Can I get a Medicare Rebate for Psychology?
The answer is yes, but there are a few conditions.
A Medicare rebate for psychology can be accessed under a MHCP, which is known as a Mental Health Care Plan.
Firstly, you must meet the criteria, and that generally means that your doctor has diagnosed you with a mental disorder.
Secondly, you need to have a referral from your GP, who recommends you go to a specific psychology clinic (hopefully us!)
How many sessions will the MHCP cover?
A MHCP allows for a total of up to 10 rebated consults to any referred psychologist per calendar year (January to December).
You will first be given access to 6 sessions and then you will be required to attend a review with your GP in order to access the final 4 sessions.
This number is renewed each calendar year, but you will need a new referral each year.
How much does the Medicare Rebate cover?
The current Medicare rebate (as at June 2016) is $84.80 per consult with a general psychologist and $124.50 per consult with a clinical psychologist.
This means you will only have to pay around $70 for each session with your psychologist (whether they are general or clinical).
However, if you attend an out-of-hours appointment (before 9am & after 5pm), you will have to pay around $80 for each session.
Unfortunately, we cannot bulk bill Medicare for psychology at our practice (unless you are experiencing extreme financial hardship), so there will always be a small gap payment.
How does the Medicare Rebate process work?
It is a tricky little process – the joys of working with a government body!
At our practice, what you need to do is actually pay the full fee upfront yourself first, and then we can process the Medicare rebate and get it back to you.
Specifically, here are the steps:
- You need to pay the full fee on a DEBIT card
- We process the Medicare rebate online via our processing system
- You should receive the rebate in your account within 24-48 hours
Can I get a Medicare Rebate for Counselling?
Unfortunately, Counsellors do not have access to a Medicare rebate, and so this means you will have to pay the full fee for sessions to see a Counsellor.
This normally works out to be about the same amount as seeing a Psychologist with a Medicare rebate!
What about my Private Health Insurance?
If you are insured with a Private Health Fund, you may be eligible for a rebate for psychological counselling. To determine your eligibility and to find out the amount of the rebate to which you are entitled, you will need to call your fund directly.
You cannot use your Private Health Insurance cover to top up the Medicare rebate for psychological services. Rather, you will need to decide which service (Private Health OR Medicare Rebate) you will use to cover the payment for the services you receive.