Are you registered for the Medicare and PBS safety net?

Did you know that you could potentially reduce your healthcare costs through the Medicare and PBS Safety Net?

The Medicare and PBS Safety Nets can help to lower your out-of-pocket healthcare costs for seeing your doctor and accessing regular medications.

If you’re not registered for the Medicare or PBS Safety Net, you could be missing out!

Medicare Safety Nets

When you spend certain amounts in gap and out of pocket costs in a calendar year, you’ll reach the thresholds. Once you’ve reached the thresholds, you’ll start getting higher Medicare rebates.

Once you or your family have paid $2249.80 out of pocket, you will receive up to 80% of out-of-pocket costs back.

If you are a concession cardholder or a family eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A, once you reach $717.90 out of pocket costs you will reach the threshold sooner.

For Medicare Safety Nets purposes, a family is any of these:

  • a married couple, not separated, with or without dependants
  • a couple in a de facto relationship, with or without dependants
  • a single person with dependants.

For Medicare Safety Nets purposes, a dependant is someone the family supports financially and either a:

  • child under 16 years
  • full time student between 16 and 25 years.

Keep in mind, your doctors appointment will still cost the same, but you will get more back.

If you’re single, you don’t need to do anything you are registered automatically.

Couples and families need to register.

Recently more people have become eligible for a seniors concession card with changes to the income limits. Check out here to see if you’re eligible to apply to reduce your health care costs.

PBS Safety Nets

Once you or your family spend a certain amount on PBS medications in a calendar year, you’ll reach the PBS Safety Net threshold.

Once you or your family have paid $1,457.10 you will reach the safety net,

If you are a concession card holder, this is only $244.80.

You only need to meet the threshold once in a calendar year. If you already met the threshold in the first half of the year, your medicines will still be discounted. You cant get a refund for the difference between the previous threshold and the new threshold.

You need to keep a record of how much you’ve spent on PBS medicines during the year. That way, you’ll know when you’ve reached the PBS Safety Net Threshold.

Ask each pharmacy you use for a printout of what you’ve spent on PBS medicines. This will help you to keep a record for the PBS Safety Net.

If you always use the same pharmacy, you can ask them to keep a computer record for you. They can then tell you when you’re near the threshold.

Once you reach the threshold, you’ll need to apply for a PBS Safety Net card to get cheaper medicines.

Your medicine will then either:

  • be free for concession card holders
  • cost up to $6.80 for general patients.

To find out more information and to register your family, follow these links:

Medicare: www.humanservices.gov.au/safetynet

PBS https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/when-you-spend-lot-pbsmedicinescontext=22016

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