The Australian government offers medicare rebates off psychology & counselling services through the “Better Access” to mental health care initiative.
Through this initiative patients are entitled to a rebate on up to 10 individual sessions per calendar year plus 10 group sessions per calendar year.
To be eligible for the rebate for psychology service you must be referred from you local GP under a “GP Mental Health Treatment Plan”. More information is available on the department of health website here.
Getting a Mental Health Treatment Plan referral
- First and foremost visit your local GP to discuss the difficulties you’re having. Your GP may refer you to a psychologists under a “GP Mental Health Treatment Plan” this entitles you to a medicare rebate on counselling sessions.
- Search for an appropriate service using this website and read the descriptions of ther services, specialties and how they approach treatment.
- Call the chose a psychologist professional to arrange a booking.
- After 6 sessions your psychologist will report back to you referring GP and an additional 4 sessions recommended as appropriate.
What are the costs and rebate?
The fees of Psychologist; like all health specialists; vary based experience, location and demand. As an indication a practitioner registered as a:
- May charge between $84.80 – $160 for a 50+ minute session
- Rebate $84.80.
- From Bulk Billed – $75.20 out of pocket per session.
- May charge between $124.50 – $220 for a 50+ minute session
- Rebate $124.50.
- From Bulk Billed – $95.50 out of pocket per session.
Before booking confirm by looking on the psychologist website or calling. For more granular details on medicare rebates the the Australian Psychology Society has this table.
Many private health insurance policy include psychological services and counselling under the “Extras” coverage. The amount covered varies greatly so it is best to talk to you individual fund for details.