Referral to a Psychologist

>   Clients who book an appointment to see a psychologist may be eligible for a rebate from either Medicare or their private health fund.

>   To be eligible for a rebate from Medicare you must book an extended appointment with your general practitioner (GP) so that they can assess if you need to see a psychologist. If your GP determines that an appointment is appropriate then they will write a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) for you to bring to your first appointment with the psychologist which will enable you to have 6 appointments with a psychologist. Clients are required to return to their GP for a review after the 6th appointment. Your GP may determine that it is necessary for you to have another 4 appointments with your psychologist and if so will write a letter to the psychologist requesting this.

>   Medicare benefits are available for up to 10 individual sessions (16 services under exceptional circumstances) and 10 group psychological therapy services per patient per calendar year.

>   If all 10 services are not used up in a calendar year it is not necessary to obtain a new referral for the unused services. Any unused services received from 1 January in the following year under that MHCP will count as part of the total of 10 services for which the patient is eligible in that calendar year.

>   When patients have used all of their referred services they will need to book an appointment to see their GP to determine if they are eligible for further services.

>   Where the referral originates from a specialist such as a psychiatrist or paediatrician, the referral acts in the same way as a MHCP.

> Please note you cannot claim from both Medicare and your private health fund, therefore you will need to choose which you want to claim from.