Introduction to the Extended Medicare Safety Net (EMSN)

About the Extended Medicare Safety Net (EMSN) benefit and how it may be paid in addition to other rebates.

Page last updated: 07 February 2017

Extended Medicare Safety Net (EMSN) benefits are paid in addition to the standard Medicare rebate and any benefit received through the Original Medicare Safety Net (OMSN).

  • Out-of-pocket costs: are the difference between doctor charges and the Medicare rebate for a service.
  • Out-of-hospital services: include general practitioner (GP) and specialist attendances and many pathology and diagnostic imaging services.
  • Note: The EMSN benefit caps only apply to out-of-hospital services. The EMSN benefit caps do not impact on the amount patients receive through their private health insurance.
Under the EMSN, once the annual threshold is met, Medicare will pay up to 80 per cent of future out-of-pocket costs (for eligible out-of-hospital services) for the remainder of that calendar year. A limit (or cap) exists on a small number of services including obstetrics, Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) and consultations with GPs, specialists and allied health professionals. The EMSN threshold is indexed annually each January in line with the Consumer Price Index or CPI (September quarter).

Extended Medicare Safety Net (EMSN) thresholds 2017:

  • $656.30 for Commonwealth Concession Cardholders, including those with a Pensioner Concession Card, a Health Care Card or a Commonwealth Seniors Card and people who are eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A
  • $2,056.30 for all other singles and families.