ABN 1692 1863991
Medicare provider number: 1317621F
Clinic 9, Gold Creek Square 
7 O’Hanlon Place
(first car park on left after George Harcourt Inn roundabout, opposite Cockington Green)

Flexible Hours:

  • 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)

Medicare Rebate

Why counsellors, psychotherapists and their clients are better off without Medicare and other insurance rebates

Counselling and 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:

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!).

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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 psychotherapists.
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.
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 claim history.
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 to switch.
If you are eligible to make a claim for counselling, you can submit your claim in two ways:
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:
Medibank Private
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.
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 above.
  • Make a complaint by contacting the Medibank Private Call Centre on 134 190.