Does Medicare owe you money?

2 minute read

More than $230 million in Medicare benefits are sitting in the government’s piggy bank waiting to be claimed. See which age group is owed the most.

Some $234 million in Medicare benefits are waiting in government coffers to be claimed, with 221,500 Australians aged between 18 and 24 years owed the most.

Federal Social Services and NDIS Minister Bill Shorten said the unclaimed benefits belonged to almost one million Australians who don’t have valid bank details registered with Medicare. 

“We know Australians are doing it tough, and I want to reunite people with millions in unpaid Medicare benefits before the holidays,” he said.

“It’s quick and easy. To claim, check your banking details are recorded and correct with Medicare and once your details are updated, any unpaid benefits will automatically be paid within three days.”

While the benefit amounts vary, the average owed is $240.

The 55-64 years age group have the second highest amount of unpaid benefits (115,300 are owed a total of $35.5 million), followed by 45-54 years (129,100 owed $35 million), 25-34 years (142,300 owed $25.7 million), 35-44 years (121,200 owed $25.2 million), 65-74 years (68,700 owed $24.3 million), 75 years and over (60,700 owed $20.8 million), and 17 years and under (112,200 owed $17.8 million).

NSW has the greatest number of people with unclaimed Medicare benefits (284,000), followed by Victoria (243,000), Queensland (203,100), Western Australia (119,500), South Australia (76,600), Tasmania (21,000), the ACT (16,000) and the Northern Territory (7800).

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More than 690,000 Australians who have an active myGov account will soon receive a notification that Medicare owes them money, said Mr Shorten. There are also approximately 300,000 individuals who are owed money who do not have an active myGov account.

Services Australia paid almost $28 billion in Medicare benefits last financial year, with unpaid benefits accounting for 0.8% of total payments. 

See here to learn how to update your bank details.

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