The good news is that for those suffering from a clinically diagnosed mental illness the Australian government has provided some financial assistance via Medicare. The scheme is known as the Better Access to Mental Health Scheme. Under this scheme, some clients will be eligible for a rebate of $124.50 for a 50+ mins consultation for up to 10 sessions per calendar year. This scheme helps relieve some of the financial stress that can be incurred through seeking psychological therapy.
Accessing the Medicare Rebate
In order to access the Medicare Rebate, you will require a valid GP Mental Health Care Plan or a written referral from a psychiatrist. The consultation by your referring doctor must be completed and appropriately processed by Medicare before you are able to receive your rebate from Medicare.
In most cases, you will be required to pay the scheduled fee upfront. Once the payment is made, you will receive an invoice that you are able to take to Medicare to claim your rebate.
Method of Payment
Payment is to be made by cash, credit (mastercard/visa only), cheque or internet transfer. In exceptional cases, some clients may be bulk billed.
Most private health funds offer rebates for clinical psychology services. Check with your health fund regarding your level of cover.
Concession includes full time students or people with a health care card.
Sessions are health fund registered under ‘Nutritionist’. Please check your fund to determine if you have appropriate cover.
Unfortunately Medicare does not cover the services of a Nutritionist. If you are referred by your GP, the cost of Nutrition sessions may be claimable under your annual tax deduction for medical expenses. To learn more, visit the ATO website: http://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/content.asp?