One of the most common questions that our clients ask when they first contact the clinic is, “do I need a referral from my doctor to see you?” The answer to this question is both yes and no. If you wish to see one of the Therapists privately and not claim a rebate through Medicare, WorkCover or TAC then you do not need a referral. However, if you do wish to claim a rebate through any of these schemes, then you will need a referral from your treating doctor who will determine your eligibility for psychology and/or counselling services. Clients who are referred for counselling through WorkCover, TAC, Employee Assistance Programs and Victims of Crime, may also need to obtain approval from the relevant funding agency prior to sessions commencing. Should you require more information, we would be happy to answer any questions that you have.
Medicare, DVA, Private Health Insurance Rebates
The Medicare Rebate is obtainable to clients who are referred by their general practitioner (GP). The Medicare rebate makes accessing a Psychologist or Mental Health Social Worker more affordable by offering a considerable rebate to clients.
Medicare now offers rebates for psychological and counselling consultations. You do need however to first visit your General Practitioner (GP) and explain your mental health concerns. It is polite to book a longer consultation with your GP so that they have adequate time to develop a care plan with you. Your GP will give you a document called a “Mental Health Care Plan” and a letter of referral which entitles you to Medicare Rebates. All you need to do is bring these documents to your first consultation.
You are entitled to up to 10 sessions per calendar year (January to December). In addition, you can access 10 group sessions.
Medicare EasyClaim is a new facility that allows rebates to be lodged at the time of payment. This means your rebate can be directed straight back into your account. For instance, when you pay at the end of your session and you are eligible for Medicare rebates, you can use Medicare EasyClaim to reimburse the Medicare rebate immediately back into your nominated account. Alternatively, you are welcome to take your invoices down to your nearest Medicare office and lodge them over the counter.
Some private health insurance funds will provide rebates for psychological services, however it is advisable to check with your specific fund as to whether your ‘extras cover’ includes psychological services and the amount that this covers.
If you are eligible, you can choose to use either your private health insurance or Medicare to pay for psychological services you receive. However, you can only use one form of rebate.