Update on Draft Medicare Benefits Schedule Ophthalmology Taskforce Report
Some important changes to our health system that are looming and likely to have a significant impact on your eye health care through creating additional cost barriers for you accessing your essential intravitreal injections.
Every few years the Government undertakes a major review of the Medicare system and the Draft Ophthalmology Report has just been released for community consultation. You can access the full report here
Already some private health funds are preempting these changes and creating new out of pocket costs for their members, where previously no out-of-pocket cost existed for your specialist’s fee (aside from any excess you may have as part of your policy to reduce premiums). For those of you already being impacted by these new private health out-of-pocket costs, it is important to note these changes to the terms of your policy have been created by your insurer and not by us (although they leave us to clean up and explain the mess!).
These proposed changes are not limited to privately insured patients but likely to impact ALL patients undergoing intravitreal injections whether insured or not. Some more information about the MBS taskforce Draft Ophthalmology report is provided. The report is 115 pages long and quite complex so I have tried to summarize the most relevant parts that apply to your intravitreal injections.
Feedback on the draft report is open until early December 2019, and I would strongly encourage you to write directly to the taskforce chair (and your local MP and Health (http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/ha/halists.pdf) highlighting the serious impact these changes will have on you accessing treatment.
You can download the below PDF if you wish to use this to express your concerns to the Taskforce about the proposed changes. Or contact us on 03 6344 1377 and we can forward a copy to you.
If you have already been affected by changes to your policy terms your insurer has made, we apologize for any distress and confusion, but unfortunately these new costs have not been created by us, and the reasons your insurer has provided to you to justify their changes are misleading, misinformed and not based on scientific evidence. We will work to explain the cost implications to you as they become apparent.
The below PDF's contain more detailed information regarding the proposed changes.