At the moment Counsellors and Psychotherapists are not covered through Medicare. That means that you are not currently able to claim the fee charged by Atlas Counselling through Medicare. Only the services of approved Psychologists and Social Workers, upon referral with a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) provided by your Doctor, can be claimed through Medicare.
To determine whether Atlas Counselling services can be claimed under private health insurance, you will need to contact your fund directly.
Following are a few things that you may want to consider when making this decision.
Access to Atlas Counselling Services
Because Atlas Counselling services cannot currently be claimed through Medicare, you do not require a referral from a GP or other service. You can ‘self-refer’. You do not require an MHCP and you do not require any formal diagnosis to access the services provided through Atlas Counselling. All you need to do to engage Atlas Counselling services is make an appointment.
Appointment availability and wait-lists
Due to the rebate offered by Medicare for Psychology services, it may be more difficult to get timely appointments with many Psychologists. You may be wait-listed for weeks, or indeed, months before being able to access support.
Remembering that counselling services are not always the most appropriate for everyone’s need, you may still find that engaging with counselling services might help you between now and when you can access psychology services. Additionally, often people consider that psychology is the only suitable option for their need because that is the referral path from their GP, or because they will receive a rebate through Medicare, without considering that there may be other, potentially less expensive and more readily available, options.
To help determine whether counselling services may be a good fit for your needs, see the information on the page ‘What is the difference between psychology, psychiatry and Counselling’.
If you are have not been able to engage with a support service and you are currently in crisis and need immediate support, or your safety is at risk, please contact the relevant emergency contact listed here, or at the bottom of each page of this web site.
Differences in cost and gap fees
An MHCP may provide you with a discount against the fee charged by an approved service provider. Some service providers may only charge the amount of the Medicare Rebate for the number of sessions that you have been provided under your MCHP. Other providers may charge you a gap fee. You will need to find out which is relevant to your situation by calling the service to which you have been referred. You may learn that the gap fee is more than the entire fee charged by Atlas Counselling. Atlas Counselling session options and fees can be found here.
What kind of professional is right for me
To begin with, you will need to determine what kind of professional(s) will best suit your need. You will need to consider whether Atlas Counselling can provide you with the support that you require. To get some understanding of the difference between, for example, a Psychologist and a Counsellor, click here.
Emergency Contact List
Kids Help Line: 1800 55 1800
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Domestic Violence Crisis Line: 1800 65 64 63
Australian Emergency Services: 000
(Police, Fire, Ambulance)
For other options, please visit https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/mental-health-helplines