Better Access to Mental Health Care – A Medicare Initiative
The Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (Better Access) initiative aims to improve outcomes for people with a clinically-diagnosed mental disorder through evidence-based treatment. Under this initiative, Medicare rebates are available to patients for selected mental health services provided by general practitioners (GPs), psychiatrists, psychologists (clinical and registered) and eligible social workers and occupational therapists.
To utilise this initiative, you complete a mental health care plan (MHCP) with your GP which provides with access to an initial six psychotherapy sessions and ten group sessions. Following the completion of the six individual sessions a review is conducted by your GP who will request an additiona 4 sessions if appropriate. You have access to ten individual sessions per calendar year. Under this scheme, you can claim a Medicare rebate toward the consultation fee/psychotherapy session.
When you arrive for your initial appointment you will need to bring your Medicare card and MHCP so that your Medicare claims can be processed at the completion of your appointment. Medicare rebates do not cover the full cost of providing you with medical care. This is because the rate at which successive governments have indexed the Medicare Schedule fees has been substantially lower than increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and average weekly earnings.
National Disability Insurance Scheme
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the scheme athat provides support for Australians with a disability, their families and carers. Individuals who have a plan manager or who are self-managed, can rely on psychologists at Poulton Respondek Clinical Psychology to provide support and care under these arrangements.
Clients may present privately with no need for a referral in order to access our services at Poulton Respondek Clinical Psychology. Private clients do not have a set limit to the number of therapy sessions. Medicate rebates will not be available, but many health funds will provide benefits toward psychological services. Contact your private health insurer for more details.
Rebates from Medicare and private health care cover cannot be claimed at the same time. However, you may be able to claim further sessions using your health fund once you have completed 10 sessions under a Mental Health Care Plan if this is required.
Psychology services are covered by Medicare telehealth rebates due to changes following the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic. You can access a maximum of 10 telehealth sessions per calendar year if you have a referral from your GP and a Mental Health care plan.