIVION BY VOTING FOR INDEPENDANTS
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    11:49am
    Pretty well agree on that.
    Jim
    26th Sep 2016
    11:43am
    If we didn't have such greedy specialist, Medicare might just be sustainable, average specialists earnings are in the millions per year, yes there are some really good specialists out there, and we often think that if it wasn't for their expertise many of us might not be alive today, but let's not forget the home grown specialist were trained in our public university's and our public hospitals which are paid for out of the public purse. I think it's about time for a royal commission into the charges some of these guy's charge.
    Old Geezer
    26th Sep 2016
    11:48am
    All my team of specialists bulk bill me.
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    11:50am
    I recall you claimed to have private health insurance in a previous post Geezer? Your post contradicts that.
    Old Geezer
    26th Sep 2016
    11:55am
    Yes I have private health insurance as well. That doesn't stop specialists bulk billing me as well.
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    12:15pm
    Hang on.....what specialist bulk bills? Their charges are always way above the scheduled fee. I am not an expert Geezer but it sounds like you may be making it up mate.
    Anybody have expert knowledge and able to adjudicate if I am being too tough????
    Old Geezer
    26th Sep 2016
    12:21pm
    Mick you really have no idea how they system works. I was classified as chronically ill so I was assigned a team of specialists to look after me. These specialists all bulk bill my visits. So when you get classified as chronically ill you too Mick might be given the same opportunity.
    Jim
    26th Sep 2016
    12:28pm
    Well old geezer, consider yourself very fortunate, my wife is seeing 5 specialists at the moment, not one of them bulk bills, the least ammount we pay is $80 the most we pay is about $200 we live in the Illawarra area of NSW, might be cheaper for me to move closer to you. I understand that we will reach the safety net shortly and I am expecting that Medicare will cover the balance, if that is the case does that mean the specialist only charges the Medicare allowance or does the government cover the additional cost?
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    12:34pm
    Geezer: you have described a special case. Dim has outline the norm. There is a difference.
    Old Geezer
    26th Sep 2016
    12:45pm
    It's years since I reached the safety net but back then medicare just covered more of the doctor's bill.
    Blossom
    26th Sep 2016
    10:11pm
    There is a few good specialists who bulk bill for private health funds or Medicare. There is a lot that don't too. One I know has a gap of over $100.00 for an initial consult (new referral but been seeing the same one for several years) so I now use the public system and until receontly still saw the same specialist.
    Retired Knowall
    27th Sep 2016
    8:00am
    My specialists bulk bill, all I do is sign the medicare form. Whenever I do have to pay for optical or dental extras the refund is in my account the same day. I have no problems with the current system, but I guess if I was a Drama Queen I would be able to find some.
    Old Geezer
    26th Sep 2016
    11:47am
    All I can say is the little old ladies have heaps of time to waste as it is so much quicker to claim electronically than filling out a form, putting it in an envelop, finding a stamp and then finding a post box. Even this old Geezer can do it.
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    11:52am
    Likely that most old people cannot use a computer. I know some who fit into that category. You can't teach an old dog new tricks unless the old dog has the motivation to learn!
    Old Geezer
    26th Sep 2016
    11:56am
    Well this old dog learnt so I can't see why anyone else can't as well. It's actually easier than knitting!
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    12:18pm
    I also learnt with a little help getting started at the end of my working life but some folk missed out at work (non computer use jobs used to be the norm) and never saw the necessity to learn. Others are mentally incapable. I have a mother in her mid 80s who can push the buttons on a phone but that's about it so likely there are others in the same boat.
    You are fortunate Geezer that the good Lord blessed you with the right genetics, the opportunity and the get up and go.
    Old Man
    26th Sep 2016
    5:07pm
    Mick, it may be of interest that we have 142 retired members of our Probus club and all but 8 have email addresses. The ages range from 59 to 96. Your generalisation that "most old people cannot use a computer" maybe should read "some old people cannot use a computer".
    Blossom
    26th Sep 2016
    10:13pm
    Those with a type of Dementia or other disabilities may not be able to use a computer and may in fact have to get help to attend to such matters for them.
    MICK
    27th Sep 2016
    8:03am
    Old Man: your club is one to keep minds active. That unlikely fits the wider population.
    Many older people lose cognitive function and find it difficult to do things which were basic years earlier. Computers? You are talking about a minority I might think.
