Specialist Doctors out of Pocket Expenses ~ Tax Deductible

I have been to specialist doctor number of time and had lot of out of pocket expenses (private hospital+normal check -up)….are these out of pocket expenses tax deductible?

thanks

EDIT:

The post was created to talk about tax relief for those who might have to pay unplanned medical expense. However it seems that people started talking about how much doctor's get paid. it was never an intention to talk about doctor's wages or compare that with other country.

Poll Options

  • 3
    Yes, you can claim through tax
  • 111
    No, they are not tax deductible

Comments

  • +2 votes

    ….how!?!

    •  

      i was hoping to get some tax relief after paying almost $5k per annum on health fund for last 10 years and didn't receive anything from health fund for specialist appointment….!

      i am rethinking keeping health fund now if i can't claim any tax benefit

      • +2 votes

        Get rid of it. Saved 2 grand already. Exclusions are rediculous, and there's always out of pocket for hospital or surgery anyway.

        • +1 vote

          its called insurance for a reason though, if you end up needing some extensive surgery or treatment it comes in quite useful. There was a time when I narrowly missed requiring an ankle reco which when all was said and done would have cost $15-20k. Do you have that kind of money, or more lying around?

          Most of the time it's a waste of money, until it isn't.

          That said if you were lucky (or like most people) you didn't have a huge amount of claims you'd be better off paying for everything out of pocket. It's the fringe cases that make you say thank god I have insurance.

        •  

          @knk:

          I agree with your premise.. but a) you didn't need it and b) after 10 years you'd be able to afford it out of pocket if necessary and c) there'd be a massive gap to pay anyway

      • -1 vote

        you're obviously not on about income tax relief. you get 30% discount on your premiums. That's it.

  • +4 votes

    The net medical expenses tax offset is being phased out.

    From 2015–16 until 2018–19, claims for this offset are restricted to net eligible expenses for disability aids, attendant care or aged care.

    •  

      do you remember who was in government…libs or labor ?

      • +9 votes

        It was courtesy of Joe Hockey & Tony Abbott

        • +7 votes

          Wow Libs lives by their value (privatise everything and screw the middle working class Australian)

        •  

          I think you'll find it was Julia Gillard's government that took away claiming

        • +1 vote

          @cicada001: It was Tony Abbott and Joe Monkey who phased out Net Medical expense tax offset…..!

        •  

          @SydBoy:

          Thats actually saving you money, the less the gov gives to everyone the less the majority of tax payers have to contribute.

        •  

          @ninetyNineCents: if we run by that logic then let us know how much of the saving given back to working class common Australian? did we see reduction in tax slab for working class ?? What we got was penalty rate cut for people working on wages and tax cut for business…!

        • -1 vote

          @SydBoy:

          What we got was penalty rate cut for people working on wages and tax cut for business…!

          would they prefer to be out of a job? the reality is either reduce their wages or increase the price of the goods/service. reduce their wages and they still have a job. increase the price, lose customers and they'll be out of a job.

        • -1 vote

          @whooah1979: if we continue with your logic then …if the wages reduced then spending goes down particular in hotel and restaurant which means business shutdown !!!

        • +1 vote

          @SydBoy:

          if the wages reduced then spending goes down particular in hotel and restaurant which means business shutdown !!!

          nope. the business will get the sale from the other businesses that choose to keep the wages and increase the price.

          this was a few years ago. we used to purchase cappuccinos from a shop for $1 a cup. we purchased at least four cups every time we ordered. they decided to increase the price to $1.5ea. so we dropped to three cups per order. they then increased to $2 and the it became two cups per order. we stopped buying from the them when they hit $3.

          we still order $1 - $2 cappuccinos, but not from them.

        •  

          @whooah1979: so you agree one of the business will close ……! checkmate !

        •  

          @SydBoy:

          so you agree one of the business will close

          yes, of course. the business that refuse to adapt to a changing market will lose their customers.

        •  

          @SydBoy:

          did we see reduction in tax slab for working class ??

          tax cuts happen all the time, you have to be more specific.

          You also forget that the community is constantly getting more benefits and spending from buses, to schools to hospitals. Money isnt free.

