Outpatient consultation fees are not paid by private health funds.
A partial Medicare rebate is claimable; please pay the balance on the day of your consultation.
Quotes for surgery are provided pre-operatively and accounts for privately insured patients will be sent directly to their private health fund post-operatively and an account for the gap that is not covered by their fund will be sent to patients directly for payment.
Uninsured self-funding patients are welcomed, and will be need to pay their account in full prior to surgery. This will be held and not banked until surgery is performed.
Service fees for medical and surgical procedures:
The service fees charged are mostly well below the rates suggested by the Australian Medical Association. These fees cover the costs of running a modern medical practice. Fees vary according to procedure, and take into account the skill, experience, and training that have been required to be able to perform these procedures.
The costs of running a medical practice include but are not limited to: communication with your GP and other specialists, booking of procedures, time spent interpreting and acting on results of investigations, employment of support staff vital for the practice, purchase and ongoing maintenance of software, hardware, equipment, medical and office supplies, rental of medical rooms and associated utilities costs.
Below is information from the AMA website on the Medicare safety net, medical expenses tax deduction, and tax laws about rebates for medical expenses. These explain the Medicare Safety Net and Medical Expenses Tax Deduction, which can reduce the level of your out of pocket expenses.
The Medicare safety net
The Medicare Safety Net provides patients with additional financial assistance for out-of-pocket costs for out-of-hospital Medicare funded services. The difference between the doctor's fee and the Medicare rebate is the patient’s out-of-pocket cost.
Once a patient’s out-of-pocket expenses for medical services reaches the safety net threshold of $421.70 (as at 1 January 2013), all future Medicare services are paid at 100% of the Medicare Benefits Scheduled fee (not at the 85% Medicare rebate) for the remainder of the calendar year for all Medicare cardholders.
The threshold is indexed annually from 1 January and operates on a calendar year, 1 January to 31 December.
Medical expenses tax deduction
Patients may be eligible to claim a tax offset of 20% of their total out-of-pocket medical expenses provided that the total out-of-pocket costs reaches the threshold of more than $2,120 for 2012-13 financial year. There is no upper limit on the amount you can claim.
The total out-of-pocket medical expenses are the eligible medical costs the patient has paid less any rebates received, or entitled to receive, from Medicare or a private health insurer.
Not all medical expenses qualify to be included in the out-of-pocket medical expenses calculation. A complete list of what medical costs qualifies for the tax offset can be obtained from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). To see whether you are eligible to receive the tax offset benefit, contact the ATO or your accountant.
Tax Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No. 6) Bill 2012 - Rebate for medical expenses
The Tax Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No.6) Bill 2012 was introduced into Federal Parliament on 29 November 2012. It contains the following amendments to the medical expenses tax offset:
Taxpayers with an adjustable taxable income above the Medicare Levy surcharge thresholds ($84,000 for singles and $168,000 for a couple or family in 2012-13) would be able to claim 10% of out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred in excess of $5,000.
The family income threshold will increase by $1,500 for each dependant child after the first.
Taxpayers with an adjusted taxable income below these thresholds would be able to claim 20% of their net out-of-pocket medical expenses provided that those out-of-pocket costs exceeds the threshold of more than $2,120 for 2012-13 financial year. There is no upper limit on the amount you can claim.