    Biddy
    26th Sep 2016
    11:47am
    When the Liberals get into power they always cut welfare,hospitals,education,and our health system Medicare,even though Labor stated all through the election our Medicare was in danger Malcolm Turnbull stated it was safe,what a joke ,we now hear that this is what actually will happen there are many things once covered by Medicare the health minister Susan Ley finds they are not covered,because she says they are not viable,and everyone says oh if we want to find savings then perhaps things should be cut,what happens when Medicare actually goes altogether will we still say oh well we had to cut to help pay for other things,this is a cop out by the Liberals,when they get into power it's slash this and slash that and don't give a damn about the people,yet they can afford to bring 19000 refugees out to the country how are they going to support them one wonders,or will they be given welfare,a house, a brand new car ,while our welfare recipients will still be made to look like bludgers the way this Government makes them out to be,Mr Morrison you are tresurer and you decide whom needs money and whom doesn't ,but you have left the young ones behind you and your Government Are the ones at fault,there is no work as you make out there is you and your Government have sent all the top factories of shore ,and sold Australia very cheaply ,you ought to be ashamed,it's not there fault but yours and the Liberals,if you are really fair about what you are saying then cut you and your ministers pays and all your perks and then maybe we will really see that what you are saying is for real,stop playing politics and show the people of Australia that you really have guts and not just picking on the people on welfare but those whom have political gain also,you politicians have a lot to learn,you are shameful and it seems blameless as well
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    11:54am
    The biggest mistake any of us can make is BELIEVING a politician when what he says goes against the form. The Liberal Party are known for taxing citizens and giving business money. No different with the current lot no matter what they say.....and destroying Medicare is at the top of the list.
    Tom Tank
    26th Sep 2016
    11:52am
    Ignoring all the party vitriol that is being sprayed around, much of it actually true, and sticking to the Health Care System it is perhaps worthwhile having a quick look at it's history.
    The LNP did in fact fight tooth and nail to prevent the establishment of a universal health care system in this country.
    They did actually shut it down but it was restored as Medicare.
    Since then it would be fair to say they have used the death of a thousand cuts to dismantle it by actions similar to that described above by making it more difficult to function in the best interests of the community as a whole.
    Our Private Health Care is ridiculously expensive and is being propped up by the very expensive rebate on contributions to private health funds.
    Given that the LNP in their last term of office shut down the car industry on the basis that a company that requires government assistance in order to stay financially viable should be closed down. The question then is what about private health funds? If the government 30% rebate is removed the mass exodus from those funds whould see them shut down.
    It has been shown overseas that the most efficient health systems, in terms of value for money, are centralised government controlled systems.
    We have numerous private funds all with their own expensive administration, including highly paid CEO's on bonuses (refer Medibank Private) so how can they be financially efficient?
    Please don't kick off on the British NHS as they is no such thing now as it has been divided into separate entities with one functioning rather well compared to the other.
    The fundamental issue with all health care systems is one of funding and with the combination we have in this country of feather bedded private health funds combined with our universal heath care under threat from right wing pollies then we do have a real problem.
    One thing is evident from what has happened here is that privatisation NEVER works in favour of the community at large.
    Old Geezer
    26th Sep 2016
    11:58am
    Shut down the health funds and you will have chaos in the public system. Don't you think it is bad enough already?
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    12:03pm
    Good post. Pretty well on the money Tom.
    The irony about the stupidity of closing down the car industry is that it is putting tens of thousands of Australians out of work including small business which supplies components. Add to that the importation of cheaper labour and the outsourcing of jobs like Call Centres to the third world. So where does this deadbeat government think that unemployment benefits come from? And who do they think pays? It would have been better to retain jobs in this country where taxpayers put in a small amount rather than forcing taxpayers to pay a full unemployment (wage) to affected citizens.
    The reason that Australia cannot compete on the world stage its big business governments (puppets) are clones of the business model. When you have illogical government and stupidity which belies belief then your nation is going down the gurgler. That is where we are heading.
