Medicare & Psychology
On 1 November 2006 the Australian Government introduced new Medicare items for psychological treatment by registered psychologists. This service provides considerable assistance to people living with mental health problems, allowing them greater access to psychologists and providing more affordable mental healthcare. Under the new Medicare scheme, all registered psychologists who are endorsed by Medicare Australia can provide treatment for mental health problems. If your doctor has assessed that you require the services of a psychologist they may write a Mental Health Care Plan. Under a Mental Health Care Plan there must be a diagnosable disorder that impacts upon a person’s emotions, thoughts, behaviour, social skills or decision-making.
Eligible clients can receive:
- Up to 10 individual services in a calendar year. After 6 visits your referring doctor will assess your progress and need for further treatment.
- Up to 10 group therapy services in a calendar year.
- Medicare rebates are available with both general and specialist clinical psychologists. The current Medicare rebate for a 50-60 minute consult is $124.50 for specialist Clinical Psychology and $84.50 for General Psychology.
- DOWNLOAD Medicare Factsheet.
Under a Mental Health Care Plan, your maximum out-of-pocket expense for Mind Potential Psychology services will be $45 or less (50% lower than APS recommendations).
What is meant by a mental disorder under the new Medicare Rebate?
Mental disorder is a term used to describe a range of clinically diagnosable disorders that significantly impact on a person’s emotions, thoughts, social skills or decision-making. This includes clients with mental disorders arising from:
- Psychotic disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Phobic disorders
- Anxiety disorder
- Adjustment disorder
- Sexual disorders
- Conduct disorders
- Bereavement disorders
- Eating disorders
- Panic disorder
- Alcohol use disorders
- Drug use disorder
- Sleep problems
- Attention deficit disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Co-occurring anxiety and depression
Can I go directly to a psychologist to receive treatment through Medicare?
You must be referred by your GP, your psychiatrist or pediatrician. Your GP will need to complete a detailed mental health assessment and prepare a Mental Health Care Plan before referring you to a psychologist. You should book a longer session with your GP to enable time for this.
Private Health Rebates
Alternatively, you may wish to claim a rebate through your private health insurance. Please check the eligibility for psychology services with your health insurance provider prior to attending your first appointment. Private health insurance cannot be used in conjunction with a Medicare rebate. You must decide to use one or the other. Rebates from private health insurers vary considerably so you will need to check the level of ancillary cover with your insurer
If you cannot attend your appointment or wish to reschedule please ring as soon as possible. A cancellation fee of $40.00 may apply for appointments missed without notice, or cancelled with less than 24 hours notice.