          If you want the best it costs money, if you dont want to pay much tax then think back to how things were 20 years ago.

        •  

          @ninetyNineCents: And also reduces number of doctors and nurses needed, as not everyone immediately runs to the hospital.

        •  

          @cameldownunder:

          no idea why you are telling me this.

        •  

          @ninetyNineCents: As a response to "Thats actually saving you money, the less the gov gives to everyone the less the majority of tax payers have to contribute."

          Less doctors and nurses, less the whole health system is costing.

        •  

          @cameldownunder:

          The problem is thats not what the original complaint was about. Someone complains the gov doesnt allow certain health tax deductions. If your family and your bones, cough up the few dollars and shutup.

        •  

          @ninetyNineCents: For people who go trough IVF the extra expenses can get quickly in the tens of thousands. I think it's a disgrace you can negative gear your property but not claim back medical extras. But that's probably because people who are on Medicare and only bulk bill, see the tax deduction a privilege of the "Riches"

        •  

          @cameldownunder:

          For people who go trough IVF the extra expenses can get quickly in the tens of thousands.

          In many other examples i would agree but for IVF i think thats a waste of money. Those couples should adopt, rather than try and try again costing everyone else 10k+ a pop.

          I think it's a disgrace you can negative gear your property but not claim back medical extras.

          Well neg gearing propert is imho wrong.

          Life isnt always fair, but its your health and you shoudl be WANT to pay for it. As soon as the gov allows tax deductions on medical extras, the prices will jump again to match the fact the gov is paying half your extras. After a short period of time the end result will be everyone will be out of pocket the same amount and doctors will be charging bigger bills.

          Its the same reason the gov first home owners grant didnt help, all house prices just jumped up anyway because they "assumed" enough people gained a grant. If anything it made things worse.

        •  

          @ninetyNineCents: but for IVF i think thats a waste of money. Those couples should adopt, rather than try and try again costing everyone else 10k+ a pop

          I disagree. I have a beautiful daughter thanks to IVF and Medicare and Private health insurance did not cover much.
          Adopting result in huge family stress. I have personally known many parent with adopted kids, and they seem to struggle so much more then other parents.

          I am very happy to pay for IVF as those 10K or 20K are nothing compared to what a child is costing to parents in its lifetime ( if raised nicely )

        •  

          @cameldownunder:

          I disagree. I have a beautiful daughter thanks to IVF and Medicare and Private health insurance did not cover much.

          Well for me your problems having children is not a health matter that the public should pay for, just like the public doesnt pay for and provide good food for everyone.

          IVF is an optional luxury, and if you want it - you should pay for it yourself, just like if i want a nice food at a nice restaurant, which why i mentioned adoption.

          Adopting result in huge family stress.

          Well agreed from what i hear it needs to be fixed. Two wrongs dont make a right though. Its sad that many good parents are made to jump impossible hoops but any dope smoking dole bludger can have dozens of kids and still get welfare.

        •  

          @ninetyNineCents: Not being able to have kids IS an health issue, if the parents should naturally be able to conceive. Agree that a woman over 40 should not use IVF because she has waited too long.

          Major problem of this health system is that Australia has an massive overweight problem and fails to acknowledge. All the health issue created by obesity is creating a massive financial burden. And if one dares to say anything it's slammed as fat-shaming.

        •  

          @cameldownunder:

          Not being able to have kids IS an health issue, if the parents should naturally be able to conceive

          Its not life threatening its a optional choice.

          People chose to go on holidays, they should pay for it, not the public.

          Major problem of this health system is that Australia has an massive overweight problem and fails to acknowledge.

          Tahts true, and tahts why in cases of smokers they get last priority in most hospitals when the choice is available for scheduling.

        •  

          @ninetyNineCents: So for you, everything that is non life threatening is optional? Rehabilitation after an accident ? Optional ? Erection disfunction ? Optional ? Incontinence ? Optional ? Hypothyroid ? Optional ?
          People don't get too choose if they have low sperm/mobility count. Being able to procreate is not a luxury. Let me rephrase, should not be a luxury. It's a right.

        •  

          @cameldownunder:

          So for you, everything that is non life threatening is optional?

