Medicare Rebates and Private Health Insurance Rebates

Private Health Insurance Rebates

Atlas Counselling has not applied for any provider numbers through any Private Health Insurance (PHI) providers.  To determine whether Atlas Counselling services can be claimed under your private health insurance, you will need to contact your fund directly to determine if there is an avenue through which to claim otherwise.

The reason that Atlas Counselling has not yet applied for any provider numbers, is due to protecting the privacy of clients.  When using PHI funds, we are then required to report statistical information around presentation of clients.  This is not only inconvenient but it sits uncomfortably with me in principle, so at this time I am more comfortable with a prospective client finding an alternative therapist – just mind the gap, you may not necessarily be better of financially anyway.

Medicare Rebates

You are encouraged to read all of the information contained on this page as it may make a difference to the method of support that you choose for yourself.  Understanding the differences between Counsellors, Psychologists, Accredited Mental Health Social Workers and Psychiatrists may be the best place to start when choosing your support.

At the moment Counsellors and Psychotherapists are not included under the Medicare Better Access Scheme. That means that you are not currently able to claim the Medicare rebate against the fee charged by Atlas Counselling or any other therapist who is not registered as a Medicare provider.  Only the services of Medicare registered Clinical Psychologists and Accredited Mental Health Social Workers (so not even all of them, if they have not applied for a Medicare provider number).  These services can only be accessed upon referral with a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) provided by your Doctor.

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 some Psychology and Social Work services, it may be more difficult to get timely appointments.  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/social work services.  Additionally, often people consider that psychology/social work is the only 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, and more appropriate support options available.

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

A 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 (bulk-billing service).  Most often, providers will charge you a gap fee.  You may be surprised to learn that the gap fee is often similar to or more than the fee charged by Atlas Counselling.

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