From the 1st November 2006, the Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative has allowed people with a diagnosed mental disorder to access psychology services through Medicare. For information, download the Australian Psychological Society Medicare factsheet.
Patients will need to be referred by a GP in the context of a GP Mental Health Care Plan, or by a psychiatrist or paediatrician. When making an appointment with your GP for the Mental Health Care Plan assessment, it is recommended that patients ask for a longer consultation.
For patients to be eligible for rebates from Medicare, they must have a clinically diagnosable disorder that significantly affects their cognitive, emotional or social abilities. These can include:
Chronic and acute psychotic disorders
Generalised anxiety disorder
Unexplained somatic complaints
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Alcohol use disorders
Drug use disorders
Mixed anxiety and depression
Dissociative (conversion) disorder
Hyperkinetic (attention deficit) disorder
Mental disorder, not otherwise specified (sourced from www.health.gov.au)
Medicare will rebate up to 10 sessions per calendar year (from 1 January to 31 December). After six sessions, clients are required to obtain a GP Mental Health Care Review from their GP to access the additional four sessions. The GP Mental Health Care Plan expires after 12 months from the date of referral.
For clinical psychologists, clients will receive a Medicare rebate of $124.50 for a one hour session. Clients seeing an approved registered psychologist will receive $84.80 from the Medicare rebate for a one hour session.
Clients are required to pay our full fee on the day of consultation. Clients can then either claim the Medicare rebate electronically on the spot using Medicare easyclaim, or take their invoice to Medicare to claim the rebate.