What's a fair price for a unit of anaesthesia?

What's a fair price for a unit of anaesthesia?

The Medicare Benefits Schedule says a reasonable unit price for anaesthesia is $19.80 – this price hasn't moved since 2013.

However, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) pegs it a lot higher at $84 per unit (at the most).

Health funds usually cover between $30 and $40 per unit – this will be the fund's "gap threshold" – before you have to pay the rest as a gap.

Your anaesthetist will charge somewhere between the Medicare and AMA fees, although in most cases they will charge below the fund's gap threshold.

Ask your anaesthetist what their unit price is, whether they participate in your fund's gap scheme, and what your likely out-of-pocket cost will be. And don't be afraid to ask for a discount.

List of unit prices per schedule

Medicare: $19.80

AMA: $84

NIB: $31.68

Medibank: $32.7

HCF: $33.67

Access Gap Scheme: $36.40

Bupa: $36.63

HBF: $38.30


Correct as of 1 February 2018.

NIB only has a "no gap" scheme, meaning if your practitioner charges above their limit they will only cover the MBS fee.

The HBF figure listed is for WA members. In eastern states it follows the Access Gap Scheme schedule.

Bupa and the Access Gap Scheme use state-based schedules with slight variations. Maximum benefits are listed here.

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