Medicare is about to abolish cash payments from next month.
Don’t panic. This doesn’t mean payments won’t be immediate because refunds will be paid via credit EFTPOS – where a customer swipes their debit card and allows the funds to be transferred immediately.
I was in at our local Medicare office yesterday (collecting my form to receive Childcare Tax Rebate, more on why we should all do that here) and the staff there seemed to think the changes would make little difference to most people.
However, the changes also mean that each person listed on a Medicare card and over the age of 14 needs to sign a form giving consent for payments to go directly into the account of a parent.
This won’t affect me, as we have a few years to go before we have a 14 year old in our family. (Thank goodness!) I did wonder whether it would be difficult for some families, and there has been some concern about it in the media, which you can read about here.
Personally, I love having the money go direct into my account, as I tend to collect a few receipts and process them all at once. We’ve had lots of health complications in the last couple of years so lots of costs have made this more efficient for us. I find the money is always there the next day which makes it pretty good in my view, and one of the most accessible government services I use.
But I appreciate that some families can’t afford to do that and need their claims processed asap. Should we be concerned about this? Or is direct into your account just as good as cash?