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Last Updated on 24 February 2019

Limits to the Safety Net: What Medicare Doesn’t Cover

Attempting to make every aspect of healthcare free for millions of Australians would bankrupt the government. Instead of offering all healthcare services for free, Medicare covers certain procedures, visits, and other health items. Before deciding that you don’t need a private health care plan, take a good look at the things that Medicare doesn’t cover.

  • Ambulance Services
  • Home Nursing Services
  • Private Hospital Visits
  • Dental Examinations
  • Most Therapies
  • Contact Lenses/Glasses
  • Hearing Aids
  • Prostheses
  • Cosmetic Surgery
  • Eye Surgery
  • Life (and other) Insurance Examinations
  • Overseas Medical Costs
  • Injuries That Other Parties Should Cover (employer)
  • Medical Examinations and Procedures that Are Not Deemed “Necessary.”

Private health care may, or may not, cover all of the aforementioned things. Generally, you can purchase a private health care plan that covers most of the things Medicare does not cover. Relying on Medicare to cover all of your medical costs is a mistake that the government doesn’t want you to make.

Government Private Health Care Rebates

Medicare has its place. The Commonwealth has created Medicare to care for those people who cannot afford private health care. Yet, private health care is more accessible than ever before due to various rebates offered by the government. These rebates apply to individuals of all ages and of all socioeconomic statuses.

People who are currently under the age of 65 can obtain up to 25% government rebate on private health care. Those who are between the ages of 65 to 69 can gain up to 30% rebate. People who are over the age of 70 are eligible for up to 34% rebate. If you currently pay private health care fees, you can claim your rebate in three different ways.

  1. Gain your rebate directly through your fund. This rebate can then be deducted from the premium.
  2. Contact your local Medicare office, fill out a rebate form, and send this form into your local office. You will be sent a cash (or cheque) rebate payment via mail.
  3. You can claim the proper rebate amount on your tax form. By providing your accountant with a statement from your fund, the government will apply the correct rebate amount.

Medicare serves a purpose, but this form of free health care is not always enough. Look into private health care funds in order to cover all health angles, and remember to get the proper rebate!

Disclaimer: The above information is correct and current at the time of publication

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