If you are injured in an accident and are making a claim for compensation, you can still claim on Medicare for the costs of seeing bulk billing doctors, and in some cases physiotherapists and psychologists. But if the compensation claim is settled for more than $5,000, you must repay all accident-related medical expenses claimed on Medicare on settlement of your case.
Here’s how the team at GC Law helps you with this:
Before settlement of the claim, we ask Medicare to issue you with a list of benefits claimed on Medicare since the date of the accident. You must indicate on the list which of those Medicare payments were accident-related, and you must verify the list by signing a statutory declaration.
We then send the verified list back to Medicare, and they will issue a Notice of Past Benefits. This notice sets out the total amount you have to repay the Commonwealth on settlement.
The Notice of Past Benefits is current for six months before it has to be renewed. This enables the Commonwealth to capture any new accident-related benefits that may have been claimed on Medicare since the previous Notice of Past Benefits was issued.
Sometimes a claim will be settled on a date after a current Notice of Past Benefits has expired, but before the notice can be updated. In these circumstances, the insurance company may pay 10 per cent of the gross settlement amount direct to the Commonwealth. Medicare then calculates the total owing once they’ve received an updated list of benefits verified by you, and refunds the difference between the 10 per cent and the refund direct to you. This is commonly referred to as the 10 per cent advance payment option, but payment of the refund can sometimes take months.
At GC Law we always endeavour to have a current Notice of Past Benefits at the date of every settlement. This ensures you get all of your money in one go, rather than the majority on settlement and the balance from Medicare—sometimes months later.
You can read more about repaying Medicare here or call us at GC Law on 1300 302 318 to discuss your case. We’re compensation lawyers and personal injury specialists and we can assist you with your claim.