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Bulk billing in Australia

OSHCstudents – In Australia, health professionals might bulk bill or does private billing for your medical services. Bulk billing means you don’t have to pay for your medical assistance from a health professional. See who is eligible for bulk-billed, how it works, and who offers bulk billing.

What is bulk billing?

When you’re bulk-billed for a trip to a medical professional, it means you don’t have to pay for your visit. Instead of charging you, the health professional accepts the rate that’s included in the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) as full payment and bills the Australian Government directly.

If you’re not bulk-billed, you’ll be charged a ‘patient account’. This is when your doctor charges you a fee and you can claim a portion of the MBS back through Medicare. The part of the fee that you can’t claim through Medicare is called an ‘out of pocket’ or a ‘gap payment’.

Am I eligible to be bulk-billed?

If you live in Australia and have a valid Medicare card, you’re eligible to be bulk-billed; however, whether a doctor or specialist offers you bulk-billing is completely up to them or the business they work for.

How does bulk billing work?

You can sometimes claim the benefits from Medicare at your doctor’s office; other times, you’ll be required to claim through Medicare Online, via the Medicare mobile app or by mail. The benefits will be deposited straight into your bank account, so you don’t have to worry about picking up cash or waiting for a cheque.

Who offers bulk billing?

Not all health professionals bulk-bill, so before making an appointment, it’s important to do some research. You can call the practice directly, or use the health service tool on the healthdirect website to search for local bulk-billing doctors and specialists.

Some examples of the services that may be covered by bulk-billing include:

  • Appointments with GPs or specialists
  • Scans, like X-rays
  • Tests that may require pathology
  • Eye tests performed by optometrists

Medicare may not cover everything or everyone:

  • Medicare benefit is not payable for some services, for example, most physiotherapy.
  • If you have more than one service during the same GP visit.
  • When only select groups are covered, for example, concession card holders, pensioners or children under a specific age.
  • If your medical professional does not accept the Medicare benefit as full payment for their service.

Private health insurance might cover health services not listed on the MBS

Medicare generally does not cover the costs of:

  • Private hospital
  • Ambulance services
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychological services
  • Some dental work
  • Optical

You might want to consider getting private health insurance to help pay for treatments and services not covered by Medicare bulk billing. Get quotes for 5 Australian government-approved OSHC/OVHC providers here.

If you are international students, foreigners arriving to Australia, or Australian citizens traveling abroad looking for OSHC, OVHC, travel insurance, please contact OSHCstudents Team at email: info@oshcstudents.com and our partners for further information and assistance.

OSHCstudents (source: nib & Comparing expert)

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Baek Ah Yeon

I trust Allianz Care since it is one of the largest insurance companies in Australia, with the medical centres where I only have to pay for what is left from insurance support. (no need to claim later). Besides, those centres are located at the centre of the city, close to schools. Very convenient, right? Credits to Allianz Care for providing reliable medical centres for health check and treatments.

Baek Ah Yeon | University of Queensland

Ariella Pei

I’ve been living with homestay family for 2 years. I’m now 19, I can move out but I don’t want to leave my host, who has become my family. It feels like I’ve met my second family. Thanks OSHCstudents for sending me to this homestay!

Ariella Pei | University of Canberra

Chatchawat Paton

I realised how important insurance was when I started living in Australia. There I switched to using Allianz Care instead of the previous service. Allianz Care is extraordinarily good in its consulting service and customer care. I’ve learned a lot about Australian health care, also I was consulted with mental issues and how to live a healthy lifestyle. I am very happy now.

Chatchawat Paton | Torrent University

Phuong Anh

Having lived in Australia for 2 years, I’ve been reliant on AHM OSHC to pay for my health care, which supports me for other expenses. Last year, I sent my claim requests for several times and always received the claims within two days. Everything is easy, fast and simple.

Phuong Anh | Victoria University

Xiaoyu Cheng

Thanks to Allianz Care, every time I claimed my medical receipts it processed much more quickly and easily than I expected. I was initially a bit concerned since Allianz Care is more expensive than other insurance companies, but now I can ensure that it is totally worth the money.

Xiaoyu Cheng | Monash University


My homestay was very comfortable and convenient. My host was really kind. He showed me where to shop, which buses to catch, where the nearest train station is, to get off at which station so that I wouldn’t be taken to another suburb. Travelling was easy since the place was close to public transports. It only took 30 minutes to get to my college, actually I could go anywhere easily!

Emma | Macquarie University

Jing Zhang

When told that I was going to live with an Italian family, I was pretty nervous and doubted whether or not they could speak English well as the local people? Yet it was no longer a problem when I saw them. They knew the problems of people who first came to Australia and always tried to help me. I learned so many things about both Australian and Italian culture and enjoyed tasty Italian meals every time. Awesome!

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