When you access medical services, you can be bulk billed or given a patient account for those services. Bulk billing is when your doctor bills Medicare directly and accepts the Medicare benefit as full payment for their service. This means you do not have any out-of-pocket expenses.
A patient account is when your doctor charges you a fee and you claim the appropriate portion of the schedule fee back through Medicare. The difference between the total account and your Medicare refund is called a 'gap payment' . If you need to see a doctor, you can ask if they bulk bill, and if they don't you can ask about the expected gap payment.
More information on bulk billing and patient accounts can be found at the Department of Human Services bulk billing page.
The benefits are paid straight into your bank account. You can claim your Medicare benefit in a number of ways such as:
- at your doctor's office
- through your Medicare Online account
- via the Express Plus mobile app
- by mail
These options are explained at the Department of Human Services website.
There are other services that are related to Medicare, such as the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register and the Australian Organ Donor Register. A list of all Medicare services can be viewed at the: Department of Human Services Medicare Services page.
For all Medicare general enquiries phone 132 011 (24hrs a day, 7 days a week). For further contact information go to the Department of Human Services website.
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Last reviewed: January 2018