Medicare Rebates for Psychology
Better Access to Mental Health Care Initiative
This is the most common Medicare initiative we work with. The Better Access Initiative enables people with an assessed mental disorder to access up to 10 individual services AND up to 10 group therapy services per calendar year.
To access these rebates you need to have a GP or specialist-prepared Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP) as well as a referral from your GP for a course of treatment (up to six sessions). Once your MHTP is in place, your GP can continue to provide you with referrals for subsequent courses of treatment (up to 6 sessions) indefinitely, however, you may only claim 10 rebates per calendar year.
Chronic Disease Management (CDM)
People who have a chronic disease and complex care needs can access up to 5 individual services per calendar year for the management of a diagnosed chronic disease.
To access CDM services, your GP needs to create a GP Management Plan (GPMP) or Team Care Arrangement (TCA). Medicare states that psychological treatment under the Chronic Disease Management Scheme needs to be focused on the management of a chronic disease, not a psychological disorder unless your GP has made the clinical decision and confirms in writing that the psychological disorder qualifies as a chronic disease.
Eating Disorder Services (EDP)
If you are living with a diagnosed eating disorder you can receive up to 40 psychological sessions in a 12-month period under an Eating Disorder Plan (EDP). EDP’s use The Stepped Model which means that the EDP must be reviewed by your medical practitioner once the initial course of treatment (10 sessions) is completed, and also after each subsequent course of treatment (10 sessions).
When the EDP expires after 12 months, you will need a new EDP to continue to access psychological services under this scheme.
Medicare Referral Requirements
For MHTP, CDM and EDP services, to claim Medicare rebates, you must provide us with a valid referral letter from your GP. The date shown on the referral is the date you are eligible to receive rebates. Rebates cannot be back-dated for sessions that have been completed before the date of the referral.
Do I need a GP Referral?
There are several Medicare initiatives that enable you to receive a rebate on your psychological treatment. Explained below are the most common schemes that we work with here at Mindview Psychology as well as answers to frequently asked questions about Medicare rebates.
How much is the rebate?
Mental Health Treatment Plans and Eating Disorder Plans
Rebates for MHTP and EDP for a single session are $136.35* with a clinical psychologist and $92.90* with a general psychologist.
Chronic Disease Management Referrals
If you have a Chronic Disease Management referral the rebate for a single session is $58.00*.
*Quoted Amounts are relevant to 2023-24 financial year and are subject to change
Does your practice Bulk Bill?
No, Mindview Psychology is not a bulk billing practice. Your session fees need to be paid in full and your Medicare rebate will then be refunded into your nominated bank account.
All our psychologists charge different rates, please contact us for more information on fees.
I have private health insurance, can I claim both Medicare and PHI on the same session?
No, unfortunately, Medicare stipulates that private healthcare claims cannot be made on sessions that you have claimed with Medicare.
How many sessions can I claim with my MHTP?
- 10 sessions per calendar year
- All rebates must be covered by a referral for a course of treatment (up to 6 sessions)
You can claim up to 10 rebates per calendar year on your MHTP. All rebates need to be covered by a referral from your GP which can be for up to 6 sessions per referral. We call these referrals a course of treatment. Once you complete a course of treatment your psychologist prepares a report and sends it to your GP with their recommendations. At this point, you need to make another visit to your GP and have your MHTP reviewed. At this visit your GP can provide you with another referral for an additional course of treatment (up to 6 sessions) if you both feel that is required.
There is no limitation on how many times your MHTP can be reviewed. Keep in mind that you can only receive 10 rebates per calendar year regardless of the number of sessions the GP requests in the referral.
Do Mental Health Treatment Plans (MHTP) expire?
MHTP do not expire. They can be reviewed indefinitely and each review can be for up to 6 sessions, keeping in mind the 10 session limit per calendar year.
The only time a GP would need to create a new plan would be if your condition has changed significantly. However, if you change GP, your new practitioner may prefer to create a new plan for you.
Will my referral expire if I am yet to use all of the sessions?
Referrals under a MHTP do not ‘expire’, but there are reporting requirements that your psychologist needs to follow with your GP if it has been longer than 3 months between your appointment. If you pause your treatment without using all of the sessions on your referral, your psychologist will rarely discharge you without notifying you first.
If you do recommence treatment after being discharged, your psychologist can update your GP. If the gap in your treatment is significant (+6 months) your psychologist may request that you have your MHTP reviewed by your GP before recommencing therapy.
Do I need a new referral if I change psychologists?
If you have a MHTP you can use the same referral for multiple psychologists but we recommend letting your previous psychologist know that you do not plan to continue with them as they will need to report to your GP. You can also request that they send a copy of their notes to your new psychologist if you feel that would be helpful.
You do not need to obtain a new referral if you change psychologists, but you will need to go back to your GP once you have completed all sessions in your referral, regardless of which psychologist you completed them with. Refer to the below example:
Eg If you saw a psychologist for 4 sessions and decided to change to a different psychologist, your new psychologist can only see you for 2 sessions before you will need to go back to your GP for a new referral.
Does Medicare cover Couples/Marriage Therapy?
There is currently no Medicare scheme or initiative that covers marriage or couples therapy,
Referrals under the Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative are for individuals with a diagnosed mental disorder. If you are an individual with a Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP or MHCP) and your relationship with a significant other is contributing to your distress, your therapist can assess whether it is appropriate for you to involve a partner or family member in your treatment, however, Medicare states that the focus of treatment should always remain on the individual making it challenging for a psychologist to deliver couples-focused treatment strategies.
If you have a MHTP and think relationship counselling involving your partner would be relevant to your treatment, an initial assessment would need to be carried out on you as an individual prior to the psychologist confirming if they can provide and approve this treatment under the Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative. Keep in mind, not all psychologists will be trained in the treatment approaches for this type of therapy, so please contact us for more information before booking if you feel this may apply to you.
The path forward starts here...
It can take courage to seek support when you are in need. Our experienced team of psychologists in Melbourne are ready to provide the safe space that clients need to explore their challenges and work towards lasting and meaningful change in their lives.
We aim to gather information about your goals, your history and your current challenges so we can feel confident that we’ll match you with the right Melbourne Psychologist. This matching process is what sets us apart as we strive to support our clients and our psychologists to develop meaningful and successful relationships.
Get in touch
03 9052 4365
F 03 8513 6204
Level 4, 12 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000