I needed to see a specialist (ob/gyn) last month, and the cost was $250, with medicare reimbursing only $70. That’s $180 out of pocket for a 15 minute appointment. My partner had to see a specialist (gastro) this month, and it was $325 for a 10 minute appointment! (I’m guessing that medicare will reimburse $70 also for this appointment.)
My question is, how the heck do people pay for these appointments? My partner is in school full time, so this comes straight out of savings. But what about young people with no savings, or people who are managing paycheck to paycheck? Have we just accidentally stumbled upon outrageously expensive specialists, or is this the way it works in Canberra and/or Australia?
By way of comparison, specialists in NZ were expensive but my private health insurance reimbursed me in full. In the US, I had good health coverage and I had a $50 copay for any specialist visit.
I’m just shocked at the cost for these appointments and frankly wonder how this is affordable to anyone who isn’t wealthy. Do you just skip doctor’s visits? Wait until it becomes an emergency and go to the hospital? Or am I just cheap and this isn’t seen as expensive at all?