Although health is the most important thing in life, maintaining it can sometimes be a challenge in terms of finance. World over, millions of people are dying of diseases- not because they could not get treated- but because they could not afford treatment. The cost of living is so high, people have barely anything left for their health.
But in Australia, things are different thanks to bulk billing. Bulk billing is a system designed to make healthcare more accessible and affordable to Australians. While so many have benefited from this service, there are still people who do not understand what bulk billing is all about.
Bulk Billing Explained
Bulk billing is a service offered to patients under the Medicare system of universal health insurance in Australia. If you are bulk billed, you will not pay anything for your appointment. The full cost is covered by Medicare.
Bulk billing covers several types of service. Some of these services include
- Appointments with your GP
- Specialists appointments
- Pathology tests
- Scans like x-rays
- Eye tests performed by optometrists
An important point to note is that if you receive more than one service in a single appointment you might not be bulk billed for everything.
To be bulk billed, you must give your consent through an EFTPOS machine or sign a form. If for some reason, you cannot sign another person such as a close friend or relative can do it on your behalf.
What is Gap Payment?
If you are not bulk billed, you will have to pay for the full cost from your pocket. You will be charged through a patient account. However, you can claim part of the Medical Benefits Schedule(MBS) through Medicare. Now, gap payment is the difference between what you paid and what you can claim.
To claim the benefits you can use Medicare Online through the Medicare mobile app or by sending an email. Alternatively, you can claim the benefits at the doctor’s office. After that, you do not have to worry about anything because the benefits will be deposited directly into your bank account.
Who Qualifies to be Bulk Billed?
Basically, if you live in Australia and are a registered member of Medicare, you qualify to be bulk billed. However, the medical practitioner or the institution they work for reserves the right to decide who to bulk bill. In fact, not all medical practitioners offer bulk billing services. Then there are those who have a policy to bulk bill a particular set of patients such as Seniors Card holders or Age Pension Pensioners while others will include children under the age of 16, students, and Health Care Card holders. Some others prefer to bulk bill follow up patients only.
There is another set of medical practitioners who do not limit their bulk billing services. These ones will bulk bill all patients regardless of their income or their age. Additionally, these medical practitioners bulk bill home visits, and some of the services offered after normal business hours.
As you can see, there are so many options to choose from. Ensure that you do thorough research before you book an appointment. Feel free to call your doctor to find out more about your eligibility. Alternatively, you can find bulk billing services such as home doctor bulk billed by searching the internet.
That said. People who may qualify for bulk billing include:
- Children below the age of 16 years
- Age Pension pensioners
- Health Care Cardholders
- Seniors Cardholders
- After business hours and home visit services
Why Choose Bulk Billing?
There are various reasons as to why you should choose bulk billing for your medical services.
One is that you can get the best medical services without having to worry about the bill. The major reason why people cancel treatments or fail to get treatments is that they cannot afford to pay for it. But with bulk billing, you got all that covered.
Another advantage of using bulk billing is that you get peace of mind knowing that you are covered health-wise. When you cannot afford treatment, you get stressed for two reasons. One is because of the fact you are sick. And two is because you cannot afford treatment. What happens is that things get worse than they were. With bulk billing, all you have to do is focus on getting better.
Last but not least, the bulk billing process is both simple and time-effective. It just takes a couple of minutes and you are done. After the appointment, you will fill a form in duplicate. The doctor will keep the original and you will keep the copy. By filling this form, you allow the doctor to receive the amount of money you would have received from the government.
Health affects every aspect of your life that is why maintaining it is so important. Bulk billing exists because the Australian government values your health and also knows that finance is the biggest challenge.