The good news is, you can see a Psychologist for counselling without a referral. Private health insurance will usually provide rebates on a psychologist’s fees. We also have counsellors that charge less then psychologists for the same quality service. Mental health referrals also provide access to highly trained mental health accredited Social Workers who accept MH referrals and deliver the same counselling therapies as psychologists.
Rebates? Some types of referrals are rebated in different amounts depending on the third party provider paying for the service. The type of referral will often determine who is a good match. We have found that explaining rebates is very confusing.
Here are some common questions asked:
Do you offer bulk billing?
Unfortunately Medicare froze increasing the rebates for about 7 years and this meant that bulk billing services decreased significantly. Since the pandemic it is almost impossible to find such services.
We have a service to help place you with reduced rates and match you with a clinician who can support you, based on the referral type you have. If you need help with paying, our hardship support team might have some options.
Do I need a referral to see a psychologist?
No referral is needed if you are using cash or private health. Many people do require us to provide services without a referral.
Can I use Private Health Insurance?
Yes, it is likely you can for a psychologist, and sometimes for counsellor. Check prior to your first appointment. We cannot guarantee “what” is covered on your policy. Please ask!
A mental health plan is special referral provided by your GP or psychiatrist to a mental health professional for the provision of counselling to treat specified mental health conditions. Only the listed conditions are eligible.
A mental health plan can only be made out to an individual, not a couple, nor a family. Hypnotherapy, IPSRT, DBT, EMDR are not listed as treatments by Medicare. Many practitioners however may use these strategies alongside the usual strategies during your treatment.
How many sessions of counselling does a Mental Health Plan provide?
Your GP determines the number of sessions in the letter sent to the mental health professional. The maximum limit is 6 visits in the first referral, an additional 4 visits after one mental health review. Usually this means that there are up to 10 sessions in the calendar year, if the GP recommends this is required for the condition being treated.
What is the Rebate for a Mental Health Plan?
The Medicare rebate will be about $79 to $129 depending on the service description. Mental health plans can be used with general psychology items numbers, mental health accredited social workers and clinical psychologists.
Can I use Medicare and Private Health rebates together?
No. It’s one or the other.
What’s the Difference in Quality of Counselling Services between professions?
None. We all do 6 years of full time study to gain the Medicare rebate. We all train together and gain certification doing the same training. Psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, doctors, occupational therapists, speech therapists and counsellors often train together learning therapies like CBT, EMDR, IPT, DBT just to name a few.
Research supports that it is the interpersonal connection that makes the most difference to therapy outcomes.
To make an appointment try Online Booking. Alternatively, you can call Vision Psychology Brisbane on (07) 3088 5422.
Or visit our hardship support page for ideas on how to afford counselling services.