Psychology - Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP)

Your mental health care plan provides a referral for six psychology sessions subsidised by Medicare. After six sessions, it is essential you make an appointment to see your GP again for them to check on your progress and for them to make an updated referral for a further four sessions.

It is very important the GP bills the Medicare review item at this appointment as well as sends an updated referral note back to your psychologist at InnerStrength Healthcare.

Both of these things need to occur in order for InnerStrength Healthcare to bill any further sessions under Medicare. Your psychologist will discuss this with you in your first session. Written communication from your psychologist to your referring GP must occur after sessions six and ten of our mental health care plan. We will ask for your consent in order for this to occur.

What is the Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative?

Medicare rebates are available for psychological treatment by registered psychologists under the Australian Government's Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative. This scheme provides considerable assistance to people living with mental health problems, allowing them greater access to psychologists and providing more affordable mental healthcare.

Under this scheme individuals diagnosed with a mental health disorder can access up to 10 individual and 10 group treatment sessions per year.

Can I go directly to a psychologist to receive treatment through Medicare?

To access mental health treatment under Medicare you must be referred by your GP, a psychiatrist or a paediatrician. If a GP is the referring practitioner he or she will need to prepare a Mental Health Treatment Plan before referring you to a psychologist. You should book a longer session with your GP to enable time for this.

How many sessions with a psychologist am I entitled to?

Under the Better Access initiative, eligible people can receive:

Up to 10 individual sessions in a calendar year (1 January to 31 December). Up to 10 group therapy sessions in a calendar year where such services are available and seen as appropriate by your referring doctor and the psychologist.
Referrals cannot be provided for the full 10 sessions. A referral is for a maximum of six sessions. Your referring doctor will assess your progress after the first six sessions and determine whether further sessions are needed.

After you have reached the maximum number of allowable sessions for the calendar year you will not be eligible for any further Medicare rebates for treatment you receive from a psychologist until the new calendar year.

How will I pay for psychology services at Innerstrength Healthcare?

The cost for a psychological therapy session is greater than the Medicare rebate, so you will need to pay the full amount for the session and then we are able to claim the medicare rebate for you. You must have a bank card that is attached to a savings or cheque account for us to be able to process the rebate, otherwise you will need to take your receipt to Medicare office to claim.

Does the Medicare Safefty Net apply to my out of pocket expenses?

Yes. You are responsible for paying any charges in excess of the Medicare rebate. However, these out-of-pocket expenses will count towards the Medicare Safety Net.

What about my Private Health Insurance?

You cannot use your private health insurance ancillary cover to top up the Medicare rebates.

You need to decide if you will use Medicare or your private health insurance ancillary cover to pay for any psychological services you receive. That is, you can either access rebates from Medicare by following the claiming process or claim where available on your insurer's ancillary benefits.