ABN 1692 1863991
Medibank Private provider number: 1317621F
FEES Private session fees…
- Individual 1 Hour $100.00
- Individual 1.5 Hours $130.00
- Couples 1.5 Hours $150.00
ABN 1692 1863991
Medicare provider number: 1317621F
Clinic 9, Gold Creek Square
7 O'Hanlon Place
NICHOLLS ACT 2913
(first car park on left after George Harcourt Inn roundabout, opposite Cockington Green)
- Office visits
- Home visits
- After hours
- Week ends
- Web or Skype visits
- Walk and talk environmental sessions.
Mon - Fri: 9am - 2pm (Clinic Sessions)
Sat & Sun: 8am- 5pm (Skype or phone sessions)
counsellors, psychotherapists and their clients are better off without Medicare
and other insurance rebates
Why counsellors, psychotherapists
and their clients are better off without Medicare and other insurance rebates
psychotherapy associations have recently been asked to make a submission
regarding the Medicare rebate for their clients. Insurance is great for people
who really cannot afford counselling services but there are a multitude
of reasons that Medicare is a bad idea for clients and therapists alike. Here are a few
reasons why it is better to self-pay for therapy:
confidentiality and privacy
Whenever Medicare or
private health insurance is used, your private information, psychiatric
diagnosis (yes, you need a diagnosis to receive the rebate!), presenting
issues, treatment plan and progress reports, are available to the insurance
company and at times, to employers. Medicare, private health insurance and
employee assistance programs often ask for detailed personal information about
clients in order to make payment decisions. This review can undermine your
sense of privacy and confidentiality necessary for effective counselling and
psychotherapy. Once you have a ‘Mental Health Plan’ diagnosis, it becomes part
of your health records forever. (See how one woman lost her dream job due to
her depression diagnosis!).
to choose your own therapist and style of therapy
Medicare and insurance
companies limit your choice of therapists. Most “preferred providers” offer
good treatment, keep your interests foremost and try to keep treatment
brief without sacrificing quality. At times however, the insurance company may ask
preferred providers to divide their loyalty between you and the insurance
company. It is better to self-pay if a therapist comes highly recommended but
is not on the provider list, if you would like to have unlimited choice
regarding which therapist you would like to see and if you wish to avoid
seeing a therapist with a potential conflict of interest.
to choose the length of your treatment
As previously mentioned,
Medicare, private health companies and employer assistance programs often limit
the choice in therapist and the modality that you are able to use –
usually Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Due to cost
effectiveness, they also limit the length of treatment. Medicare and other
insurance companies provide ultra-brief therapy (3, 6 or 12 sessions). The
majority of people require more sessions than this to address the underlying
issues and to provide you with long lasting change. One of the major
issues with time limited therapy is ‘revolving door syndrome’ – this
is widely recognised within the Medicare Better Access Mental Health Plan
system. It is not that certain techniques such as CBT aren’t
useful or necessary – they are at times – but they don’t address our innate
wholeness and the whole story. Self-paying for therapy is preferable in order
to receive the type and length of treatment required to suit your needs.
want Medicare, private health insurance companies or employee assistance
programs making choices for you
When a third party is
responsible for payment, they have the power to influence your treatment. A
company employee may be required to evaluate your motivation, the severity of
your problems, your progress, and make treatment recommendations. The therapist
must take the company’s recommendations into consideration or risk losing a
contract to work with the company altogether. It is preferable to pay for
your own treatment to eliminate this outside influence.
want to be labelled sick
Whenever Medicare or
insurance is used for counselling or psychotherapy, the treatment must be
“medically necessary,” which means that your therapist must label you with a
mental illness or mental disorder through diagnostic methods. There has
been widespread criticism of the DSMIV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
of Mental Disorders) in that many psychiatrists are concerned that over diagnosis
is leading to the pathologisation of everyday concerns. When you pay
directly, you may seek consultation from a therapist for any reason you choose.
People use counselling and psychotherapy for emotional, psychological and
spiritual growth, for help coping with stressful life situations, for marriage
and family difficulties, as well as for chronic and serious psychological
problems. Having a psychiatric diagnosis on your health records can restrict
your ability to qualify for future health and life insurance coverage as well
as when applying for employment or to become an adoptive parent for example.
The above article has been
adapted from ‘Why Self Pay?’ with
permission from the American Mental Health Alliance.
For therapy & counselling, Medibank Private members may be entitled to a benefit as I am a nationally registered psychotherapist.
Medibank Private members with appropriate policies may be eligible for
rebates for counselling services provided by PACFA-registered counsellors and
What counselling and psychotherapy services are covered?
PACFA’s Agreement with Medibank Private covers “counselling”. This is a generic
term and covers any type of counselling or psychotherapy provided by the Provider.
It is important that your invoice or receipt says “counselling” and includes the Item
Number for counselling.
Does my policy allow me to access rebate for counselling?
Only Medibank Private members with specific policies are eligible for counselling
rebates. To make a claim, members must have a policy with the package bonus
feature. The following Medibank Private products include package bonuses that can
be used for counselling:
• PremierPlus, AdvantagePlus, Smartplus, HealthyPlus or their VIP corporate
equivalents. These policies are no longer available for purchase but
approximately 1.6 million existing policy holders still have these policies.
• Family Essentials
• Family Comprehensive
Members may need to check that they have not already used their package bonus for
other services. You can do this by asking Medibank Private for a printout of your
Can I switch to a new Medibank Private policy to get counselling rebates?
Yes. The following products launched in 2013 include package bonuses which can be
used to claim rebates for counselling:
• Family Essentials
• Family Comprehensive
Switching is easy. You should contact Medibank Private by phone or at a retail centre.
How do I make a claim?
If you are eligible to make a claim for counselling, you can submit your claim in two
1. Make you claim in person at any Medibank Private retail outlet. When making
a claim in person, you should say “I want to use my package bonus”.
2. Send in your claim via post to:
Medical and Extras Claims
GPO Box 2984
Melbourne, VIC 3001
*IMPORTANT: Use the Medical & Extras Claim Form. In question 2 put a cross in the box “I’m claiming a bonus”.
Online claims for package bonuses are not available.
What should I do if I have a problem claiming?
• Ask to speak to the Manager at the retail outlet where you are trying to make a
claim. Say you want to use your package bonus to claim for counselling and that
your invoice includes the Item Number for counselling.
• Send you claim in via post. Make sure you use the correct claim form, as detailed
• Make a complaint by contacting the Medibank Private Call Centre on 134 190.