          Come on grow up surely you can tell the difference between something that is vital toyour well being and something you just want.

          Rehabilitation after an accident ?

          No because thats about restoring your well being to what it was before the accident.

          People don't get too choose if they have low sperm/mobility count

          Yeh they can pay with their own pocket instead of trying far too many times because it costs them nothing.

          Being able to procreate is not a luxury. Let me rephrase, should not be a luxury. It's a right.

          So is living, if i want a new car i dont ask the gov to pay for it. Do you want the gov to pay for the food and expenses of the kid ? Of course not.

          Show some responsibility and pay for it yourself.

        •  

          @ninetyNineCents:

          Come on grow up surely you can tell the difference between something that is vital toyour well being and something you just want.

          I am grown up and I can, are you and can you ? [ I think its a No-No here ]

          Yeh they can pay with their own pocket instead of trying far too many times because it costs them nothing

          Far too many times is not OK, how many times is then OKs? I think you are a bit confused? Well confusing at least.
          It's not costing nothing. Not at all. About $6000 out of pocket, and even if people could reduce it from the income, it still would be around $4000 out of pocket. So you got it totally wrong.

          You compare kids to cars, holidays, having a dinner:

          "just like the public doesnt pay for and provide good food for everyone"
          "just like if i want a nice food at a nice restaurant"
          "People chose to go on holidays, they should pay for it, not the public"
          "if i want a new car i dont ask the gov to pay for it."

          Buying a car and going on holidays does nothing for society.

          I don't think you have the capability of really understand the problem, [ what people who have difficulties in conceiving experience, and the whole health system ], making such comparisons.

        •  

          @cameldownunder:

          You compare kids to cars, holidays, having a dinner:

          No my point is these items are personal decisions that we "want" and make a decision to "have".

          Buying a car and going on holidays does nothing for society.

          Neither does kids or most of us. In fact half of all australians dont contribute any positive tax.

          I dont want to go there, but you started this.

          I don't think you have the capability of really understand the problem,

          No you dont understand what i said, having kids is a personal choice because YOU want them. You just dont want to accept this idea because you have a personal bias, and you want a freebie.

          I just believe if you want anything by free will you should pay for it. If you want a holiday, kid or anything else you should pay for it.

          You already have agree when you understood that the cost of the kids after conception.

        •  

          @ninetyNineCents:

          You compare kids to cars, holidays, having a dinner:

          No my point is these items are personal decisions that we "want" and make a decision to "have".

          If you want a holiday, kid or anything else you should pay for it.

          You do compare kids to holidays and cars. You just did, in on sentence.

        •  

          @cameldownunder:

          And you missed the point, that as responsible adults we shouldnt expect others to pay for what we "want".

    •  

      and be mindful a tax offset is not the same as a tax deduction.

  • +1 vote

    Have a look at Extended Medicare Safety Net. Maybe able to save some money

  •  

    unfortunately not. there's nothing you can get from tax for medical expenses.

    there used to be the net medical offset which gave you a tax offset worth 20% of your medical expenses over $2000. Unfortunately, even that's gone. I was really disappointed when they got rid of this. SURELY

    •  

      Now we really can't afford to get sick.

      • +5 votes

        we should all go on public health….dont pay private health insurance

        •  

          Ye, but no. I don't want to be sent home, just because my inflamed appendix has not busted yet.
          With bulk billing to public health, you will get many more doctors who send you home with Panadol, while you just suffered your third heart attack, or doctors that are not able to recognize pneumonia and prescribe cough medicine, and doctors that on the other hand, just give you antibiotics, for "just in case"

        •  

          Maybe you should stop being a whinger and pay your way. You prolly pay for more for unnecessary items like coffee than your health, grow up.

    •  

      yea it terrible…!

        • +40 votes

          Lets just clear a few common misconceptions here. I know quite a few specialist surgeons and none of them make the "millions" of dollars that you both talk about. They do make a fairly reasonable salary (generally $250-500k), but that is after 6-7 years of med school, 3-5 years of internship/residency, and 4 -7 years of specialist training (14-20 years after leaving school). They also work 50 to 60 hour weeks to earn that kind of money. Most of them have spent most of their free time and weekends studying and doing unpaid training to get to this position. By the time that finish training they only have a limited amount of time (generally 35-40 years old by the time they finish training, in which to make up for the time and effort that they have put in.

