Bulk billing incentive - the facts

Bulk billing incentive - the facts


What’s the bulk billing incentive? 

The bulk billing incentive is a small incentive provided to doctors who bulk bill patients from vulnerable patient groups. The amount differs depending on location.  

The bulk billing incentive is not a rebate paid to you as a patient. 

Not all services provided by your doctor are eligible for the bulk billing incentive. Your doctor does not receive the payment if they do not bulk bill. 

From 1 November 2023, the incentive – not your patient rebate – will be tripled for doctors who bulk bill some patient groups. 

Federal budget resources:


Not the Medicare rebate

The bulk billing incentive is different to - and does not affect – patient Medicare rebates.  

Decades of neglect from successive governments have eroded the value of your Medicare rebates.  

Your Medicare rebates fall far short of the actual cost of providing healthcare services.  

We continue to advocate fiercely for significant increases in your Medicare rebates. 


Who does the bulk billing incentive apply to? 

This incentive only applies to the following vulnerable patient groups, and only if they are bulk billed: 

  • Children under 16 years 
  • Commonwealth concession card holders (Centrelink or DVA cards): 
    • Pensioner Concession Card 
    • Health Care Card 
    • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card 


How much is the bulk billing incentive? 

The bulk billing incentive applies to eligible patients as per the following locations: 

  • Metro (MMM1): $20.65  
  • Regional centres (MMM2): $30.15 
  • Large-medium rural towns (MMM3-4): $31.95 
  • Small rural towns (MMM5): $34.05 
  • Remote communities (MMM6): $35.80 
  • Very remote communities (MMM7): $39.65 

Department of Health and Ages Care resources:


What's the true cost of healthcare?

The bulk billing incentive amount differs depending on location.   

In most cases, the incentive and your rebate do not cover your doctor’s true cost of providing healthcare. 

In fact, most doctors incur a loss when they bulk bill. 

The following graphs show the cost breakdown for three common GP consultations, in a range of locations.


Remote community (MMM6)

Bulk billing incentive breakdown remote community




Regional centre (MMM2)

Bulk billing incentive breakdown regional centre



Metropolitan location (MMM1)

Bulk billing incentive metropolitan location