    Old Geezer
    26th Sep 2016
    12:06pm
    Mick the reason why Australia can't compete is that our wages are too high compared tot he rest of the world. It was a good thing to see the government pull the funding on the car industry as it was not profitable even with that funding. Also Australians no longer bought Australian cars so why have it anyway?
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    12:23pm
    No Geezer, that is the rich man's way of justifying incompetence and the squandering of capital.
    KSS
    26th Sep 2016
    1:07pm
    Mick, Ford, Holden Toyota are ALL foreign manufacturers and Australia has NO jurisdiction over foreign enterprises. Those car companies could have (and indeed threatened to for years) pulled out for any of a number of reasons. Had people actually bought their Ford or Holden cars and been less romantically nostalgic about them, whilst buying other makes and models, perhaps those manufacturers would still be here and not needed so much financial support from the Australian taxpayer. As it was, people stopped buying the product and you cannot continue to make what you can't sell and expect to continue in business.
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    1:24pm
    That is a really misleading post KSS.
    The issue is not about where the car makers are incorporated but rather how many Australians they employ. The reason why they have pulled out is cheaper costs in Asia. Same deal in many other developed countries. And that is precisely a few taxpayer dollars should have been stumped up to keep them in Australia. Now we pay many multiples of what we would have paid the industry in unemployment benefits. That is the way Australia does business. And you wonder why the nation is going down for the count?
    As for product selection please remember that many Australians never bought Japanese or Korean cars, ever. Family vehicles were always Holden or Ford, but you know that.
    Old Geezer
    26th Sep 2016
    1:38pm
    Funny as I've never owned a Holden or a Ford. Current one is made in US, one before Portugal and one before that Japan.
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    2:19pm
    I say this with a grin on my dial Geezer: you are not the norm!
    Tom Tank
    26th Sep 2016
    2:45pm
    Every country in the World supports it's car industry. The Government actually got all the subsidy money back through the taxes paid by those who were employed by the car companies. The taxpayers will have to carry the burden of the increase in unemployed shortly.
    Toyota did not want to close. Holden's were iffy but Ford did want to shut down.
    The fact is that without a base load to support the local suppliers to those companies they could not survive and neither would the car companies.
    Wait until the factories close and the 100,000+ workers are on the dole then perhaps some might think again but then it will be too late.
    A look at car companies around the world is quite revealing when you realise that Britain no longer produces a car, apart from specialist small producers, owned by a UK company. So the argument that in Australia the car companies were foreign owned and this somehow was undesirable does not hold water.
    The reason for closing the car industry was ideological and heavily pushed by the Institute of Public Affairs who have a big influence on the Liberal Party.
    MICK
    27th Sep 2016
    8:06am
    Agree Tom. Australian politics has the (Mistaken) mentality that you have to make a profit out of every industry or you send it offshore. That stupidity is already coming back to bite us. Just wait for a world depression and you'll see the full results of this betrayal.
    Dallanhk
    26th Sep 2016
    12:44pm
    How can so many intelligent adults not see the plain and easy solution to ALL our budget problems ? One dollar on every bottle of alcohol sold would wipe the debt clean. No-one would bat an eyelid. .... and for good measure how about 5c on every litre of petrol - which as it is is amongst the cheapest in the world. Then we could offer the social services everyone deserves.
    Old Geezer
    26th Sep 2016
    12:50pm
    Sounds good to me as I don't drink alcohol or use petrol.
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    1:01pm
    Funny, funny. Guess who already makes the most out of a bottle of alcohol? And fuel.........we pay double what Americans pay. AGain guess who is cleaning up.
    The issue we have is that Australia is becoming the most highly taxed country in on the planet. Fuhrer Turnbull proposes to cut taxes for the rich but will realise that is impossible until he collects from somebody else.
    In the end average citizens will not accept increasing taxes to pay off a deficit which could be wiped if our rich man's government collected taxes from big business and ended the ability of rich Australians from using creative accountants and lawyers as well as shifting profits offshore. Can't have that though.
    KSS
    26th Sep 2016
    12:57pm
    Many of the comments here are simply the usual rant against the current Government as usual and in the process missing the point of the article completely - also as usual.

