The ACT Health Interstate Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (IPTAS) provides financial assistance with travel and accommodation costs to ACT residents who are required to travel interstate to access specialist medical services not available in the ACT. IPTAS is a subsidy scheme and does not cover all costs.
Who is eligible?
Any permanent resident of the ACT with a Medicare Card (or eligible for such a card) who has to travel interstate to access the nearest eligible specialist medical service on referral from a medical practitioner. There is no minimum travel distance required to be undertaken to establish eligibility. Prior approval must be obtained before air travel, which will be conditional upon meeting clinical criteria. Claims for the maximum available benefits through a private health fund must be lodged prior to making an application through IPTAS.
Who/what is not eligible?
What may be provided?
There is no co-contribution payable. However, all incidental costs (meals, taxi fares, public transport costs, tolls, parking fees and telephone calls) are your responsibility.
How to apply
You, your referring doctor and treating specialist must complete an application form, which must be lodged at a Health Centre specified on the form or the IPTAS office (by post, fax, email or in person). A separate form must be completed for each return trip, accompanied by original tax receipts.
The above is a very brief summary of the scheme – more information can be obtained from the IPTAS website, or by consulting the ACT IPTAS Guidelines for Medical Officers & Consumers. APMA members can obtain advice and assistance on the scheme by contacting email@example.com or calling Pain Link on 1300 340 357. The rates outlined above apply from 1 July 2011.