Care plans: what you need to know
Are you getting the most out of your GP visits? Do you know the difference between a Care Plan and a Chronic Disease Management Plan? Or a GP Management Plan and a Team Care Arrangement?
If you aren’t sure what these terms mean, or how they apply to you, read on. You could save money while getting the best treatment.
What is a Care Plan?
A Care Plan is a type of Chronic Disease Management Plan.
It’s available to all people living with diabetes and allows you to visit five allied health professionals, such as a dietitian, diabetes educator, exercise physiologist or podiatrist, with a Medicare rebate.
The rebate is available for a maximum of five services each calendar year. You can choose to use all five visits to the same health professional, or divide them up so you see a range of specialists for more varied assistance with diabetes self-management.
If your private allied health professional accepts the Medicare benefit as full payment for the service, there will be no out-of-pocket cost. If not, you’ll have to pay the difference between the fee charged and the Medicare rebate.
Getting the rebate
To access the rebate, your doctor needs to provide a GP Management Plan and a Team Care Arrangement for you.
Next time you visit your doctor, check whether you have a GP Management Plan and, if not, ask to have one prepared for you. It won’t cost you anything to set up as the GP Management Plan is bulk billed by your GP through Medicare.
Who is eligible for a Care Plan?
Anyone who has a chronic medical condition (such as diabetes) that will persist for at least six months.
When should you get a Care Plan?
As soon as you’re diagnosed with a chronic medical condition, and every year thereafter. Plans run for a calendar year and give you access to five visits to allied health professionals.
Where do you get a Care Plan?
From your GP. Your GP has to believe you could benefit from a Care Plan. If your GP doesn’t feel one is necessary, ask why. Most health care professionals are very helpful and are keen to support you with a Care Plan, however if you happen to come across one that isn’t, it’s okay to find another who is.
Why do I need a Care Plan?
Diabetes is a complex condition and extra help is often needed to help you to reach your health goals. A Care Plan gives you subsidised access to allied health professionals to get you the best care possible.