Health costs set to rise

Aussies will have to pay for a greater proportion of health costs from their own pockets this year to make up for an insurance shortfall.

New costs will include charges for blood and urine testing at Primary Health Care, one of the nation’s biggest general practice providers, the Australian Daily Telegraph reported.

Primary Health Care managing director Ed Bateman told the newspaper that new charges were being introduced because government Medicare funding no longer met the full cost of providing such services.

In addition, it was found that families will now have to pay up to $33 from their own funds when they get a prescription filled after the patient charge for subsidised drugs went up.

Medicare was originally intended to cover 85 per cent of the cost of seeing a doctor, but this has fallen as governments have failed to raise rebates in line with inflation, the newspaper added.

The findings follow a wide-ranging report released yesterday by the Daily Telegraph that found that households will have to pay up to $76 a week extra this year as a result of a range of rising living costs. The news may encourage bank customers to compare savings accounts in search of the best returns for their money.

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