What is the Medicare Safety Net?

If you visit a doctor or have medical tests regularly you could end up with significant medical costs. The Medicare Safety Net is designed to provide financial assistance for people who incur high medical costs by minimising their out-of-pocket costs.

This means that if you or a member of your family receives many medical services in a financial year that reaches a certain amount, Medicare may provide a higher benefit for eligible services via the Medicare Safety Net, thus reducing your out-of-pocket costs for services received out-of-hospital. For example, once you reach the relevant threshold, you still pay the same amount upfront to your doctor, however you may receive a higher Medicare benefit, making your out of pocket expenses much less. 

What services are covered under the Medicare Safety Net?

  • Healthcare professional consultations
  • Blood tests
  • CT scans
  • Pap smears
  • Psychiatry
  • Radiotherapy
  • Tissue biopsies
  • Ultrasounds
  • X-rays

What services are not covered under the Medicare Safety Net?

If a service is not in the Medicare Benefit Schedule it does not count towards the Medicare Safety Net. If you have surgery, see a doctor or have tests while you are in hospital, these services will not count towards the Medicare Safety Net.

How do I register for the Medicare Safety Net?

 If you’re a single person, you don’t need to register for the Medicare Safety Net, Medicare will automatically keep a total of your out-of-pocket medical expenses. You just need to make sure you keep your contact details up to date with Medicare.

Couples and families must register for the Medicare Safety Net, even if you’re all listed on the same Medicare card. Please note if your circumstances change, for example, if a student dependent is no longer or studying or if you have a newborn baby.

For information on how to register for the Medicare Safety Net please visit the Medicare website.

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