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Lowest Rate of Out-of-Pocket Payments as Bulk Billing Hits Historic Levels in Australia

Corespondent:  Sonĵ Hall

The latest figures released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that record numbers of Australians did not have to pay anything out of pocket when visiting their doctor last year. In 2017–18, 86 percent of patients were bulk-billed, meaning that Australia’s universal health coverage, Medicare, paid the bill in full. The remaining 14 percent faced out-of-pocket costs as their doctors charged rates that were higher than the Medicare bulk-billing rate. The bulk-billing coverage rate rose in all states and territories, with 133 million primary care visits fully covered, 5.6 percent higher than in 2016–17.

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