    For a few years now most medicare claims have been electronic. Gone are the days where you went to the medicare office and came out with a fist full of dollars. Also for quite sometime the claim has been processed at the point of service (i.e. the GP, radiographer, hospital etc) so there has not been a need to actually go to a medicare office for many for some time. Where point of service processing is not yet available, then yes you could choose to go to the medicare office or make the claim on-line. 4% (according to the article) choose to go to the office. The ONLY change is that the local medicare office no longer actually processes the claim and makes payment. The claims are entered into the system and dealt with in a centralised location (one of 17). Because of the volume these centralised processing hubs have to deal with, you may have to wait a few extra days for the refund.

    None of this indicates a privatisation or selling off of medicare. None of it indicates a withdrawal of medicare services. But why let that get in the way of a good rant at the current Government eh?

    And I might add during the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years they looked at privatising the processing of medicare claims process. Its a bit rich then for them now to try and assume the moral high ground based on the lies they told during the election!
    Old Geezer
    26th Sep 2016
    1:13pm
    Even if you get a doctor's bill that is not processed at the point of service you can scan it and process it online. A very simple process.
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    1:19pm
    And so they should.
    It is up to the current government to govern for ALL AUSTRALIANS. If not then it is up to the public to call a spade a spade. Sorry that does not agree with your political affiliation but ordinary Australians are pretty well moderated from comment in most media outlets so it is good that average citizens can lambaste whatever side of politics is not acting in the interests of the nation. Given the mindset and focus of coalition governments it is not hard to see why it is getting a hiding.
    My suggestion is that rich man Turnbull needs to stop riding the BS trains and start working for the nation. I doubt very much that that can ever occur with this government though.
    Rae
    27th Sep 2016
    7:40am
    Of course it has become self service.

    Just about everything is these days.

    Why employ people when you can get the customer to serve themselves, organise the bill payment and even print off the receipt.
    MICK
    27th Sep 2016
    8:07am
    And still charge like a wounded bull.
    KB
    26th Sep 2016
    1:51pm
    The older ways were quicker. We have waited three weeks for the Medicare rebate. Not ggoenough
    Old Man
    26th Sep 2016
    3:07pm
    So, just to make this a tad clearer, 0.72% of all claims are not being processed within the required time frame. The figures quoted in the article clearly state that 96% of claims are lodged electronically and that means that only 4% go to service centres and only 18% of that 4% are questionable. And because of this we are expected to believe what Labor is saying? I would suggest that this is just another beat up and, in saying that, I fully expect to be abused, called names and accused of being multiple people.

    26th Sep 2016
    3:36pm
    I saw Mal(ignant) on TV last night saying that the LNP had absolutely no plans to privatise Medicare - very reminiscent of hear someone else say "There will be no vcarbon tax under my administration". Same office title just another liar. DO NOT trust Talkbull or you are as silly as his party is slippery.
    MICK
    26th Sep 2016
    4:22pm
    What about "you have high electricity prices because of the Carbon Tax"? A pity political parties were not banished for their sins. Voters are so stupid.
    It is pleasing that some took the medicine and put more Independents in. If the next round is more again both sides will start to panic and get the message. Maybe even start to govern properly. We'll see.
    Chuck
    26th Sep 2016
    4:33pm
    So Mr Tudge says that there has been a hugh reduction in demand for face to face claiming. Well from my experience when visiting my local Medicare Centre you are strongly encouraged to complete a claim form instead of waiting to be served by a member of staff. So if this how other Centres operate maybe that is why there is a hugh reduction in face to face contact with staff.
    Rosscoe
    26th Sep 2016
    5:21pm
    "...There is a perception that older Australians are unable to deal with modern technology commonly used for making payments and claims online, but the reality is far from the truth. While some people, regardless of age, may struggle to get their heads around the digital world, many older Australians are embracing technology that saves them time and makes their lives easier..."
    This is a very broad statement. The government is just making things harder for taxpayers by introducing these barriers. Ever go into a CentreLink office? The most assistance you receive is to be directed to a computer terminal. It's even worse at the Tax Office. how about some service. We've paid taxes for all of our working lives and we deserve it!
    KSS
    27th Sep 2016
    7:50am
    "deserving" good service (or even just service) has nothing to do with having paid taxes 'all of our working lives'. It has everything to do with respect which is a commodity in very short supply these days from anyone anywhere at any age.
    MICK
    27th Sep 2016
    8:10am
    That is the problem with employing a large (and growing) Public Service which is for the most part self serving. The country needs less public service and more beneficial outcomes for the public rather than the phantom jobs these people often have.

    26th Sep 2016
    6:31pm
    as usual what great comments of our labor stooge and union official the one and only mickyboy, the article is about streamlining claims to medicare, yet here is our brainwashed, probally the only wash he has had for the last few years, labor browny telling us that this is affecting the price of electricity, so there goes his claim in an earlier comment that he only discusses the item in this column, may be he can tell us why it does not affect the price of melons or worse the price of eggs?, then again who takes mickyboy seriously, one day he is skiing in canada the next day he is taking a cruise in europe, all that in 24 hours, see travel on the saturday's in these columns.
    I am very satified with the services of medicare, our doctor's put their bills in and I normally get the refund the same day in my bank account.
    HarrysOpinion
    26th Sep 2016
    11:17pm
    Come on people! The Liberal Party's intent to privatise Medicare was published several times in 2014. Labor's strategy to remind voters not give the Liberals any mandate to do so was the right thing to do.
    HarrysOpinion
    26th Sep 2016
    11:25pm
    Are you able to process Medicare claims online?

