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Medicare rebate changes to Optometry: Optorica Weston Creek

By Rachel Ziv - 3 December 2016 0

Optorica Weston Creek

Medicare Optometry Rebates:

Under 65?

First visit in 3 years: $56.80 rebate

Additional visits within 3 years: $28.45 rebate

Over 65?

Every year: $56.80 rebate

A lot has changed in optometry over the past 23 years. That’s how long Chito Ricabo has been an optometrist in Weston Creek – opening a small practice inside Cooleman Court in 1993 and eventually moving to a larger light-filled location across the road from the service station in 2004.

“This area has definitely evolved. When I moved here, there were fewer shops and I was the only optometrist,” recalls Chito. “The suburb itself was still expanding, and the new suburbs of Coombs and Wright were still the beautiful lush forest that we lost in the 2003 bushfires.”

Chito himself was just 13 when his French teacher noticed him squinting in class and suggested he get his eyes checked.

“It was unbelievable,” he says. “I had been walking around my whole life thinking ‘this is how the world looks!’. And suddenly someone put a pair of glasses in front of my eyes and everything was different.”

From that moment Chito decided that he wanted to be an optometrist. Since completing his degree, he has dedicated his life to helping people see better.

With his qualified dispensing optician Howard by his side, Chito examines, prescribes and fits eyewear from children through to their grandparents.

Dedicated to maintaining affordability without compromising quality, Chito and Howard order Optorica lenses, frames and contacts from suppliers they know provide the best after both being in the industry for decades.

Of the current Medicare rebate structure, Chito comments “We’ve seen many changes to the way Medicare tries to encourage people to get regular eye tests.

Before January 1 2015, people who had an eye examination received a rebate of $60.35 for the first exam in two years, and $30.25 for additional exams within that same period. Today, the rebate from Medicare has been reduced to $56.80 for the first exam in three years (for patients below 65 years old) and $28.45 for additional exams within the same period. We still bulk-bill Medicare for patients aged 65+ and pensioners.”

Patients can bring their Medicare card and a debit/savings card to their appointment and claim their rebate on-the-spot at Optorica.

Being so passionate about eye care, Chito recommends that everyone gets a thorough eye examination at least once every two years. He says you can’t put a price on good vision, especially when many problems (if detected early) may be treated effectively and cause minimal disruption to daily life.

Chito’s eye examination recommendations*:

0-4 years: On doctor’s request or if there is a family history of eye problems

4-7 years: Once a year

7-25 years: Every 18months to 2 years

25-65: Every two years

65+: Once a year

*Varies depending on the patient’s eyes and vision

Chito is offering RiotACT readers 10% off all eye examinations until the end of 2016. Simply mention that you read this article to save.

To book, visit Optorica at Suite 17, 41-43 Liardet Street Weston Creek (just down from Subway), visit their website or call 6288 3155.

This is a sponsored article, though all opinions are the author’s own. For more information on paid content, see our sponsored content policy.

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