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Staying Healthy All Year Around

Everyone wants to be healthy. Unfortunately, unless you take active steps to maintain your health, as you get older, it is likely to deteriorate. I discovered this the hard way. For many years, I avoided visiting the doctor and I didn't really pay attention to my diet. As a result, I developed a number of medical conditions. Thankfully, the staff at my local healthcare clinic were able to help me to recover. From the moment I called and booked my first appointment, to the day of my surgery, the doctors and nurses supported me and explained every step of the treatment plan. I hope you like my blog.

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Staying Healthy All Year Around

Bulk Billing Doctors: Answers to your Bulk Billing Questions

by Samuel Henderson

Bulk billing refers to a health services payment option under the Australia's universal health insurance scheme known as Medicare. Since 1984, Medicare has been providing universal health cover to Australians and even some visitors, whereby public patients seeking treatment in public hospitals are usually treated free of charge.

Who are bulk billing doctors?

Bulk billing doctors are basically medical practitioners who have entered into an agreement with Medicare to offer patients services free of charge or at a subsidised rate. For instance, when you are seeking outpatient services from a General Practitioner (G.P) and are entitled to Medicare benefits, the G.P will not bill you for consultation, but will instead bill Medicare directly. In addition, a bulk billing doctor is not allowed to charge you any additional fees for the services you have received, unless in the case of specialised treatment.  

What kind of services are offered under bulk billing?

Medicare allows a range of medical services to be bulk billed. These include:

  • Doctor consultations: Many bulk billing doctors (usually GP's) will provide patients with free consultation services under Medicare's bulk billing system. However, some medical practitioners may opt to provide bulk billing services to specific group of patients, for example the elderly, low income earners and children.
  • Specialists' services: Some specialists such as radiologists and pathologists may offer bulk billing services. This means that they may bill Medicare directly for things like tests and examinations.
  • Optometry: Some optometrists may also bill Medicare for services such as eye tests, which means that you will not have to incur a lot of out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Dental: Dental treatments and preventive dental check-ups may also be bulk billed, depending on whether or not your dental professional accepts Medicare cards. This also depends whether Medicare deems you eligible for dental benefits. For instance, those with complex care needs and chronic conditions may receive rebates for dental care, if their dental problem could be worsening their chronic condition.
  • Podiatry or podiatric medicine: Medicare provides the patient with a rebate for consultation fees only, in podiatric medicine. If you incur any other expenses during treatment you will have to cater for them.
  • Psychology: Some psychologist may offer bulk-billing services to patients who have pre-booked appointments.
  • Most surgical procedures can also be bulk billed.

Whether you are looking for specialised treatment or outpatient services, there are a number of bulk billing doctors on Medicare's panel who will cater to your medical needs. It is however, wise to do some research and find these doctors, because not all medical practitioners in Australia accept bulk billing. Reach out to doctors in your area to see if this is an option they offer. 

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