New service arrangements for Merimbula

The Medicare Service Centre in Merimbula will relocate to Bega from Monday 2 November 2015.

Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen said the move of services and staff had been prompted by a significant drop in demand for face-to-face Medicare services.

“The Merimbula Service Centre has some of the lowest foot-traffic of all our service centres across the country,” Mr Jongen said.

“The number of customers coming in has more than halved over the past 2 years, reflecting a downward trend nationally.

“This is partly as a result of the move away from cash rebates as well as the growth in alternative claiming options, such as claiming at your doctor’s surgery.

“In fact, more than 95% of all Medicare claims nationally are now made at the point of service.

“This falling demand for face-to-face services, coupled with the impending end of lease on the Merimbula Drive property, meant we had to make a decision about the best use of our resources across the far south coast.”

Mr Jongen said a new Agent Service in Merimbula would continue to offer residents support for basic Medicare and Centrelink services.

“We are currently finalising arrangements with Australia Post for this new service to be delivered from their Merimbula Post Office,” Mr Jongen said.

“In doing so, it will become part of a network of more than 350 Agents across the country delivering services and programs on behalf of the department.

“Customers will be able to submit a claim for a Centrelink payment or a Medicare rebate, lodge documents with the department and access online and phone self-service options and information.”

The new Agent Service is located 2 doors down from the Merimbula Service Centre at 5-7 Merimbula Drive and will be open from 9 am to 2:30 pm, Monday to Friday from Monday 2 November.