Medical Rebates & Claims

January 12, 2013

Private Health Rebates and the Medicare Levy Surcharge
From 1 July 2012, the 30% Private Health Insurance Rebate will be reduced for single taxpayers earning more than $88,000 and families earning more than $176,000 per year. To encourage higher income people to purchase private health insurance, the Medicare Levy Surcharge rate will be increased for singles earning above $102,000 and families above $204,000.

The private health insurance rebate and Medicare levy surcharge will apply to the income levels as shown below:


Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3


$88,000 or less

$88,001- $102,000


$136,001 or more


$176,000 or less



$272,001 or more

Aged under 65





Aged 65-69





Aged 70 or over





Medicare levy surcharge





The Medicare for levy low-income thresholds will be increased in 2013-14 to the following:

  • Individuals: $20,542
  • Individuals in families: $40,431
  • Pensioners below Age Pension age: $32,279
  • The additional amount of threshold for each dependent child or student: $3,713

From 1/7/2014 the Medicare levy has increased from 1.5% to 2%.

Medical Expense Tax Offset
For 2011/12, you can claim a tax offset of 20 cents in every dollar of your net medical expenses (the medical expenses you have paid less any refunds you have received) over $2,060. This includes expenses relating to an illness or operation paid to legally qualified doctors, nurses or chemists and public or private hospitals.There is no upper limit on the amount you can claim. The net medical expense tax offset is being phased out.  A claim can only be made if an offset was received in 2012/13.  The offset amount is 20% of net medical expenses above $2162 except for higher income earners for whom the offset is 10% of net medical expenses above $5100.  If you did not receive this offset in 2012/13 you can only claim net medical expenses relating to disability aids, attendant or aged care.

Medical Expenses You Can Claim
Medical expenses which qualify for the tax offsets include:

  • dentists, orthodontists or registered dental mechanics
  • opticians or optometrists, including prescription spectacles and contact lenses
  • a carer who looks after a person who is blind or permanently confined to a bed or wheelchair
  • therapeutic treatment under the direction of a doctor
  • medical aids prescribed by a doctor
  • artificial limbs or eyes and hearing aids
  • maintaining a properly trained dog for guiding or assisting people with a disability
  • laser eye surgery
  • treatment under an IVF program

Dependants for Medical Expense Claims
Medical expenses can only be claimed for dependants who are Australian residents and include: you, your spouse (married or de facto), your children (adopted and stepchildren as well) under 21 years of age, any other child or student you maintained under 21 and 25 respectively, a child-housekeeper if you claim a tax offset for them or an invalid relative, parent or spouse’s parent if you claim a dependant tax offset.