What is a GP referral to the Mental Health Care Plan?

This means that with a GP mental health care plan, the Government will give you back some of the cost of your session.  If you have not already obtained a GP Mental Health Care Plan, attend your GP for a long consult to discuss the issues you are facing.  Your GP will then determine if you qualify for a GP Mental Health Care Plan.  This involves the GP in:  assessment, identifying needs, setting and agreeing on management goals, identifying any action to be taken, selecting appropriate treatment options, and arranging ongoing management and documentation of this plan. 

Your doctor will lodge the GP Mental Health Care Plan (Item 2710) with Medicare.  This lodgement opens your account with Medicare for 10 individual sessions & 10 group sessions.  Once lodged, you may attend your appointments for up to 20 services in a calendar year.  A review of a GP Mental Health Care Plan (Item 2712) will take place after 6 sessions or when treatment is finished.

About Medicare Rebates

Since 1 November, 2006 the Australian Government introduced new Medicare items to cover psychological treatment by psychologists and clinical psychologists.  This means that with a GP mental health care plan  the Government will give you back some of the cost of your session and the scope of services that fall under this scheme is vast.  No matter what you are facing, ask your GP or psychologist if you qualify for a Mental Health Care Plan to resource and assist you in meeting your needs. 

FEES

The standard fees are as follows:  

Provisional Psychologist $90/session

Psychologist $180/session

Clinical Psychologist $220/session  

If a Mental Health Care Plan is in place Medicare will rebate up to 10 sessions in a calendar year. The out of pocket expense is between $65 - $90.

ACCESSING THE MEDICARE REBATE

You may be eligible for a Medicare rebate per consultation. To receive this rebate you must be referred by a General Practitioner under Mental Health Care Plan (GP Item 2710), or referred directly from a Psychiatrist, or Paediatrician.

PRIVATE HEALTH FUND

Many private health funds offer rebates for psychological services. Please check rebate details with your health fund.  You cannot claim from both Medicare and Private Health Fund for the same consultation session. 

Further Information

Click on the website for Department of Health and Ageing:  Better Access to Mental Health or Australian Psychologist Society:  Medicare Rebates - Information for Clients.