Growler

So confused over Medicare and yes i have done some research but still confused....

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    Hi everyone,

     

    I haven't been online for a while but we are finally coming to live next month! I am still trying to get my head around the whole Medicare thing I have read posts and have been on google but I am baffled still.

     

    Can I just clarify If I go to a GP for a consultation who does Bulk billing what does this mean and how much would I have to pay?

     

    If I don't go to a GP who does bulk billing what would I have to pay for a consultation? And how much can I get reimbursed for?

     

    How much are prescriptions as my partner has Iritis/Uveitis and is always on drops for his eyes so I would like to be prepared.

     

     

     

    I have also been reading up on Poms in Oz about the Budget and the proposed changes for the medicare system and please correct me if I am wrong someone has stated that if you go to the GP for an appointment then it will cost you $7, then another $7 for the blood test then another lot of dollars for the prescription etc. Very concerned at this as we are starting a family and I would like to have all the facts straight before we jump right in.

     

    Sorry for all the questions I have looked at what has been written previously but I am just confused by it all x

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    At the moment if you go to a bulk billing GP you will pay nothing. If you go to one that charges you will pay whatever they charge and get back an amount from Medicare. How much you pay will depend on the doctors as they can vary and the rebate will vary depending on the type of consultation. The receptionists are usually able to tell you what the charges are and what you will get back from Medicare. If the budget gets through the senate (not guaranteed) then you will pay $7 when going to a bulk billing practise and an extra $5 when going to a fee charging GP. I'm not sure if this will be in the form of paying $5 extra on top of what they used to charge or if you will get $5 less back from Medicare. Exactly how the $7 charge for bulk billing will be applied seems to be a little unclear at the moment with mixed messages coming from the media and the government themselves.

     

    As for drugs, you don't pay a prescription fee like in the UK but rather you pay for the cost of the drug itself. This can vary from chemist to chemist so it's worth shopping around. If the drug is on the PBS list then regardless of the cost of the drug you will pay a maximum amount of, I think, $36, although it could be more than this as I haven't had to buy anything that expensive for quite a while. If the budget goes through then the maximum you will pay for drugs will also go up $5, so will be $41.

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    Guest Guest12727

    NicF has summarised it pretty well. We don't have 1 cost that you know, so going to the chemist is always a surprise (or shock). Most standard prescriptions are on the government pharmaceutical benefit scheme (PBS), which means the cost of the medication is highly subsidised by the Govt. I get a regular prescription every 6mths and it costs around $16-$17. You are often asked here if you would like the generic brand. Say yes as it is an exact copy of the original brand but will be cheaper.

     

    My dog is on a lot of medication and we pay over $100 per month for her - as there is no Government subsidy. One of her medications is actually a human med that I get from the chemist. It costs me about $92 every 6 weeks with a prescription from the vet. If it was for me, with a prescription from the DR it would be about $30 on the PBS.

     

    Healthcare for animals is far more expensive than for humans. I wish we had pet insurance.:realmad:

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    Guest Claire-n-tel

    My dog is on a lot of medication and we pay over $100 per month for her - as there is no Government subsidy. One of her medications is actually a human med that I get from the chemist. It costs me about $92 every 6 weeks with a prescription from the vet. If it was for me, with a prescription from the DR it would be about $30 on the PBS.

     

    Wow!.....have you looked at online pharmacies?.....

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    I've been here nearly ten years and I'm STILL confused about Medicare! If you need to see a specialist, and you don't have private medical insurance, then you can go on a Medicare waiting list to see them, which could take a while, or see them privately and still claim a large portion of the cost back from Medicare (provided, I think, you have a referral letter from a GP). You don't have to register with one GP and always go to that one either, you can go to anyone as far as I can work out, as well as some where you just turn up without an appointment and wait to see the first doctor available. Our local surgery used to bulk bill, but now has started to charge about $30 a visit, then Medicare sent us a cheque - made payable to the doctor - which we were supposed to drop in to them at some point. I guess they missed out on getting a lot of these cheques (we have a few on our notice board that I keep meaning to take!) so now they charge you more and send a cheque made out to you. However, if you get on well with the doctor and ask nicely, they don't charge you anything, and if your visit is a follow up to a previous visit, again you may or may not get charged! Told you I was confused!! We had some holiday injections recently - typhoid and one of the Hepatitis ones - and had to get a prescription, take it to the chemist to get filled ($700 for four of us!), then take it back to the doctors and make another appointment for the nurse to administer the jabs. You also have to pay for contraceptives here (not sure if you do in the UK - didn't used to ) but I guess if you're thinking of starting a family, that probably won't worry you :biggrin:

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    Guest Guest12727
    Wow!.....have you looked at online pharmacies?.....

     

    Yeah tried that. You need a Dr prescription that is valid in that state/country - which rules us out. Also tried a specialist Vet pharmacy in US that sells online, but they can only dispense to a US prescription. We are now paying less than previously, it was coming from a vet pharmacy in NSW at the cost of about $120. Then suddenly went up to $145, and I managed to twist the arm of our local pharmacist to accept the vet prescription, he was very obliging. Mind you the vet will charge $20 to write the prescription (luckily I have repeats).

