AVERAGE MEDICARE USE AND BENEFITS
Medicare covers people who are normally resident in Australia, except for foreign diplomats and their dependents. Other people are also covered in certain circumstances, for example, visitors from countries with which Australia has reciprocal health care agreements. Public patients in public hospitals are not charged for medical services or hospital accommodation costs. Funding for these services comes from both the Australian Federal Government as well as State and Territory Governments.
Medicare provides rebates for medical services, including some optometrical and dental services, rendered on a 'fee-for-service' basis. Rebates are paid by the Health Insurance Commission (HIC) for items listed in the Medicare Benefits Schedule. They exclude services to public patients in hospital, services to Veterans' Affairs patients and some compensation cases.
In 2005-06, the HIC paid Medicare benefits of $141.3m to people enrolled in Medicare with an ACT address. The average value of benefits paid that year was $430 per person, an increase of about $35 per person from 2004-05. Nationally in 2005-06, the average value of benefits paid was higher, at $533 per person. The national average value of benefits paid was $442 per male, while in the ACT the figure was $335 per male. The national average value of benefits paid was $622 per female, while in the ACT the figure was $523 per female.
Of all states and territories, the ACT maintained the second lowest average value of benefits per person, after the Northern Territory at $213 per person.
7.5 Average Medicare services and benefits, Per person - 2005-06
Average number of services
Average value of benefits
|Department of Health and Ageing, Medicare Statistics, December quarter 2006. |