          I understand that people get upset about the costs because they are already facing a hardship in their life (otherwise they wouldn't be at the doctors in the first place), however I don't think that is a justifiable reason for them to be paid less. Remember the less they are paid the less likely the good ones are to do it (only the truly altruistic ones). I am quite happy to pay someone who has studied and has the experience to help me. If they were truly in it for the money they would have not done med.

          By the way the NHS has destroyed the health system in the UK hence why so many of the good doctors are leaving there.

          Plastic surgeons for the "the real housewives of Melbourne" are obviously excluded from the above.

    • +18 votes

      7 figure salaries routinely and surgeons multiple of that? so most surgeons are earning 2-5million dollars a year?! Your kidding right?

      Medical specialist 200-500k/year; hard-working and very experienced would be making near the 7-figure you quote. Orthopaedic surgeons are the highest paid generally and are on 500+k and probably around the $1million/year.

      You do 6-8 years of university, train in an intense hospital for in some cases years just to get into the post-grad training; then complete another 5 years of training and exams -> then become top in your field and be in the top earning criteria.

      But sure lets rag on the people with our lives in our hands because they ask for fair compensation.

      • +1 vote

        i personally don't complain about doctor or anyone's wages as they earn based on their skill and demand of that profession.

        issue i have is that health fund charges you lots but when it comes to payment they only pay gap between medicare payment and medicare scheduled rate.

        anesthetic cherged us $1600 for 20 minutes of his time. medicare paid around $250 and i was hoping for health fund to pay the gap but they only paid gap on medicare scheduled rate which was around $300…hence i have to pay $1300 out of pocket…which i was fine with thinking i might get tax deduction but now i realised that tony and joe monkey had removed out of pocket tax deduction available to common people. so the complain is about libs and their policy. i ended paying around $10k out of pocket.

        my friend has similar surgery and they paid nothing outof pocket by going to public hospital !! they got similar good treatment so tge question is why pay health fund !

        •  

          I also think Surgeons and specialists deserve high wages based off their education, working hours and the pressure of the job, but I am highlighting the astronomically high wages which are disproportionate when compared to the rest of the world.

        • +3 votes

          Sounds like your real beef is with the health funds, not the doctors. Go take it up with the overpaid health fund executives rather than those who are actually helping people.

        •  

          @jc209964: I don’t have a beef with anyone and health funds have nothing to do with private practice rates. Doctors set their own rates.

        •  

          @Burnertoasty: My comment wasn't quite directed at you…

        •  

          and if the health fund were to cover everything the fees would be even higher. NOthing is free, the staff at those fancy offices for starters cost money. IF health funds didnt have public front offices that would save them a min t.

        • +2 votes

          @Burnertoasty: Not compared with the US. Now THAT's astronomical wages over there. As for the UK, they are mostly public - the private system is much smaller than ours and the wages you're seeing are for the public system. Public hospital doctors don't get paid much here and it's not true that there are almost none that are 100% public, there's a huge amount of them because they prefer to be salaried rather than business owners. That said, public hospitals are now offering ridiculous 0.2 positions to new consultants so they can get away with cheaper registrars and a specialist there less of the time, and expect them to augment their income privately, even if they don't want to do that.

        •  

          @Burnertoasty:
          My American and Canadian counterparts do not wake up for what I earn in a week.

      • -6 votes

        Sorry, but your figures are way off.

        •  

          You keep stating this @burnertoasty but do you actually have any evidence to back this up. Probably not….

        • -8 votes

          @Woodinski: I’m not even going to elaborate on my source. Take what I have posted as you will, but I have no reason or motivation to make up this information. If you really think the average Orthopaedic Surgeon makes $500k a year that they declare to the ATO, then great, believe that.

        • +4 votes

          @Burnertoasty: Orthopaedics are the highest average, you are referencing the highest earning. People demand and people pay.

          https://www.health.qld.gov.au/hrpolicies/wage_rates/medical this is the salary that is earnt by medical professionals in QLD health.

