Medicare Psychology Sessions – Making sense of the numbers.
The reduction of Psychology sessions on Medicare's Better Access to Mental Health Care
Many of you may have heard of or may be using Medicare’s Better Access to Mental Health Care scheme to access Psychology sessions. This scheme allows people to attend appointments with a Psychologist and receive a rebate amount from Medicare to help cover the costs.
During the Covid pandemic in 2021 and 2022 it was recognised that people were struggling with her mental health and as such the amount of Medicare rebated sessions was doubled to 20 sessions per calendar year. This meant that if spread out, people could attend sessions on roughly a fortnightly basis which helped provide regular support.
Unfortunately, despite lots of lobbying by Psychologists the number of Medicare rebated sessions has returned to 10 sessions per calendar year. This has understandably caused allot of anxiety for people as it means less than one session per month if spread out over the year, or the risk of running out of sessions very quickly.
Here are some suggestions on how to manage with the reduced number of sessions:
Talk to your Psychologist about it – the two of you will be able to make a plan together about how best to use your sessions.
If possible, think about spacing your sessions out to make them last as long as possible particularly if you are doing well.
Ask your Psychologist for activities you can do between sessions to maintain your treatment gains.
If you have Private Health Insurance enquire as to whether you have cover for Psychology appointments as part of your policy.
If possible, put away a small amount of money each week so that at the end of your 10 sessions you may be able to fund some extra sessions.
Here are some things you can do between sessions to focus on your mental well-being:
Speak to family and friends – reach our to your support network of people you trust and share how you are feeling.
Focus on general well being strategies such as eating well, exercising regularly, and making sure you get enough sleep.
Keep a journal and write down how you are feeling each day making sure to include one thing you are grateful for each day.
Do things you enjoy as much as you can.
Try some Mental Health apps such as:
If you need immediate assistance reach out to one of the following: