Medicare Better Access
Via The Mental Health Care Plan
What is a Mental Health Care Plan?
The most common form of referral to our practice is the Mental Health Care Plan. This plan has details of your symptoms, a diagnosis, the current issues you are going through and some background about you and sometimes, your family. The Mental Health Care Plan is completed by your doctor if – following a consultation with you – they assess you as qualifying for Medicare Rebates under this plan.
How do I get a Mental Health Care Plan?
The plan is completed by your GP and allows you to obtain Medicare Rebates for an initial 6 Individual Sessions and 10 Group Sessions of psychological treatment and counselling. Upon completion of the initial 6 Individual Sessions, and following a successful Re-Referral with your GP, you may be eligible to receive another 4 Sessions of individual psychological treatment. This means that you are entitled to a total of 10 rebatable Individual and 10 rebatable Group Sessions per calendar year. To discuss the Mental Health Care Plan with your GP, you don’t need to already be diagnosed with a mental illness.
Your GP will determine your eligibility for this plan based on your current presenting issues. Should you wish to discuss obtaining a Mental Health Care Plan with your GP, please ensure that you book a long consultation as they will need time to discuss what you are feeling, determine your eligibility and do the relevant paperwork.
It is really important that you tell your GP how you are feeling in this consultation. Be honest with them and don’t ‘sugar coat’ it. For them to be able to make recommendations and properly assess whether you are eligible for a Plan, they need to know exactly what is going on. They will then be able to refer you to the most appropriate clinician with the right skills and experience.
During this appointment with your GP, they may ask you to complete a questionnaire, identifying the symptoms you have and rate their severity. Again, answer honestly in this questionnaire and pick the response which is the most appropriate.
How can a Mental Health Care Plan help me?
A Mental Health Care Plan helps by:
- Providing you with an overview of your current mental health in order to monitor your progress.
- It kickstarts the conversation about how you are feeling with your doctor and is the first step in helping you to feel better.
- It also makes accessing sessions with a Psychologist, Mental Health Social Worker or Mental Health Occupational Therapist more affordable, as it entitles you to a rebate for the sessions.
Please note however, that although a Medicare rebates can be claimed for sessions covered under a Mental Health Care Plan, there is generally a ‘gap fee’ involved.
To find our more about Mental Health Care Plan, the ‘gap fee’ or anything else related to our services, contact us or call us now on 07 3801 1772 (Loganholme) or 07 3823 2230 (Capalaba).