Medicare Benefits Schedule - introducing patient contributions for general practitioner, pathology and diagnostic imaging services

From 1 July 2015 the Medicare benefit will be reduced by $5 for all patients for non-referred general practitioner (GP) consultations, out-of-hospital pathology episodes , out-of-hospital diagnostic imaging services.

Important Update: This measure is subject to the passage of legislation.

The changes to Level A and B consultations, which were scheduled to commence on Monday 19 January 2015, will not be implemented.

Description of the measure

On 9 December 2014, the Prime Minister announced that the original Medicare Benefits Schedule – introducing patient contributions for general practitioner, pathology and diagnostic imaging services 2014-15 Budget measure, would no longer proceed.

A new optional co-payment with additional protections will be implemented. Concessional patients, including children under 16 and veterans eligible for services funded through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will be exempt. GP services provided for attendances at residential aged care facilities, health assessments, GP mental health plans or GP management plans will also be excluded from the co-payment.

The new co-payment will introduce a $5 optional co-payment that may be charged to non-concessional patients. Charging of the $5 co-payment will be at the GP’s discretion.

The Medicare Benefit for GP services provided to non-concessional patients will also be reduced by $5. These changes will be effective from 1 July 2015.

For more information about these changes, go to the Department of Health website

Page last updated: 5 February 2016

This information was printed Friday 12 February 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/corporate/budget/budget-2014-15/budget-measures/health-matters-and-health-professionals/medicare-benefits-schedule-introducing-patient-contributions It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.