Out-of-Pocket Payments to be Made Clear

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Sarah Peddie

A private health insurance provider will become the first to give specific information on out-of-pocket costs doctors charge for procedures and surgery in Australia.  

Medibank will become the first provider in the country to make these details clear to the public. 

What is Medibank?

Medibank is an Australian private health insurance provider. It is the second largest provider in the country, behind Bupa. 

In August 2018, their ‘Find a Provider’ website has shown how often out-of pocket charges would occur for patients 

What do we mean by ‘out-of-pocket’?

In medical insurance terms, it refers to the portion of the bill that the insurance company doesn’t cover and what the patient must pay on their own. 

Back in March, the federal Government announced that it would build a website which would list the fees for specific services from specialists to help patients avoid bill shock. 

The Medibank website will produce the costs of procedures with private health insurance benefits, whereas the government's website will post the costs in full.  

Consumer groups and health policy experts say it is a positive, albeit small, step towards the right direction when it comes to making out-of-pocket medical costs clear to the public. However, they also say more information like surgeon performance data needs to be made public for patients to be informed about their healthcare.

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