Medicare and Bulk billing
A Medicare card is issued by the government and is used for medical and health services. It has information on it that says your name, Medicare no and an expiry date.
Medicare usually covers treatment by health professionals such as doctors, specialists, optometrists and sometimes, in specific circumstances, dentists and other sorts of health practitioners.
It covers accommodation in a public hospital as a public patient and 75 per cent of the Medicare Schedule fee for services and procedures if you are a private patient in a public or private hospital.
Getting a Medicare card
If you aren’t already enrolled, go to a Medicare service centre or you can download, print out and complete a ‘Medicare enrolment application form’ from here http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/forms/3101 . Take it to your nearest Medicare service centre with your identification. (Student card, bank statement etc)
If you are already on your parent’s card you can choose to stay on it and have a copy for youself.
If you would like your own card you can download, print out and complete a form called ‘Application to copy or transfer from one Medicare card to another’ from here http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/forms/3170 then go to your nearest Medicare service centre and lodge it with you ID.
The Medicare staff will process your application and then issue you with a receipt and number to use while you wait for your card to come in the mail.
A Medicare card looks like this
Your doctor or health professional can choose to bulk bill you or charge you for the service.
Bulk billing is when the total cost of seeing the doctor or health professional is paid for by the government. You should not be charged any additional costs such as a booking or administration fee, or a charge for bandages. Before you make an appointment with your doctor or health professional ask if they will bulk bill you and remember to take your Medicare card and health care card if you have one.
If the doctor or health professional charges you directly, you can pay this at the time of service then claim benefits from the government (Medicare) for the cost of this account.
To make a claim you need to register your bank account details with Medicare. You can register your bank account details through Medicare Online Services, by calling 132 011 or in person at your local Medicare service centre.
You will need to have your Medicare card and bank account details (BSB, account number and account name) with you when you register. Always remember to let Medicare know if you change bank accounts or if any other of your details change in the future.
You can claim your Medicare benefit:
- At your doctor’s – If your doctor offers electronic claiming, practice staff will lodge your claim. Your Medicare benefit will usually be paid into your nominated bank account the next working day, sometimes even sooner.
- Online – You can lodge some Medicare claims online through Medicare Online Services. If you’ve registered your bank account details, your benefit will usually be paid into your account the next working day. To access Medicare Online Services, you will be asked to create a myGov account and link your Medicare Online Services. With a myGov account you can access multiple Australian Government online accounts with one username and password.
- Over the phone – By calling 132 011 and following the prompts. Have your Medicare card and the doctor’s receipt with you when you call.