If you need to spend a lot of money on out-of-hospital medical appointments or tests, you may be eligible for the Medicare Safety Net. This means once you have spent up to a certain amount then you will get more money back from the government for your out-of-pocket expenses.
The Medicare Safety Net provides a higher Medicare benefit to people who have spent over a certain threshold on medical expenses during a calendar year (1 January to 31 December).
You will still need to pay the same amount for your doctor’s visit or test, but Medicare will give you more money back for the rest of the year.
The medical services covered include visits to your GP or a specialist, services provided in private clinics and private emergency departments, and many pathology and diagnostic tests. Some services are capped so you cannot claim more than a certain amount.
The Medicare Safety Net does not apply to medical services you receive in hospital, including day surgery.
You can ask your doctor whether the services they are recommending are covered by Medicare, and what your out-of-pocket expenses are likely to be. You can also search on MBS Online.