The Medicare safety net is a government initiative to reduce the out-of-pocket costs for outpatient medical services such as GP, specialist and eligible allied health consultations. Once an individual or family has reached the amount set by the government in a calendar year, they are eligible to receive 80% of the out-of-pocket expense of the consultation. Although there is a cap for the item number assigned to that consultation by the treating doctor, Fairfield Paediatrics always charges well under the cap.
If a family registers all members then every time an individual within the family attends a medical or eligible allied health consultation that results in an out-of-pocket fee, they contribute towards reaching the safety net. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen automatically, even if all members of the family are listed on the same Medicare card. Families need to register by completing the following Safety Net registration form and mailing it to the Department of Human Services (address is listed on the form). As of January 2019 the current out-of-pocket expenses that a family needs to reach before being eligible for the safety net is $680.70 for Health Care Card holders and $2133 for all other individuals and families. The Medicare account holder will be notified once the family is getting close to the safety net limit, once it is reached the additional rebate will be applied automatically by Medicare.
The safety net can be confusing, please discuss any questions you have with us and more detailed information is available here.