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The impact of age and sex on person-level Medicare costs

Catherine L Keating
Med J Aust 2013; 198 (3): 138. || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11606
Published online: 18 February 2013

To the Editor: The impact of population ageing on health care expenditure was a hot topic in the late 1990s in Australia.1 Previous studies have adopted various modelling approaches to estimate age- and sex-specific health care costs to inform population health care expenditure projections.2-4 Medicare funds about 3800 medical services, including consultations provided by general practitioners and specialists, medical diagnostic services (such as medical imaging and pathology), dental surgery, optometry and selected allied health services through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). It also funds about 2100 pharmaceutical therapies, or about 80% of all prescription medications dispensed in Australia, through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

  • Catherine L Keating

  • Deakin Health Economics, Deakin University, Melbourne, VIC.


Acknowledgements: 

I thank Medicare Australia staff, who assisted with the identification of samples analysed in this study and provided detailed medical and pharmaceutical data for each sample.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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