In the Budget Speech 2014-2015 delivered on 13 MAY 2014 on the Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2014‑15 by the Honourable J. B. Hockey MP, Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia, Medicare Co-contribution has been introduced.
The Medical Research Future Fund will receive all the savings from the introduction of a $7 Medicare co‑contribution, modest changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and other responsible changes in this Health Budget, until the Fund reaches $20 billion.
From 1 July 2015 previously bulk-billed patients can expect to contribute $7 towards the cost of standard GP consultations and outof-hospital pathology and imaging services.
Concessional patients and children under 16 years will contribute $7 for the first 10 services each calendar year.
Pausing indexation of Medicare rebates
From 1 July 2014 all items listed in the Medicare Benefits Schedule, except for GP items, will not be indexed for two years.
Pharmaceuticals From 1 January 2015 general patients will pay an extra $5.00 towards the cost of each Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescription.
Patients with a concession card will pay an extra $0.80 towards the cost of each PBS prescription.
The PBS Safety Net for all patients will be increased from 1 January 2015 — a general patient and their family will now pay an expected $145.30 more to reach the Safety Net after which they can purchase medicines at the concessional rate.
A patient with a concession card and their family will pay an expected $61.80 more to reach the Safety Net after which they can receive free medicines.
Private Health Insurance Rebate and the Medicare Levy Surcharge
From 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2018 the Medicare Levy Surcharge and Private Health Insurance Rebate income thresholds will not be indexed.