Frequently Asked Questions About Bulk Billing Eye Tests

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If you feel your eyesight is getting weaker and you want to get it checked (or if you haven’t, you should get your eyes checked as soon as possible), you might be familiar with a new way of billing. In Australia, patients get an additional option regarding billing when they access medical services: bulk billing. You must have also heard optometrists talk about it. If you are looking for bulk bill optometrists who offer bulk billing but don’t know much about it, you are at the right place.

What is Bulk-billing?

Bulk-billing basically means that you would not get charged for a doctor’s visit as a patient. Instead of charging the patient, the doctor or health professional in charge treats the bill as the full payment and directly forwards the bill to the Australian government. Accessing medical services provides you with Medicare, so you do not have to pay the visitation fee from your pocket. As the name suggests, health professionals directly bill the government in “bulk”, including the entire consultation fee.

If you were not asked to pay for a spontaneous check-up for an eye test at your optometrist’s clinic, you were bulk-billed. However, if you were not bulk-billed, your bill gets added to your account, known as the “patient account”. In this case, you have to pay from your own pocket and cannot add your bill to Medicare.

How Can You Use Bulk Billing?

There are various ways to obtain the benefits that Medicare offers when you go for an eye checkup. You can directly claim the service at your optometrist’s clinic or use Medicare’s online portal. You can also access the services via Medicare’s app or by drafting an email.

If you plan to access the benefits of bulk billing directly from the optometrist’s clinic, you will have to sign a consent form confirming your bill is not being charged to your patient account. The clinic will then contact Medicare regarding the consent form. You will not have to actually pay any additional expenses in cases like this. Everything will be handled by the clinic you visited, Medicare, and the Australian government.

Another benefit of bulk billing is that you can directly access the benefits from your bank account without waiting for a cheque or cash. However, if you visit the health professional for more than one service simultaneously, bulk billing might not cover both. You might be asked to pay a part of the bill from your pocket as it will be added to your patient account.

Does Every Health Professional Offer Bulk Billing?

While not all doctors offer bulk billing services, services like eye tests at your local optometrist’s clinic, X-rays, MRIs, and pathology tests can be covered through bulk billing.

Do You Require Any Documents to Access Bulk Billing Services?

You must carry your Medicare card with you while heading over to your optometrist’s for an eye check-up. Without a Medicare card, you will not be able to avail the benefits of bulk billing as your Medicare card ensures you are eligible to access their services, and it also stores your number.

If you are visiting an optometrist for an eye check-up or test, ensure they give you access to Medicare services and bulk billing, so you don’t have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses for your consultation charges.


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