Claiming Medicare Rebates for Therapy FAQ
All you need to know about how to book a psychologist and claim the cost back from Medicare
Can I see a psychologist for free through Medicare?
Yes, but you must find a bulk billing psychologist, and these are generally hard to come. The more common way is by getting a rebate (or refund) for your appointment.
To get a rebate from Medicare you must pay for your appointment up-front and then submit a claim to Medicare who will refund you between $70 - $130 (depending on the appointment).
What do I need to do to see a Medicare psychologist?
You must first visit your GP and let them know that you are struggling with your mental health. Your GP will then ask you some questions and if they believe it's appropriate, they will create a Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP) for you.
Your MHTP entitles you to 6 Medicare sessions with a psychologist or other Medicare provider. In addition you must also get a referral from your GP to a psychologist.
Once you have your MHTP and referral you can book a session with a Medicare Psychologist.
We've made the process easily - simply follow our guide on booking your first psychology session.
What actually is a Mental Health Treatment Plan?
It's a document (that can be emailed to you as a PDF), which contains a summary of your issues, your goals and the plan to reach your goals, the plan is usually just a referral to a psychologist.
You can see an example Mental Health Treatment Plan here.
What is the process of getting a Mental Health Treatment Plan?
Your GP often uses something called the K10 checklist to assess your psychological well being. This is just a series of questions about how you feel from day to day.
Your appointment normally takes around 15 - 30 minutes and you can ask your GP to email you a copy of your MHTP or get them to print it out.
Do I need a referral to see a psychologist?
Do I need a new referral to switch psychologists?
No, you can use the same referral to book a session with a different psychologist. You must however have remaining sessions on your Mental Health Treatment Plan.
If you are not happy with your current psychologist, take a look at our highly qualified psychologists who are available right now.
Do I need to find a psychologist before getting a referral from a GP?
No, you can first book a session with a psychologist and then see your GP to get a referral. Once you've booked your session through Talked we will provide you the details for your GPs referral letter.
You may also get a referral letter for a general psychologist and not specify who it's for. This will give you the option to choose one later on.
How many sessions with a psychologist can I get through Medicare?
You are entitled to 10 sessions within a 12 month period. Due to covid this has currently been increased to 20 per year.
When you first see your GP they will give you a MHTP that entitles you to just 6 sessions. After these 6 sessions your psychologist will then speak with your GP and provide you an additional set of sessions if deemed necessary.
How do I claim my Medicare rebate?
Why do I need to see a GP before seeing a psychologist?
The Government and Medicare have this as a requirement to ensure you have been properly assessed and referred to the correct mental health practitioner.
In reality, this is often just a hoop that people need to jump through in order to claim part of the cost back from Medicare.
Always make sure you connect with only qualified and registered psychologists.
Who should referrals be made out to?
If you have already chosen a psychologist then you can ask your GP to make the referral out to their name.
If you have't decided on a psychologist yet, then you can simply ask the referral to be made out to:
Where can I find a psychologist?
You can see the next available psychologists and easily book a session for a time that suits you.
How do I know which psychologist is right for me?
The best way to find this out is to book a free consultation with one of our psychologists, this is an online 15 minute consultation where they will be able to explain to you how they work and the best approach to move forward.
You can also simply send them a message direct from their profile page.
Why are bulk billing psychologists difficult to find?
Bulk billing appointments mean you don't pay anything and the whole cost is covered by Medicare.
The reason why they are difficult to find is that most psychologists don't like to offer these appointments, because the pay is very low, and it can often attract in-experienced or lower qualified psychologists.
Can I claim a Medicare rebate when seeing a counsellor?
Unfortunately not. This is because Counsellors are not covered by Medicare, but you still may be able to claim the cost back through your private health insurance.
Booking a therapy session with a counsellor can often work out cheaper than a psychologist even with the Medicare rebate!
However, you may be able to claim a rebate when booking with some social workers.