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Medicare Safety Net


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#1 Paddlepop

Posted 11 February 2020 - 12:38 PM

Does anyone know if it's possible to claim back the higher Safety Net rebate on claims that have already been processed? Apparently Medicare sent me the Safety Net confirmation form on January 30 but I didn't receive it. My family has had a few medical appointments since then that would have been paid at the higher rebate if it had been confirmed earlier. I'm sure that previously it was possible to claim back the difference once it was confirmed. Just spoke to Medicare who says no but the operator has put in an enquiry about it for me. Figured someone on EB might know the answer. Thanks.

#2 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 11 February 2020 - 12:46 PM

IT works per calendar year, so you must have had an expensive January to get there so soon?  

We hit it around July  last year, but I didn't confirm/register for it until around October.  We got the decreased rate from then onwards, and for the claims prior, I'm still getting little bits back in dribs and drabs.  Every week there are a few more deposits in the bank account.  

So in my experience, yes, you can claim it back.  But it takes a while to process them, and they don't do it all at once.

#3 Paddlepop

Posted 11 February 2020 - 12:52 PM

Yes, we've had a lot of medical expenses. Specialist appointments, and another one today and one on Thursday. There's also one outstanding appointment to pay with one specialist. They allowed me to not pay it while I checked on the Safety Net balance. At least I'll get the higher rebate for that one now but if I'd paid it already I wouldn't get the higher rebate.

ETA We're on the Concession Safety Net, not the normal one. $692 in OOP expenses to reach it.

Edited by Paddlepop, 11 February 2020 - 12:53 PM.


#4 Paddlepop

Posted 11 February 2020 - 07:10 PM

Bump. Anyone else?

#5 born.a.girl

Posted 11 February 2020 - 07:21 PM

All I can say is, I hope so.

My experience was prior to getting rebate via the doctor's office, and I have a vague recollection of getting updated payments, but not really much help given it's not recent, as hallelujah, better health in recent years.

#6 amdirel

Posted 11 February 2020 - 07:49 PM

Yeah I also have a very vague recollection of getting it backdated to when I hit the threshold, but it was also a few years ago.

I'm keen to hit our safety net threshold though. $450 in specialists just yesterday and today, and I'll only get about $120 back. Then another $200 appointment on Thursday. Eeek there goes rent for next week!

#7 Chaotic Pogo

Posted 11 February 2020 - 08:09 PM

We’ve hit it but Medicare hasn’t worked it out yet as I haven’t claimed the most recent one.   Medicare hasn’t sent the form. So I went looking online for the form. Nope, ‘we will send it when you get close’.  And life is too short to phone a govt dept.*

*until I’m forced to. Looking at you NDIS!!

#8 IamtheMumma

Posted 11 February 2020 - 08:45 PM

View PostPaddlepop, on 11 February 2020 - 12:52 PM, said:

ETA We're on the Concession Safety Net, not the normal one. $692 in OOP expenses to reach it.

Damn we’ve reached that already. Haven’t got the letter from Medicare yet.

No idea about your query sorry PP.

#9 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 11 February 2020 - 08:53 PM

Bugger. I had some $$$ medical bills and was told that you couldn’t backdate the higher claims if you confirmed late.

I get cranky at having to call every year to confirm that everyone on my medicare card is still correct etc.

#10 Just Jack

Posted 11 February 2020 - 08:54 PM

I think you can confirm your family for Safety Net purposes on Mygov? I may be wrong though.

I don't think I was backpaid for appointments I'd attended after hitting the safety net but before confirming family details etc - but again, not 100% sure.

Ps it's easy to hit the safety net before the end of Jan if you're doing IVF!

#11 knottygirl

Posted 11 February 2020 - 09:26 PM

Yes you do. It takes awhile though.

Last year or maybe year before they send out the letter and envelope but no form. Form doesn’t exist on the net anywhere I could see. Phoned up and was told they can post me a new one or I can go to Centrelink to collect one but no can’t just confirm over the phone. No you can’t log in to my gov and confirm.

I went to Centrelink, queued up for an hour and got the dam thing.

I think the whole process is a money saving exercise. I would love to see the stats on how many reach their safety need and don’t send the form in and therefore don’t get the extra. Prob saves the gov millions each year by making the process unnecessarily difficult.

#12 IamtheMumma

Posted 11 February 2020 - 09:48 PM

That's my theory too Knottygirl. I got a form last year where previously, it just happened automatically. I couldn't upload the form either. Had to take it into Medicare to get it processed.

I'm tempted to go to Medicare now and ask for the form, fill it in and then lodge it in one visit. I'll probably get told you can't lodge on the same day or when the moon is in its last quarter. Something ridiculous.

#13 IamtheMumma

Posted 11 February 2020 - 10:02 PM

I had a quick look online and it reckons that my family hasn't been confirmed and its only got $150 in out of pocket expenses. On the claims page, the figure it a lot higher.

Guess I'm going to Medicare tomorrow morning.

Edit - found a loophole. Out of hospital expenses. The big ones of ours were in patient expenses. Nice small print.

Edited by IamtheMumma, 11 February 2020 - 10:07 PM.


#14 Paddlepop

Posted 11 February 2020 - 10:47 PM

View Postknottygirl, on 11 February 2020 - 09:26 PM, said:

I think the whole process is a money saving exercise. I would love to see the stats on how many reach their safety need and don’t send the form in and therefore don’t get the extra. Prob saves the gov millions each year by making the process unnecessarily difficult.

knottygirl: You can confirm over the phone now. I did it last year too. I agree about it being a money saving exercise. It's bullsh*t that every year we have to confirm who is in the family/people listed on the card. They don't do that for the PBS Safety Net at the pharmacy. We use one pharmacy mostly (and give them the PRF stickers on the rare occasion we've filled a script elsewhere) and as soon as we hit the PBS one they issue the card to us. They just use the Medicare card info for that, and our HCC information.

