Medicare & Referrals
If you have severe symptoms and suspect you have a mental illness, or you are experiencing distress, please see your GP. I recommend that you have a double appointment (20-30 mins) so you and your GP have sufficient time to discuss your symptoms and problems, and whether you qualify for Medicare coverage under the Better Access to Mental Health Plan.
Your GP will make the initial assessment and diagnosis, and suggest a general treatment plan (e.g. CBT for OCD, or EMDR for PTSD). He/she will also register you to claim rebates from Medicare and write a referral for you to see a psychologist (e.g. me).
Due to budget cuts, the maximum is for 10 sessions per calendar year. The rebate for Medicare for Clinical psychology treatment for 50 minutes or longer (Item 80010) is $124.50.
Option 1: If you wish to claim a Medicare rebate, yes you need a referral from your GP or a psychiatrist. They need to register you for rebates within the Medicare system.
Option 2: If you don’t wish to claim from Medicare, and you are going to claim rebates from your Private Health Insurance Extras cover, please check with your insurer. Policies differ. Some insurers do not need a GP referral. Some insurers will only cover you for psychology after you use up all your Medicare cover (10 sessions per year).
Option 3: If you don’t wish to claim any rebate, you don’t need a referral to work with me.
Before or after you have your GP referral, you are welcome to have a free 10 minute phone conversation with me. During this call, you have an opportunity to ask me questions and consider whether we could be a good fit in working together.
Please note that I cannot advise, assess, diagnose or treat you during this 10 minute call. After this initial free phone call, there is no obligation to continue to see me. Even after a few therapy sessions, you are always free to pause or stop treatment.