House debates

Thursday, 16 November 2023

Regulations and Determinations

Health Insurance (Extended Medicare Safety Net) Amendment (Indexation) Determination 2023

11:35 am

Photo of Ged KearneyGed Kearney (Cooper, Australian Labor Party, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care) Share this | Hansard source

I move:

That in accordance with section 10B of the Health Insurance Act 1973 , the House approve the Health Insurance (Extended Medicare Safety Net) Amendment (Indexation) Determination 2023 made on 6 November 2023 and presented to the House on 13 November 2023.

The extended Medicare safety net provides an additional benefit for Australians who incur high out-of-pocket costs for Medicare-eligible out-of-hospital services. Once the relevant annual threshold of out-of-pocket costs has been met, Medicare will be pay up to 80 per cent for any future out-of-pocket costs for out-of-hospital Medicare services for the remainder of the calendar year. Caps are applied to the maximum additional benefit that can be paid to items under the extended Medicare safety net. This amendment applies at a 5.4 per cent indexation to the cap of 86 items from January 2024, providing a greater benefit for patients accessing care under these items. It also updates the caps of four obstetric telehealth and phone consultation items, aligning them with arrangements applied to equivalent face-to-face items.

The Albanese government is committed to strengthening Medicare. We have made medicines cheaper by cutting the PBS copayment to $30, the largest cut to the copayment in the history of Medicare. We have introduced 60-day prescribing for a range of medicines, delivering savings for six million Australians living with ongoing health conditions. And we have tripled the bulk-billing incentive for children under 16, pensioners and concession card holders, making it easier to find a bulk-billing doctor for around five million children and their families, and seven million pensioners and concession card holders.

This amendment today continues our government's commitment to strengthening Medicare and I commend it to the House.

Question agreed to.


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