For us, we reached the Medicare Safety Net $116 OOP ago. That means the GP appointment DD had last week should have been rebated at the higher rate instead of $30 OOP. Specialist appointment the week before that should have been rebated higher too. I would like the money that the government should have rebated to me. We could do with it.  

View PostIamtheMumma, on 11 February 2020 - 09:48 PM, said:

That's my theory too Knottygirl. I got a form last year where previously, it just happened automatically. I couldn't upload the form either. Had to take it into Medicare to get it processed.

I'm tempted to go to Medicare now and ask for the form, fill it in and then lodge it in one visit. I'll probably get told you can't lodge on the same day or when the moon is in its last quarter. Something ridiculous.

You can confirm and claim in the same day. I confirmed over the phone today and about two hours later I paid and claimed for a specialist appointment for DD and got the Safety Net rebate. Only $30 OOP for a $220 appointment.

I really don't know why it can't just be set to happen automatically or at the very least done via the app or website. Today when I was trying to call Medicare to confirm over the phone I couldn't even get placed into a queue on hold. There was a message saying that they had a high volume of calls and couldn't take my call, and the call ended. Happened a whole bunch of times when I was redialling then suddenly I made it through to the queue. I guess by not letting everyone through to the queue the government can then claim that wait times on the phone are short instead of 30+mins like they've been in the past. Statistics fudging bastards.

#15 SummerStar

Posted 12 February 2020 - 12:55 AM

I have been confirming over the phone for years. I thought they always did. I always have to call first thing when they open and set aside an hour because I still have to wait to answer all the details they already know.

#16 born.a.girl

Posted 12 February 2020 - 06:18 AM

View PostIamtheMumma, on 11 February 2020 - 10:02 PM, said:

I had a quick look online and it reckons that my family hasn't been confirmed and its only got $150 in out of pocket expenses. On the claims page, the figure it a lot higher.

Guess I'm going to Medicare tomorrow morning.

Edit - found a loophole. Out of hospital expenses. The big ones of ours were in patient expenses. Nice small print.


Indeed, it's never  included inpatient excesses.

If you have PHI they will pay the difference between the medicare rebate and the scheduled fee though.

#17 IamOzgirl

Posted 12 February 2020 - 08:09 AM

View PostVeritas Vinum Arte, on 11 February 2020 - 08:53 PM, said:

Bugger. I had some $$$ medical bills and was told that you couldn’t backdate the higher claims if you confirmed late.

I get cranky at having to call every year to confirm that everyone on my medicare card is still correct etc.

Ah thanks for explaining the ‘confirm’ when I had my questions last year and people were talking about confirming I didn’t understand why I didn’t have too.

It’s because I was the sole person on my Medicare card and I hit the safety net with bills soley relating to me.

#18 Meepy

Posted 12 February 2020 - 09:45 AM

We hit it last year but because my ex refused to ring to be taken off the card we couldn’t confirm.

#19 IamOzgirl

Posted 12 February 2020 - 01:49 PM

Now that sucks!!

I'm glad that was one of the first things I did with my ex. I shoved the form under his nose and said sign here.

I would have killed him if that had of happened. IVF is expensive enough as it is!

#20 IamtheMumma

Posted 12 February 2020 - 02:19 PM

View PostMeepy, on 12 February 2020 - 09:45 AM, said:

We hit it last year but because my ex refused to ring to be taken off the card we couldn’t confirm.

That is an extra side of nasty isn't it!

#21 Paddlepop

Posted 12 February 2020 - 02:39 PM

View PostMeepy, on 12 February 2020 - 09:45 AM, said:

We hit it last year but because my ex refused to ring to be taken off the card we couldn’t confirm.

That is so sh*tty of him, and Medicare should have some way to deal with that. What a way for a nasty to ex to control someone. In that situation could you (and the children if there is children) have gone on to a new card? Basically you'd have to abandon the old card and safety net but at least you wouldn't have to deal with his bullsh*t for any longer?

#22 Meepy

Posted 12 February 2020 - 03:50 PM

I haven't followed it up but will - that's another one of the chores to add to the list.

#23 Phascogale

Posted 13 February 2020 - 12:52 PM

Yes you can but it's involved and complicated.  The accounts you paid need to be processed through a different department and it takes time and isn't always done properly.  You may have to keep following it up.

I got caught up in this as we had a couple of expensive appointments within a couple of days and the second one pushed us over but it didn't register that we'd reached the safety net on that particular invoice and I should've gotten more.   It was only a small amount that we should have been entitled to and I'm not 100% sure that it ever came back to me and I didn't follow it up.  But the person that I spoke to at medicare about it was the one that told me it's a completely separate department that it gets to for sorting out.

#24 Chaotic Pogo

Posted 13 February 2020 - 10:00 PM

I’ve confirmed by phone today. Took about 20 mins  on hold during lunch break.

#25 Wonderstruck

Posted 16 February 2020 - 07:23 PM

It's so annoying you have to call. I called in mid Jan as I knew our IVF round would smash through it in one transaction and it did. I'd prefer to do it online but there is no option.

I think as soon as you've reached it and confirmed, anything submitted after it's applied to.




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