What is bulk billing?
Bulk-billing means that your therapist receives a direct payment from Medicare for the service they provide, and there is no out-of-pocket expenses for you. Essentially, Medicare pays the bill on your behalf in this circumstance.
For services to be bulk-billed, you will need a Mental Healthcare Plan from your doctor and a Medicare card.
Is bulk billing common?
Bulk billing is a much more common service for GPs than it is for psychological therapy and counselling. To book an appointment with a bulk-billing therapist, please bear in mind that longer wait times may be necessary, and low/no income eligibility criteria are often required.
Medicare rebates vs. bulk billing
More often, Medicare helps to cover a large portion of the therapy service cost. Mental health professionals set their own fees at their practice and there are many more services with a small co-payment or out-of-pocket contribution that you’ll pay.
As compared to bulk billing services, Medicare-subsidised appointments tend to be much more convenient to book and appointments are generally available within 48 hours, including afterhours and on weekends.
Your out-of-pocket contribution can vary according to the professional you choose to see. Finding a therapist who is the right fit will be most important, and you can discuss your circumstances with one of our intake consultants on 1300 735 030 for assistance and information regarding the relevant fee structures.
If your therapist offers a Medicare rebate, you will require a Mental Health Care Plan from your GP to be eligible. Please note: Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, GPs are now able to complete a Mental Health Care Plan referral with you over the phone- all you need to do is call your local GP clinic, and request a telehealth appointment.
Private health vs. bulk billing
Some private health insurance funds provide rebates for psychology and counselling services, depending on whether you have an eligible policy and level of cover. Many of our therapists are registered with various private health insurers, and for some this is a preferred alternative to bulk billing services or Medicare assisted options.
All private health providers have different policies and rules of eligibility in order to access rebates, so please check your level of cover and the requirements or qualifications needed for selecting a suitable therapist first. You can discuss your individual circumstances with one of our intake consultants by calling 1300 735 030.
Completely private care
Many therapists set their own fees and do not use rebate systems. Instead, these therapy services are completely private and often charge a reduced rate in lieu of using government-assisted rebates.
Therapists with private fees can often offer the maximum level of convenience with no waiting period, flexible appointment times including evenings and weekends and local availability.