A Bulk Billed Eye Test in Sydney is when the Optometrist, who is a Medicare registered Health Professional, accepts the Medicare benefit as full payment for the eye examination. As with many other Health Professionals, Bulk Billing is commonly accepted for pensioners and Health Care Card holders.
A patient in this Optometrist in Sydney will normally be Bulk Billed for their initial comprehensive examination. Medicare has set conditions on patient eligibility based on the date of their previous eye examination. For patients under the age of 65 years, they will be eligible for Bulk Billed Eye Test every three years. For those over 65 years of age, they are eligible every 12 months. If further examination is required within the one or three year time period then this visit will generally still be covered as a subsequent eye test can be Bulk Billed to Medicare.
Medicare is the publically funded universal health care system in Australia. All Australian residents and Commonwealth Country reciprocal health care agreement (RHCA) residents are eligible to have a Bulk Billed eye test. Some overseas visitors and student visas holders may also be eligible. For further information on Bulk Billing can be found on the Australian Government website (link below).
The Medicare scheduled fee for a comprehensive eye examination in 2018 is currently $71. For a patient who is not eligible for a Bulk Billed Eye Test, the full fee may be charged and there will still be a partial rebate of $28.45 claimable from Medicare.
Private Health Funds (eg Bupa, NIB, HCF, Medibank Private, Commonwealth Bank HS, etc) do not pay a rebate for the eye examination. They do however provide ancillary rebates that cover the cost of spectacle frames and lenses, prescription sunglasses and contact lenses. More information can be found on by clicking on the link below to the Australian Government Private Health Fund information site or call us at Personal Eyes Optometry.
How many eye tests are covered by Medicare Australia?
There are a variety of Scheduled Services that Medicare allows for Bulk Billing that are exempt from the one and three-year rule. For example, a patient may be eligible for a Bulk Billed eye test for a comprehensive reassessment if there is
- A significant change of visual function
- New signs and symptoms unrelated to the earlier course of assessment
- A progressive disorder (eg Cataract, Progressive Myopia, Keratoconus, etc)
- A patient with Diabetes Mellitus requiring the installation of a Mydriatic (an eye drop to dilate the pupil)
Bulk Billing may be available for the eye test that includes the prescription and fitting of contact lenses. The Medicare rebates for these visits are primarily based on the prescription (>5.00 dioptres) but do include significant Anisometropia (a big difference in prescription between the two eyes), Corneal irregularity and an allergic response by the eye to your current contact lenses. New contact lens wearers and existing wearers are both potentially eligible for a Bulk Billed eye test with our Optometrist in Sydney CBD.
Your Bulk Billed eye test involves history taking, current symptoms, health and family history. Refraction is performed which provides the new prescription. Eye health checks are performed to examine the eyes for disease including signs of Cataract, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, and many other conditions. A discussion of your findings with the Optometrist will then follow and advice and recommendations will be given. Should spectacles be required then you will be handed over to one of our professional Optical Dispensers to discuss your eyewear needs.
Visual Field Testing or Computerised Automated Perimetry is part of the Medicare schedule and is an additional service with the bulk billed eye test. Your Optometrist is able to measure any areas of lost central or peripheral vision. Diseases like glaucoma, neurological conditions and even driving may require the assessment of your visual field and can be Bulk Billed with your eye test to Medicare. It is a test that is performed with one eye at a time and can take 3-8 minutes per eye. This test can be repeated within a 12 month period if required and is still available to be Bulk Billed in your eye test in Sydney.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that can develop randomly or can be hereditary. As glaucoma advances sections of vision may be lost both paracentral and peripherally due to damage of the sensitive nerve fibers in the back of the eye. This retinal nerve fiber damage is often the result of high pressure of the fluid that has developed in the eye. Treatment for glaucoma will in most cases manage the condition but at this time a cure is not yet available. Any patients suspected of glaucoma will be referred to an Ophthalmologist who specializes in Glaucoma. Below is a link for information on Glaucoma from The Royal Australian College Of Ophthalmology.
There are a number of common vision weaknesses that your Optometrist can correct. This may be with the use of spectacles, contact lenses and vision training. The more common are
- Myopia or short-sightedness – inability to see clearly at a distance
- Hypermetropia or long-sightedness – difficulty with near vision
- Astigmatism – a distortion to the vision that can impact both distance and near vision
- Presbyopia – the age inability to see clearly at near, begins around 45 years of age
We recommend you to have your eyes examined on a regular basis. For ages, up to 25 and over the age of 65 an annual examination is recommended. For those aged 26-64 years then generally a two year period is advised. We do suggest contact lens wearers have an annual assessment to ensure good corneal health. Whether your next eye test is bulk billed or paid your eyes are precious and worth whatever it takes to do to maintain optimum vision!
For a Bulk billed Medicare Eye Test at our Sydney CBD office call us on (02) 9235 2236