Medicare has in its coffers around $110 million in unclaimed rebates owed to Australians who haven’t supplied correct information or have failed to chase up their entitlements.
Since cheques were phased out in 2016, around 670,000 Australians who haven’t made electronic claims – or who have but haven’t supplied correct email addresses or bank details – are owed rebates.
Older Australians in particular may have favoured the ‘snail mail’ version of filing for and receiving Medicare rebates. The reasons for not supplying Medicare with financial information may vary from not trusting the government with banking or medical information, to not having the required skills or access to the necessary technology to make such claims.
However, by not providing Medicare with these details, they have not only short-changed themselves but they have also inadvertently contributed to the rising out-of-pocket costs in healthcare.
“People tell themselves they will get around to claiming their money one day, but never do,” said Human Services Minister Michael Keenan.
“My advice is set aside a couple of minutes as soon as possible to do what is a really simple task that will ensure you receive what you are entitled to quickly and easily.”
The total of unclaimed rebates represents less than half a per cent of the amount paid out each year and has been compared by Mr Keenan to lost or unclaimed superannuation.
Read more at The Australian