Medicare Basics & FAQ
You do not need a GP referral to see a psychologist....BUT.... if you want to receive a Medicare Rebate ($88.25) after paying for your session, then you do need to be referred by a GP before your first session.
The referral type used by all GPs is called a Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP).
All Medicare rebates are processed through our online agreement with Medicare.
This is done at the end of your appointment after first paying the agreed fee.
No need for your to find time in your busy schedule to visit Medicare to claim your rebate.
Do I qualify for a rebate?
- Any individual with a valid Medicare Card qualifies for a rebate from Medicare.
- Except for couples (unfortunately)..... but most Health Insurances tend to have rebates for Couples (but Anna does not see couples).
- If you do not qualify for a rebate, then please call Anna to see if she can tailor a fee that could be more affordable without a rebate.
- No one should miss out on therapy just because they might not qualify for a rebate.
How to access my rebates?
- Before you can get a rebate, you have to see your GP for a Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP) appointment.
- Any GP can do a MHTP - if they already know you.
- You will need a double appointment with your GP to have enough time to do a MHTP.
- If you would like to speak to Anna about which GP specifically you would like to see, then please leave a message at reception for Anna to contact you.
What is a Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP)?
- A MHTP (GP referral) comprises of 1-6 pages that Medicare requires your GP to set up, so that he becomes part of your mental health support team.
- Book an appointment at your GP for a MHTP - specify this to the receptionist so that she allows enough time (double apointment) for you and your GP to set it up.
- Your GP will ask you some questions about how you are feeling emotionally - you can reply with as much/as little information as you are comfortable to share.
- Your GP will probably give you a short questionnaire to answer so as to objectively measure your level of emotional distress.
- At the end of the appointment, your GP will hand you the MHTP pages to take to the psychologist of your choice.
- Your GP may suggest that you see the 'in-house' psychologist, but you are under no pressure to do so - go with your gut.
- Your GP is a professional and knows that one of the most important aspects of the client-psychologist relationship, is that you have trust in your choice of psychologist.
- Your GP will respect your choice - it is your first step to taking control of your life's direction.
What must be included in MHTP?
GPs can write as little or as much as they want on a MHCP. It is important though that the following is on the MHCP - as required by Medicare:
- Your details (name, address, date of birth...the usual).
- Reason for referral (depression, anxiety, etc.).
- Your GPs name and Provider Number (PR#).
- Your GPs practice contact details.
- The date on which the MHCP was done.
- The name of your Psychologist or simply "The Psychologist" (if you can't remember the name).
Remember to bring your Medicare Card to your psychology appointment.
When can I get my MHTP?
- Most GPs are happy to do a MHTP - if they have known you for some time.
- Even if they don't know you - most GPs will be willing to do one - it depends on the GP.
- You may even ask for a MHTP before you see your psychologist for the first session - this way you will receive the rebate from your very first session.
- You do not need a letter from your psychologist to ask your GP for a MHTP - Your GP knows what a MHTP is.
- If your GP is new to doing MHTPs, then you can suggest they read this section on this website for more information.
How many rebated session does my MHTP allow per calendar year?
- Years ago Medicare gave 16 rebates per year, then 12, then 10 and now with Covid... 20!!!! So now is the best time to do therapy, as you can do more sessions and make faster progress.
- So, for now, Medicare allows 20 Rebated Psychology Sessions in ONE Calendar Year - regardless of how many psychologists you see in that year - you will only have 20 rebated sessions all together in ONE Calendar Year.
- The MHTP itself, will only allow you 6 initial sessions = A Course of Treatment (as defined by Medicare).
- If therapy is not completed after the 6th session, your psychologist will write a letter (which you then take to your GP), to ask for a few more sessions = Requesting a Review.
- Without a Review, Medicare will NOT rebate the next sessions for the year.
- Like a MHTP, a Review is also a Course of Treatment and has 6 sessions included.
- Generally the GP referrals start with a MHTP = 6 rebates, then a Review = 4 rebates and then the Additional 10 COVID rebates (6+4+10=20)... weird I know... but that's Medicare!
How do I claim rebates from Medicare?
- Anna does the claiming for your - Online.
- Her practice is connected to Medicare via her booking/invoicing system, so that you do not have to queue at Medicare in person for the rebate.
- After you have paid for your session in full via VISA or MasterCard (credit/debit), she simply ticks a box on your invoice on her computer screen and Medicare then knows to pay you the rebate.
- Medicare can pay you your rebate directly into the bank details that you have previously provided to them.
- You are not out of pocket for very long - all rebates paid by Medicare directly, should be in your bank within 24hrs...always by 48hrs.
When all my rebate sessions are used up - How will I afford counselling?
- Most private health insurers have psychology rebates, once you have used up your 20 Medicare rebated sessions.
- If you do not have health insurance, then please discuss other options with Anna.
- From the end of 2020, Medicare has granted each person an additional 10 rebates. This is because of the huge emotional toll that COVID has placed on us all.
Get your MHTP today
- Having a MHTP helps you complete your counselling without added financial worries...because you always get the rebate to lessen the cost.
- Please call Anna to discuss her fees - you will be surprised at how affordable counselling is.
- Ask your GP about a MHTP today.