Is refusing to bulk bill illegal?

Trying to keep costs down when managing on a fixed income can be tricky and YOURLifeChoices member Trudie doesn’t think her doctor should be able to refuse to bulk bill her. 

At my last visit to the doctor I was told I would have to pay $55, as I was no longer eligible to be bulk billed (I had to be 65). I of course made a bit of a fuss as I will be 65 in a few weeks and I was bulked billed. My husband has to go in the next couple of days just for a repeat on a script and will have to pay the $55. We received no notification of the change and I am wondering if this is legal?

A. Provided by the Department of Human Services
Bulk Billing (or direct billing) is available to all eligible Australians. This facility is NOT confined to pensioners or people in special need.  If a health care provider chooses not to bulk bill patients, this is a business decision and is not illegal.

Editor’s note: If you would like to find a doctor in your area who will bulk bill, you can carry out a search on

Written by Debbie McTaggart