          The highest pay rate is $230k/annum as a base rate for a long-standing medical/surgical consultant in the public system.
          -> thats level 29 (top wage)
          -> anything astronomical above that is earnt through overtime rates; weekend hours (which are often astronomical) and through private practice
          -> orthopods are notorious for working long-hours and are probably doing 90-100 hours per week.

          In private practice they charge what they feel they are worth. There isn't some magical tax extortion trick that they can do.

          Burnertoasty i think you need to elaborate on your 'sources'; otherwise your just spouting shit.

        • -2 votes

          @esosite: Take whatever you want from what I have said. $230k is public sector, I clearly said private sector.

        •  

          @Burnertoasty: It is an incredibly small minority of orthopods that make top dollar. Those that do often are PhD's and beyond, and are professors at the top of their game. They are the absolute best of the best. It's a free market, there are other newer ones who will do as good a job and charge a lot less.

          If you want to complain about private billing, why not take a pot shot at obstetricians. Private obs you pay anywhere between $6000-$12000 out of pocket per pregnancy, no tax deductions. And then while you're taking the pot shots at both groups, have a look at how much they pay in insurance per year. Obstetricians can pay up to $90k/year in insurance fees.

        • +1 vote

          No
          - opthalmic surgeons earn the most.
          - cataract surgery which used to take about an hour now takes 5 minutes and the remuneration hasn't changed.

          The libs tried and the AMA wheeled out the oldies.
          Opthalmic surgeons of the mercantile variety would be on between 2 and 8 million $ a year.

          I saw a recent ad in the paper saying a local opthalmologist just loved doing eyelid rejuvenation as it brought so much joy.

          the rag newspaper should have been asking why is the wait for cataract surgery in the public hospital so long so he can do his eyelids on rich old ducks.

        • +1 vote

          @esosite: Also remember that specialist need to pay quite expensive insurance, in order of 20 to 100k per year.

          However, specialist bodies to their best to ensure that their is a limited supply of specialists in Australia. They limit the number of new specialists that are admitted each year to keep the shortage and the high rates.

          It is an old fashioned "closed shop".

        • +1 vote

          @RedHab: You nailed it and summed up everything with "Closed shop"…..I knew few specialist in my family working in Melbourne and Perth and they said it many times that higher prices has nothing to do with number of year they spent studying but it is everything about keep the shortage by limiting new specialist enters the industry every year.

        •  

          @TheCutter:

          Probably there's no incentives to see old people who have cataracts. After all, the college keeps a tight control on supply of good surgeons. You can't have an ordinary joe go around and screw up people's eyes.

        •  

          @SydBoy: Dermatology and opthal - probably true. Ortho - less true.

    • +4 votes

      If you pay them peanuts, you will get monkeys

      •  

        @zhuang281 : it is not about how much you pay to doctors, it is about health-fund and tax rules change which is making it hard for people to stay on private hospital covers.

        •  

          Well I was replying to Buernertoasty who specifically said "Specialist Doctors in this country charge far too much money". Nothing to do with your statement :)

  •  

    If you have specific medical needs you might want to take out some higher coverage insurance. I claimed something like $70k over two in-patient stints at a private rehab, that’s like almost 10 years worth of premiums

  •  

    if your going to die or a drain on the system with a serious need, go public. If the government thinks you can hold off but you can't join a fund.

    • +1 vote

      @rowdyalpha : Health fund literally not providing any benefit as they just cover the gap between Medicare scheduled rate and what medicare pays you. Majority of specialist doctors charges you a hell lot of money (obviously they have skill and they worked for that so no issue with their charges) so keeping health fund is not useful if you have to pay remaining 90% out of your pocket, particularly government removes out of pocket expense from tax. No one create dodgy payment for doctors to make tax claim ! it is majority of time genuine need when person needs some relief from sudden health expense.