    The only way we can get it cheaper is if a friendly Dr would write the prescription in my name........anyone out there??

     

    Anyway, it is definitely a reminder that we actually get highly subsidised health care and shows why the health budget is always over budget.

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    Our doctor doesn't bulk bill and the standard charge is $52.30 and you get $36.30 back from medicare. You pay the full amount at the doctors and the rebate gets automatically debited into your bank account. I do resent paying the money, especially if you are in and out in 5 minutes! Follow ups are charged less. I didn't used to mind as you could always get an appointment when you wanted and never had to wait long, but the last few times I have been I have been kept waiting in the waiting room for ages! My daughter had an appointment recently and we had to wait 50 minutes! I think I need to find a new doctor....

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    Guest Guest12727
    Howde what is the drug??

     

    For diabetes insipidus, Minirin nasal spray, (desmopressin acetate) 10 micrograms. I have to inject her (not spray up the nose as humans do), so also need syringes and needles, that the vet charges for. Luckily I have managed to get them free from work.

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    I can sympathise our dog has Diabetes,Cushings Hepititis, andColitis.His meds are over 300 dollars per month,thank god we have Pet Insurance.we still have to pay it upfront but at least we get a good amount back weeks later.

     

    Sue

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    Guest Guest14361

    When your doc gives you a prescription that you must take forever, ask him to give you 6months supply, that way it's cheaper when buying bulk.

     

    our cat uses human tablets for her thyroid, get the prescription from vet and go to your chemist easy as.

     

    nobby

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    Guest Claire-n-tel
    When your doc gives you a prescription that you must take forever, ask him to give you 6months supply, that way it's cheaper when buying bulk.

     

    our cat uses human tablets for her thyroid, get the prescription from vet and go to your chemist easy as.

     

    nobby

     

    Nobby, there are many drugs that are restricted as to how many can be dispensed at one time.

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    Guest Guest14361
    Nobby, there are many drugs that are restricted as to how many can be dispensed at one time.

     

    ok didn't realise that, my blood pressure I get 6 months supply along with cholesterol, saves me a few $$$$$ and of course the cats, plus by asking the doctor for double dosage , I then cut the tablets in half and save again...

     

     

    nobby

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    This post has helped me a lot, I'm confused over how it all works too. We got our medicare cards and that was it! No explanation.

    can anyone recommend a good, bulk billing doctor in the Western suburbs please? Also do we have to register like in England or just call them when we need to see them? I'm told some doctors prefer to do home visits?

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    Guest Claire-n-tel

    Hi Candt!....

     

    nope pet you don't register with a gp here, you can see a different one at a different clinic every time if you really want to. I have seen the same one for years as she knows me now.

     

    I've heard of a gp here that prefers to do home visits!.....although you can request an after hours home visit from some places.....

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    "I'm told some doctors prefer to do home visits?"

     

    All the time I have been here I have never come across a practice where they "prefer" to do home visits, most use an agency for the after hours call and a few surgeries will have 24hr service, but you have to go to them.

    Where I lived before, if you couldn't get to the surgery you wouldn't see a doctor as they never left it, but they did run an after hours clinic for emergency visits where the doctor was on call and came in. This was for emergencies only and at that practice there was never any bulk billing.

    Also, the practices we visit these days don't seem to bulk bill everyone, just children and pension card holders, so it is really worth ringing to make sure if you are not willing to pay.

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    Guest Claire-n-tel
    Hi Candt!....

     

    nope pet you don't register with a gp here, you can see a different one at a different clinic every time if you really want to. I have seen the same one for years as she knows me now.

     

    I've **heard **of a gp here that prefers to do home visits!.....although you can request an after hours home visit from some places.....

     

    Ooops I meant never ​heard!

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    Guest Claire-n-tel
    Hi Candt!....

     

    nope **pet** you don't register with a gp here, you can see a different one at a different clinic every time if you really want to. I have seen the same one for years as she knows me now.

     

    I've heard of a gp here that prefers to do home visits!.....although you can request an after hours home visit from some places.....

     

    i swear I never put that word there!!......I have been possessed by a Geordie!......bloody auto correct!......must proof read more!

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    Hi we go to Trinity Medical Centre, 28 College Road, (think it comes under Port Adelaide), you just ring for an appointment and if its your first visit take your medicare card and it doesn't cost anything as they bulk bill, i've been there twice and doctor was very good, went first thing in the morning and no waiting around either

     

    Debbie

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    i swear I never put that word there!!......I have been possessed by a Geordie!......bloody auto correct!......must proof read more!

     

    Made me chuckle ;-)

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    Made a note of that one, thanks Debbie. I've been really worried about the costs of seeing a doctor, feel so much better now I've got a few more facts. I was imagining a bill of $200 for a consultation!

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