What mental health treatment is covered by Medicare and private health insurance?

Written by Care To Compare

Australians are becoming more aware of their own mental health needs and the needs of their family and friends. A great range of support services are available with or without private health insurance.

If you or someone you know lives with a mental illness a Medicare rebate to cover part of the cost of your appointments with a psychologist might be available.

Does private health insurance cover mental health?

Private health insurance can provide additional support in addition to the rebates you are entitled to from Medicare. It can help you with:

  • In-patient or Psychiatric care generally covers treatment in a private hospital. A Gold level of hospital cover is required for this, there may be a two-month waiting period, but you may be eligible to have this waived.
  • Out-patient or Mental Health care generally covers psychological therapy when or if you are no longer eligible to claim this service with Medicare.

If you need some help to figure out the best health insurance with psychology benefits or psychiatric services please contact our team on 1300 76 76 00.

What is the mental health waiver?

The mental health waiver enables a person with limited hospital cover to upgrade their level of cover so they can access in-hospital psychiatric services without needing to serve the usual 2 month waiting period. Currently, this exemption can only be accessed by each person once in their lifetime.

Generally, you must have served an initial two month waiting period for any psychiatric benefits. Ask our team or your health insurer for the specific details that apply to your cover.

IS THERE SUPPORT AVAILABLE WITH MEDICARE?

When you speak to your preferred doctor they can help coordinate the treatment of mild mental health issues by providing practical advice, referring you to a psychologist or prescribing medication. They may refer you to a psychiatrist. Your doctor may develop a Mental Health Treatment Plan specifically for you. This can provide up to 10 sessions with a mental health specialist subsidised by Medicare. This initiative is known as Better Access.

What public support is available?

ReachOut.com provides free online mental health services for young people and their parents in Australia.

If you or someone you know needs help please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

DID YOU KNOW?

If you or someone you know lives with a mental illness, a Medicare rebate to cover part of the cost of your appointments with a psychologist might be available.

Care To Compare proudly supports ReachOut.Com