      For last 10 year, I paid almost $50k+ in private top level health fund (lower level isn't worth), now if i had kept that fund into my offset account then i would have saved a lot on interest that paid to banks and also might have paid of big chunk of my remaining mortgage !! the earlier one free up their principal place of residence the better it is over all for quality of life (particularly those with high mortgage in Sydney)

      •  

        Sydboy, you've explained what everybody has understood for years. And why the public health system has such long waiting periods to get anything done unless really, really, REALLY urgent.
        You go private, yes you pay in i) premiums ii) any further out of pocket expenses, which as you've clearly explained can be significant.
        But you get in for your treatment pretty much as soon as you want.

        You go public, then yep - nothing to pay. But you wait, and wait, and wait until they can fit you in.

        So why pay for a health fund? Basically to get non urgent stuff done in the quickest time.

        Here's an example.
        A good friend has reached mid 50s. He thought, might be good to get a colonoscopy - be nice to get on top of bowel cancer if there is anything which shows up during the procedure. So he goes to his GP. Pays out of pocket expenses. Referral to gastroenterologist. Discuss situation…any indications? Nope. Any family history? Nope. So why have a colonoscopy? To catch bowel cancer before they're even aware of it! Duh!
        Gastro specialist says the earliest they can get him in for non urgent cases like his is 1 year wait! And that isn't guaranteed! Might be 18 months. Oh, you have private health cover? No probs, we'll fit you in next month.

        On top of premiums alreeady paid to health fund was out of pocket expenses of around $500.

        Worth it? Only the recipient of the benefit can answer that.

        Now if that bloke had've presented to his GP with bleeding out the bum, he would've got an appointment with the gastro specialist quick smart, and he would've booked in the colonoscopy for the next few days - as clearly this is an urgent case. All done public.

  • +1 vote

    No. Not tax deductible.

  • -3 votes

    Wait till the new law comes in next year that you have to see a Doctor to get a prescription for panadeine. I can see the G.P.s, rubbing their hands together, considering that most consults will last less than five minutes and produce a $160.00 medicare rebate per patient.

    • +5 votes

      lololol where are these $160.00 medicare rebates you speak of? $37 for standard 15 min consult.

      • -3 votes

        You probably don't know anything about how much GP charges? $37 is for standard consultation but if they write a referral say for physio then they get more than $140…check medicare schedule rate.

        • +6 votes

          They said for a script for panadeine would be charged $160 medicare rebate -> 5 minute consult is standard consultation; or $37. There is no medicare rebate for referral to physiotherapist.

          Perhaps you mean a GP management plan for a patient with a chronic condition or a team care arrangement plan (GPMP or TCA); or perhaps a mental health management plan/referral which is around the $140 etc.

          https://healthygc.com.au/MedicareLocal/media/Site-Pages-Content/PHCIP/MBS-Schedule-of-Fees-Summary-(September-2014).pdf -> check the medicare schedule rate; or feel to refer to the current September 2017 one http://www.mbsonline.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.ns... (i dont think it changed a great deal)

        •  

          @esosite:

          I gotta add though that 5 minute consult is a short consult not a standard consult
          A standard consult is >5 but less than 20minutes which is 37 dollars

          so if I see 3 patients an hour that can be 37*3 and that includes all the cut backs the clinics themselves are taking (ie the doctors themselves do not even take home that amount)

    •  

      So many assumptions, big numbers, the reality is far from your highly imaginative numbers.

    • +1 vote

      No. There's actually an item number for script dispensing and it's worth about $10 from memory. I suggest you look up the MBS schedule at the item numbers before spreading #fakenews like that.

        • +6 votes

          You wrote that most consults last less than 5 minutes and attract a $160 fee.

          1. GP's do not do GP management plans for codeine prescriptions.
          2. GP management plans are for chronic, complex patients and last a lot longer than less than 5 minutes.
          3. Most consults do not last less than 5 minutes, especially not ones for GP management plans.

          Have you ever sat in with a GP while they've seen patients? And for what it's worth, there's quite a few GP's on this forum, and you are insulting them. They are required to have the broadest knowledge base, and they are a specialty training program in their own right now and have been for years.

  1. Woodinski on 10/10/2017 - 23:08
  2. esosite on 10/10/2017 - 23:00
  3. chumlee on 10/10/2017 - 22:00
  4. Sestrooper on 12/10/2017 - 07:59
  5. SydBoy on 10/10/2017 - 22:06
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