Medicare bulk billing strengthened as largest investment in 40 years takes effect

The Australian Government is making it easier to see a bulk billing doctor for more than 11 million Australians, with the largest investment in bulk billing in the 40-year history of Medicare.

The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care

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The Albanese Government is making it easier to see a bulk billing doctor for more than 11 million Australians, with the largest investment in bulk billing in the 40-year history of Medicare.


From today, the incentive that general practitioners receive to bulk bill children under 16, pensioners and other Commonwealth concession cardholders will be tripled for most common GP consults.


It will be easier to find a bulk billing doctor for around 5 million children and their families and 7 million pensioners and other concession cardholders.


Together, these patients account for around 3 out of 5 visits to the GP.


At the 2023-24 Budget, the Albanese Government also announced a $1.5 billion indexation boost to Medicare payments, with the increase also taking effect today.


Together, the indexation boosts in July and November have delivered the largest increase to Medicare payments since Paul Keating was Prime Minister, delivering a larger increase in one year than the former government delivered over seven years.


The indexation boost and tripling of the bulk billing incentive provides a significant increase to the Medicare payments that GPs get to bulk bill eligible patients.


In our major cities, a doctor will get 34% more for a standard bulk billed consultation of under 20 minutes (a Level B consultation), taking the Medicare payment for eligible patients to $62.05.


In regional and rural Australia, a doctor will get around 50% more for the same visit, taking the Medicare payment to between $72.80 and $81.10, depending on location.


A new Medicare rebate for GP consultations of 60 minutes or longer will also commence today, giving patients a rebate of $191.20 and doctors the time to provide better care for people with complex physical and mental conditions.


Patients registered with MyMedicare will now be able to access Medicare rebates for longer telephone consultations from their registered practice.


MyMedicare is the foundation upon which a stronger, more personalised Medicare will be built, with patients to get more tailored quality care from their regular general practice, doctor and primary care team.


Since voluntary registration for MyMedicare opened to patients on 1 October, more than 150,000 people have registered with their preferred general practice and will now get access to longer telehealth consults.


Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:


“We’re delivering the biggest investment in Medicare in over 40 years, with more incentives for bulk billing and 58 new Urgent Care clinics across Australia.


“These changes to the Medicare bulk billing incentive will make it easier, and cheaper for more than 11 million Australians to visit a doctor.


“Combined with our cheaper medicines policy, electricity bill relief, cheaper child care and increased rent assistance, we’re continuing to deliver targeted cost of living relief without adding to inflation.”


Quotes attributable to Health Minister Mark Butler:


“The tripling of the bulk billing incentive will help over 5 million children and their families, and more than 7 million pensioners and concession card holders to see a bulk billed GP.


“Doctors’ groups have called this a ‘game-changer’ and GPs right around the country have said this will help them maintain and even shift back to bulk billing.


“Peter Dutton froze the Medicare rebate when he was Health Minister 10 years ago - a freeze that remained in place for six long years and led to a very substantial decline in bulk billing in general practice.


“Bulk billing is the beating heart of Medicare and Labor will always strengthen it.”

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