    To date, my Medicare rebate is processed by the doctor's receptionist and credited within 1 working day because I am linked up with Medicare online via myGov website. So I haven't experienced this problem, yet!

    BUT !- not every welfare recipient can process Medicare online if they don't have computer access.
    LiveItUp
    27th Sep 2016
    7:32am
    Yes you can process Medicare rebates online. Just scan yiur receipt and fill out an online form. I think there is also an app for smartphones where you just take a photo but I have used it for Medicare.

    Everyone now has computer access but some people are too ignorant to use it.
    KSS
    27th Sep 2016
    7:53am
    Welcome back Bonny.
    MICK
    27th Sep 2016
    8:12am
    Ahhhh..... The trolls have been sent back to post. Nothing else to do at headquarters?
    Rae
    27th Sep 2016
    7:51am
    I don't think the use of computers to do the processing for the government is a problem.

    I'd be happy if the cost of ink for the printer came down. Why is it so expensive and why does it dry out so fast?

    People need to have a saving buffer to cover delays and the costs that are not covered.

    Recently I found a pap test was not covered by medicare or the private health fund. I'm not sure how many services now fit into this class of patient pays but I suggest people save a few hundred dollars in an account just in case rather than getting caught out.

    The days of wine and roses are fast receding and it is going to get a whole lot tougher going forward I suspect.

    The LNP has always worked towards privatisation. It is what the party was set up to do.
    Why anyone is surprised by this amazes me.

    Baird is currently privatising hospitals in NSW and hoping to earn near $400 million from the Federal Government for doing it so efficiently.
    MICK
    27th Sep 2016
    9:13am
    Ink? Laser these days Rae.
    I agree that life is going to get very tough and the biggest worry for all of us is that the huge global debt and money printing is going to cause a meltdown like we have not seen since the 1930s. Then Australians will understand the betrayal at the political level which has set us up to fail. Until then average citizens will not be bothered confronting reality.
    The sell-off of everything is more about stumping up money for project from has been national savings from the last 50 years. When this money pot is used up expect the bastards to come after more and more of your money and assets.
    Anonymous
    27th Sep 2016
    8:13pm
    another great reply of our labor browny lickeyboy, great answer to the question in this column of how to streamline rebates of medicare, print more money. typical of a labor clone! wonder why lickey did not suggest another round of ceiling insulation or school buildings, here in victoria some still have not a door to enter the room and even if they had a door the only use be as a darkroom, they forgot to put windows in, yet this rusted on laborite still can't forgive the libs for leaving ruddy and gilly with a surplus of billions, it took labor just 6 months spending that money and to put Australia in debt and when labor was voted out by the people who had woken up, labor left this great country with debts that will not just have to be paid back by our kids but also our grand kids and their kids if not their grand kids, yet here we have a labor stooge claiming we are now spending our savings of the last 50 years, maybe he can tell us when was the last time a labor government left Australia with a surplus, lickey why do you think we have lost our car manufacturing, our textile industries, our leather process industries, etc, just look at the policies of your labor party and your labor unions, it looks like we are going to lose one of our electricity suppliers in victoria, it supplies one quarter of victoria's electricity, the workers want paid to walk from their car to their workplace, don't forget these workers are getting paid well over $100.000.00 plus a year, 40% increases in their salaries and then they can't understand why the firm pulls up anchors.
    Australia unless you wake up, your kids, grand kids be living in a poverty we have never known in this great country Australia and all thanks to the labor party and their union mates, don't believe me, just read what is going on in the different states of Australia,
    Old Geezer
    28th Sep 2016
    1:29pm
    I pay about a $1 each for my printer inkjet cartridges and I buy paper when it is half price or better. I did look at a laser but it was much more expensive than what I have now.
    disillusioned
    1st Oct 2016
    8:01am
    I posted in a Medicare claim on September 3 for services on September 2. I had further treatment on September 30, and as I hadn't received the rebate from the previous visit, I rang Medicare. After waiting on hold for 15 minutes, the woman was apologetic, and said that my previous claim had been received but not as yet processed. She said she would do it immediately, and it would be in my bank account the following day, which it was. The amount was for $177, and I am on a part pension. Previously I could take the claim in to a Medicare office and get paid on the spot. So much for Tudge claiming a 10 day turnaround!


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