Mental health plans

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Super frequent scribe

Mental health plans

Does anyone know if a Referral from a Psychiatrist for a Psychologist entiles you to Medicare benefits (mental health plan ) ? I'm currently paying for both services in full. All the running back and forth to appointments I haven't been to a GP yet to arrange the paperwork.
Community Manager

Re: Mental health plans

That is a good question @Nervous!


I'm not really sure about that as I went to my GP first to sort out the mental health care plan.  On a side note, my GP was really useful and it was great to have one point of contact who was organising all of the referrals and checking in with me.  I'm sure that after you talk to your GP and told them about where you are at they can answer all of those questions.


Something else that might be of use is giving beyondblue a call on 1300 22 4636 to ask that specific question as they might have answers?


Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Mental health plans

I'm unsure as to the answer to that one too unfortunately @Nervous. In my situation my daughter is seen through the public system (CYMHS) which is free. I go to our GP to get my mental health plans which entitle me to see a private psychologist for free. I'd also suggest checking with your GP, or asking the psychiatrist who gave the referral. 


Re: Mental health plans

Hey @Nervous I second @Nick-RO's suggestion ringing a mental health helpline for sure they may be able to provide you more feedback on how it all works. 

Prolific scribe

Re: Mental health plans

Hi @Nervous I am not sure what you are saying here . Are you asking if the psychologist and psychiatrist can give you the right referral paperwork from their sessions with you already bought  to get your money back from Medicare ? The psychologist and pyschiatrist  you are seeing should be able to tell you this ? Most are under the mental health  care plan scheme . If they are not : 

My advice :   Go to your GP  FIRST and get a 10 session mental health care plan , they can refer you to which ever Psych you decide upon or ones they know are good .  You can also get another 4 after this if you are still needing more sessions . You can ask if they can refer you back to the psychs  you are seeing if these psychs are registered with the plan . Some psychs under this plan are free others charge  you the gap . Most Psychs charge around $ 200 per session , you will probably be expected to pay half or a portion depending on your income capability  . Headspace usually gets you to pay a portion . The rest Medicare covers . 

Paying for both full cost is exhorbitant !!  Hope this helps and good luck !! Merry Christmas ! 

Super frequent scribe

Re: Mental health plans

When we left the hospital after my daughters suicide attempt, we were told by the hospital staff to see our family GP.  Operating on autopilot in shock and terror we did, the GP referred us to a psychiatrist $475.00 who referred us to a couple of psychologist - after being on the waiting list for a couple of weeks we booked an appoint with the psychologist $ 260.00.  When I booked the appointment with the Psychologist I was informed about Mental Health Plans.  So. I booked another appointment with the GP who would not give me a Mental Health Plan as I had attended without my daughter. (wasted visit) and was advise that the Psychiatrist should have done the MHP as she was the one who arranged the referral to the psychologist.  So the last 7 visits with the Psychologist I have paid without a MHP $200.00.

I took my daughter back to the Psychiatrist $ 400.00 last week to discuss medication as well as the weekly visits with the Psychologist.  The Psychiatrist advised me thru during this visit that because the referral was by a Psychiatrist that the MHP is automatic, but not all Psychologist or even Medicare staff would know this.

BUT..... I am going to take my daughter to the family GP to arrange repeat prescription for my daughter new medication.... Hopefully she will write a MHP then, though I am sure I will have to make two appointments, one for the MHP and one for the Prescription.  I say this because,when my daughter had blood test and we went to get the results the GP would not do the MHP at the same time. 

I have been informed that the GP's fee for the MHP is $200.00, I hope I can talk her into just charging me for a consultation as well.  All the running around is stressful............


hope my saga of a tale was not too long

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Mental health plans

Not too long at all @Nervous


One thing I do know is that under a mental health care plan, things changed this year. You're initially given 6 appointments and can then apply for another 4, but the max per year is 10 only now. 


Whoever gives you the mental health care plan must give you paperwork that you then take to the service you are wanting to use. It has a number that the service needs to be able to claim their fee from Medicare and in turn give you the free service or a discounted service, depending on the cost of that service. 


I'd suggest Googling 'Medicare mental health care plan fact sheet'. It provides some great information that should clear things up for you. I'd also get the psychiatrist to clarify what they've told you, as the psychologist and medicare need to know about the MHP so it can be used. 


Are you able to swap to public health care service to save you the cost? My daughter's mental health workers are on in the public system (CYMHS) and are fantastic where we are! 


It is such a lot of running around trying to get things organised and the financial burden mustn't be helping. It's You're doing an amazing job getting your daughter help and I remember how exhausting it can be getting everything set up. You're doing an amazing job, full stop.