Medicare rebates on Counselling for Bush Fire recovery
Following the bushfires of 2019-20, the Government has introduced 10 Medicare rebatable services available in each calendar year for two years (2020 and 2021), referred to as the Bushfire Recovery Access Initiative.
While centers and government agencies have been offering free counselling through thier paid empolyess, medicare has made it possible for affected people to see a private psychologist, in the psychologists clinic rooms OR online via video conference.
People presenting for bushfire services do not need to have a GP referral or to be diagnosed as having a mental health disorder. Additionally, Patients can continue to use any mental health care plan they may already have or need to get for a diagnosed disorder and these sessions are counted separately from the bushfire recovery sessions.
Mental Health Care plans are referrals that diagnose a psychological issue needing treatment by a psychologist. Medicare provide's rebates for up to 10 of these sessions a calendar year. These sessions can be used AS WELL AS the bushfire recovery rebates. This means someone can have up to 20 sessions of psychological therapy with medicare rebates!
See below for psychologist fee refund rates.
Who is eligible An eligible client is anyone who has had an adverse change in their mental health as a result of a bushfire which occurred in the 2019-20 financial year. This includes emergency services workers who have been affected by the bushfires. You must have symptoms directly related to the impact of the bushfires in your life. This cannot be used for existing chronic issues unrelated to the bushfires but your mental health care plan can cover that. What is the fee Psychologists, like doctors and other health professionals, set their fee according to skill and experience and medicare rebates are refunded into the patients account. For example, a clinical psychologist charges between $180 and $250 and a registered psychologist charges between $160 and $210. The medicare rebate for a clinical psychologist is $125 and a registered psychologist is $86.15.
Clarissa has set her fees for BUSHFIRE recovery counselling rates at $140.00 = $54.00 out of pocket fees, please discuss directly if you wish to request bulk billing (no gap) fees.