Information on Fees and Rebates
No referral is necessary to see a psychologist.
As of June 2016, fees are $190 per session. Please check with reception when booking if this remains current.
Medicare rebates are available for those clients who are referred by a GP and are on a mental health plan. The rebate from Medicare is set at approximately $124.50 for a one hour session. A smaller rebate is also available for pregnancy support counselling.
We highly recommend that you check the Medicare website for any changes to the rebate system.
How does the Medicare GP referral system work?
In November 2006 Medicare introduced a new item for the provision of psychological therapies for people referred by a GP with a diagnosed mental health issue. This means that to claim the rebate, you must be referred by a GP.
You are of course welcome to attend without a referral, that simply means not being able to claim the rebate and paying the fees in full. Some private health funds provide rebates for psychological services, however as they all differ it is best to check your policy.
The Medicare plan allows for a total of six sessions initially. A review by your GP might result in a further four sessions if considered appropriate. A maximum of ten session rebates can be received in a calendar year.
What does having a “diagnosis” mean?
Some examples of the diagnoses the Medicare system covers include Depression, Panic Disorder, Sleep Problems, Phobic Disorder, and Anxiety Disorder. A full list and further information about the Medicare system or these diagnoses can be found on the Australian Psychological Society’s website
What about the pregnancy support counselling rebate?
A rebate is also available for women (partners are also welcome to attend) seeking non-directive counselling if they are concerned about a current pregnancy, or a pregnancy that occurred in the last 12 months. Up to three sessions can be claimed with a rebate of $55 and again, you must be referred by a GP. Non-directive counselling indicates that you will receive unbiased, evidence-based information about all options and services available.
When do I pay and how do I claim the rebate?
Fees are due in full on the day of your appointment. Optima uses the HICAPS system so you can claim the rebate immediately if you have a savings or cheque account.
You must return to your GP for a review after six sessions with your psychologist. The GP will assess the appropriateness of further sessions under a Medicare related referral. Without the review any claim made to Medicare will not be processed.
Can I see any psychologst and claim the rebate?
The psychologist you see must be registered with the relevant state body. When you search for a psychologist, you will find some that are members of the Australian Psychological Society’s Clinical College and some that are not. Many very experienced psychologists are not members of the college.
How many sessions can I have?
The maximum number of sessions covered by Medicare in one calendar year is 10. For some concerns, you might not need to attend this many sessions, but for other things you might find it helpful to continue past 10 sessions. Everyone and every situation is different. All plans involve a review with your General Practitioner after 6 sessions.
Of course as noted, you do not have to have a referral or to be covered by a Medicare plan to see a psychologist.
What if I have private health cover?
Some private health insurance policies cover psychological therapies. You are not able to use private health to cover the gap hence will need to make a decision, if you have private health, about whether you will claim a rebate through Medicare or your private health insurer.
A minimum of 24 hours notice is required. We appreciate that sometimes people are unable to attend at late notice but reserve the right to invoice the full fee of the session.
Can be made in cash, eftpos or credit card. Payments are due on the day of service.
Letters and Reports
Requests for letter and reports by clients for legal or other purposes will incur a fee based on the recommended APS rate.