Your health will cost you more
The AMA has made resources available for practices in our fight against the Medicare indexation freeze. These include:
- The AMA's Medicare Freeze Poster, also available in mono.
- Templates that can be used to print a copy of the AMA's Medicare Freeze poster in the tear off portion at the bottom of computer prescription forms, in black and white or colour;
- To share the prescription form image on social media, please copy and paste this url into your tweet https://ama.com.au/nomedicarefreeze-script
- An Indexation Freeze Gaps Poster to show your patients the impact of the MBS indexation freeze compared to annual indexation of medical fees.
- An AMA guide for patients on how the healthcare system funds medical care to explain to your patients how their health care is funded and why they might have out of pocket costs for their medical care.
- The AMA Template Letter To Patients About Increased Medical Fees to tailor your practice’s information to your patients about how the Medicare freeze will impact the fees your practice charges for its services.
- And Information for patients on registering bank account details with Medicare to assist a transition to patient billing for practices that cannot continue to bulk bill patients as a result of the Government’s indexation freeze.
- As well as graphs prepared by the AMA to demonstrate the Potential impact of the MBS indexation freeze on privately insured in‑hospital services.
The AMA calls on the Government to reverse its indexation freeze immediately.
The freeze on MBS indexation will create a two-tier health system, where those who can afford to pay for their medical treatment receive the best care and those who cannot are forced to delay their treatment or avoid it altogether, further exacerbating their condition, or worse.
This Government’s decision is a regressive one that is hitting the most vulnerable in the community: the most ill – especially those with chronic illness who need regular access to medical services, the elderly and vulnerable patients in our community who already have lower levels of access to health services.
The previous Labor Government first froze indexation for nine months in 2013.
The Coalition Government’s initial decision not to index the MBS for four years from 1 July 2014 until 1 July 2018 was extended by two more years to 2020 in the 2016-17 Budget, further increasing the gap between patients’ Medicare rebates and medical fees.
There will be a compounding effect forever more, on top of the Government’s estimated savings of $2.8 billion over the six years of the freeze.
This six year price halt, and its impact on the cost of private hospital treatment, is not well understood. Our already overstretched public hospitals will continue to burst at the seams, putting further strain on the public health system.
While patients’ out-of-pocket costs continue to widen, the Medicare rebates become less relative to medical costs and are placed on the endangered list, at high risk of being lost forever.
Published: 15 May 2016