Medicare Psychology

Better Access to Mental Health Care:
Medicare-funded services

Medicare rebates are available for psychological treatment by registered psychologists under the Australian Government’s Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative. This scheme provides considerable assistance to people living with mental health problems, allowing them greater access to psychologists and providing more affordable mental healthcare.

Under this scheme individuals diagnosed with a mental health disorder can access up to 20 individual and 20 group treatment sessions per year.

Medicare Rebates Available at Life Psychologists

All psychologists at Life Psychologists are registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and have Medicare provider numbers, enabling you to claim a Medicare rebate for your psychology counselling and/or group sessions.

Medicare Rebate Eligibility

To claim these rebates, you must have a referral letter accompanied by a Mental Health Care Plan, from your GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician.

Eligible people can receive:

  • 20 individual counselling sessions in a calendar year. Your referring doctor will assess your progress after the first six sessions
  • 20 group therapy sessions in a calendar year

Referral Process

  1. Mental Health Care Plan: To get a Medicare or PMHC referral you will need to make an appointment with your GP to complete a Mental Health Care Plan. The GP needs approximately 30 minutes to discuss the plan with you and fill in the required paperwork.
  2. Referral Letter: You must obtain a GP referral letter prior to your first appointment in order to receive Medicare rebates.

Receiving Your Rebate

If you have provided your nominated bank details to Medicare, we are able to process the rebate claim for you. Alternatively, you can provide your bank details to Life Psychologists to receive your rebate by EFT.

It normally takes 1-2 business days for the Medicare rebate to be deposited into your bank account.

Medicare Safety Net

If you have significant medical expenses and have reached the threshold, you may be eligible higher rebates through the Medicare Safety Net.

PRIMARY MENTAL HEALTH CARE (PMHC)

Life Psychologists is also registered with the Primary Mental Health Care (PMHC) (formerly ATAPS – Access to Allied Health Psychological Services scheme), under which disadvantaged patients are eligible for a maximum of 15 sessions per calendar year.
— Learn more about the PMHC Program

TELEHEALTH & ONLINE PSYCHOLOGY

Telehealth & Online Psychology Therapy services can provide an effective and safe way of accessing counselling services from the comforts of your own home.

It is normal to experience mixed emotions when considering using telehealth services; however, all of our psychologists have extensive experience in providing telehealth and online therapy.

Research confirms that online telehealth sessions are just as practical as face-to-face sessions.

— Learn more about the Telehealth & Online Psychology services

Face-to-Face and Telehealth Medicare-funded Services due to COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as of 1 September 2010, the Australian government is providing Medicare rebates for psychology services for an additional 10 sessions per year. In other words, with an existing Mental Health Plan, you may be eligible for up 20 sessions per year.

For many mental health issues, Telehealth Sessions on the phone or videoconferencing are as effective in reducing symptoms as therapy delivered face-to-face by a psychologist. Evidence is particularly strong when treating anxiety, stress and depression using Telehealth alternatives.

At Life Psychologists, we offer the following psychological services in both face-to-face and online telehealth settings:

Frequently Asked Questions

A GP needs to determine your eligibility under the scheme. Simply book an extended consultation with your GP and ask for an Assessment under the Better Access to Mental Health Care scheme. This usually takes between 30mins – 45mins.

If you fall within the relevant criteria, your GP will prepare a Mental Health Care Plan and provide you with a referral. You can request a referral to our practice. You will then be entitled to claim a rebate from Medicare. Find out more about Psychologist services covered by medicare.

‘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 and decision-making. The Better Access initiative covers people with mental disorders arising from:

Yes. The Australian Government recently announced a whole-population Medicare Telehealth service for anyone with a Mental Health Care Plan. It allows for up to 20 sessions per calendar year.

These sessions attract a small gap payment and available until further notice. Please see our Fees and Rebates for more information.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the majority of Australian private health funds have agreed to provide coverage for telehealth services provided by psychologists. Please check with your private health insurer for eligibility criteria as conditions may apply. 

Yes, Life Psychologists’ offer NDIS consultations in a safe and protective environment of your preference, including phone, video conference, or face-to-face sessions.

Services provided through the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) are Government funded and at no charge to the participant.

Life Psychologists is a fully registered NDIS provider of psychological services (therapeutic supports). We accept plans managed by the NDIS, agency, third-party support providers, or self-managed plans.

The NDIS scheme can be confusing. Please contact us on 1300 084 200, and we can assist you with understanding your funding provided to you, and how you can best access it for psychological services.

Yes, Life Psychologists’ offer Worker’s Compensation psychology consultations in a safe and protective environment of your preference, including phone, video conference, or face-to-face sessions.

Upon approval, services provided through the SIRA, Comcare, MAA/CTP are insurer funded and at no charge to the client.

You have lots of options when it comes to joining a Telehealth Session using Zoom, Coviu, Whatsapp or Skype. 

To help you join your therapy session quickly and on time, your Psychologist will send you the information you need ahead of your appointment time.

You can use the desktop app on your Windows or Mac Computer, use a Chrome browser to join online, or even join on the go using your iOS, Android or Windows Phone device.

Note:  Are you just trying to prepare for your first Zoom ahead of time? Check out the Getting Started or the Sign Up here.