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
- Psychological services
- Some dental work
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: email@example.com and our partners for further information and assistance.
OSHCstudents (source: nib & Comparing expert)