18 May 2014

Pensioners slugged by Coalition again this time it's the changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

We thought the co-payment to the doctor was bad, think about this one, the devils in the detail!

Budget 2014-15: Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – increase in co-payments and safety net thresholds

Description of the measure

From 1 January 2015 the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) co-payment and Safety Net threshold amounts will increase:
  • patient contributions for PBS subsidised prescriptions will increase by $0.80 for concessional and $5.00 for general patients above the annual indexation
  • PBS general and concessional safety net thresholds will increase by 10 per cent and two additional prescriptions respectively for each of the next four years. This is additional to the annual indexation.
The PBS subsidises the cost of a wide range of prescription medicines.
The PBS Safety Net reduces the costs of PBS medicines to individuals and families once they have reached a particular cost threshold during a calendar year. There are currently two tiers—general and concessional.
All Australian residents and eligible overseas visitors are provided with access to affordable medicines through the PBS. Each year the government sets a patient co-payment for general patients and concession patients, the amount of the co-payment is adjusted on 1 January each year, in line with the Consumer Price Index. The co-payment is the amount a patient pays towards the cost of their PBS medicine, and the government pays the remaining cost.
The changes under this measure are in addition to annual indexation.

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