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Medicare's $234m payout before Christmas: How a million Aussies can get cash boost within three days

Aussies need to update their bank details with Medicare to claim the unpaid benefits.

Millions of dollars in unpaid Medicare rebates are waiting to be claimed by Aussies in a pre-Christmas cash boost.

The Australian government is currently holding $234 million in unclaimed Medicare benefits, which can be left unpaid if people haven’t updated their bank account details.

Government Services Minister Bill Shorten said people could claim the money by checking their banking details were up to date with Medicare. Once updated, any unclaimed rebates owed will be automatically paid within three days.

There's been a few healthcare changes happening recently, including to Medicare bulk billing and GP fees. Read about the changes in our explainer here.

Medicare card and Australian money.
Nearly 1 million Aussies are eligible to claim unpaid Medicare rebates. (Source: AAP)

“We know Australians are doing it tough, and I want to reunite people with millions in unpaid Medicare benefits before the holidays,” Shorten said.

There are about 300,000 people who are owed money but don’t have an active myGov account, while more than 690,000 with an active myGov account will soon be sent a notification telling them Medicare owes them money.

“We will never ask you to open a link in a text message. To securely sign in to your myGov, go to my.gov.au or use the official myGov app,” Shorten said.

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NSW residents stand to receive the most cash back, with 284,000 people able to claim a share of $72.6 million in unclaimed benefits as of October 31.

About 243,000 Victorians have $59.7 million in unclaimed Medicare rebates to recoup, while there are 203,1000 Queenslanders with $46 million in rebates available.

How to update your Medicare details

You can update your bank details by signing into myGov and selecting Medicare. Then select “View and edit my details” from the “My details” menu.

This will display your current bank details. If they are out of date, select ‘Edit’ in ‘Bank details’ and enter your new account name, BSB and account number and hit ‘Save’.

After you’ve updated your details, Services Australia said any unpaid benefits will automatically be paid to you within three days. It will also automatically pay any future benefits into this account.

- with NCA NewsWire

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