Medicare Psychology Services
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.
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
Life Psychologists is also registered with the Primary Mental Health Care (PMHC) (formerly ATAPS – Access to Allied Health Psychological Services scheme), under which disadvantage patients are eligible for a maximum of 12-18 sessions per calendar year.
To get a Medicare or ATAPS referral you will need to make an appointment with your GP to complete a Mental Health Care Plan. It is important to tell the doctor’s receptionist that you are requesting a referral to a psychologist as the GP needs approximately 30 minutes to discuss the plan with you and fill in the required paperwork.
You must obtain your GP referral prior to your first appointment in order to receive Medicare rebates.
If you plan to see a psychologist regularly or for that matter have other significant medical expenses, you should be aware of the benefits of the Medicare Safety Net.
Medicare will automatically provide the higher rebates to an individual as soon as the threshold is reached, but couples and families need to register with Medicare, even if you are all on the same Medicare card, to allow Medicare to keep track of the total of your medical expenses and apply the relevant rebate.
If Medicare has your bank account details, we are able to process the rebate claim online for you, and the rebate will be transferred to your nominated bank account. Alternatively, when you attend counselling or a group session, you will receive an invoice which you can take to any Medicare branch to claim your rebate.
Classes do not require an additional GP referral if you already have a current referral. If you do not have one, and you wish to claim a rebate, you will need to get a GP referral before attending the first class.
Note that you do not require a referral from a GP unless you intend to claim a Medicare rebate.
TELEHEALTH & ONLINE PSYCHOLOGY
Telehealth & Online Psychology Therapy services for you, your partner and/or family 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.
Face-to-Face and Telehealth Medicare-funded Services
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:
- Alcohol use disorder
- Adjustment disorder
- Attention deficit disorder
- Bereavement disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Chronic fatigue
- Conduct disorder
- Co-occurring anxiety and depression
- Dissociative disorder
- Drug use disorder
- Eating disorders
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Mental disorder, not otherwise specified
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Panic disorder
- Phobic disorder
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
- Psychotic disorders
- Sexual disorders
- Sleep problems
- Unexplained somatic complaints
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 March 2021 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.