Frequently Asked Questions - Sessions, Fees, and Rebates
1. How many appointments will be required?
This is dependent on the complexity of the presenting issue. Some people require only a few sessions, while others may require more than that. This matter will be discussed with your Clinician. At Melbourne Wellbeing Group our focus is not so much on how long the process will take but rather on ensuring that you effectively resolve the difficulties that are present in your life, and that you maintain the gains made.
2. How long does each session last for?
Each individual session with a Psychologist or Speech Pathologist is 50 minutes.
3. What is the cost of a session?
Our fees differ depending on the service you require. To find out more about our fees, please contact our reception team.
4. What is the Medicare Rebate for Psychology?
The Medicare Rebate is obtainable to clients who are referred by their GP, Psychiatrist, or Paediatrician. This includes children, adolescents, and adults. The Medicare Rebate offers a considerable rebate to clients for 10 sessions per calendar year for Individual Therapy, and an additional 10 sessions per calendar year for Group Therapy.
5. How can I access the Medicare Rebate for Psychology?
Medicare offers rebates for psychological services to individuals who wish to engage in individual therapy, and/or group therapy. In order to be eligible, you need to visit your GP, Psychiatrist, or Paediatrician, prior to your first appointment with us, and explain your mental health concerns. If you are seeing a GP, we recommend that you first book a double appointment (i.e., at least 30 minutes), so that they have adequate time to develop a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) with you. Your GP will then give you the MHCP and a letter of referral. If you are seeing a Psychiatrist or Paediatrician for a referral, all they need to do is provide a letter of referral to activate Medicare. Once you have the relevant paperwork, and have scheduled an appointment time with one of our clinicians at Melbourne Wellbeing Group, you then bring these documents to your first consultation along with your Medicare card, and our team will organise the rest. Call our friendly reception for further enquiries or to make an appointment.
6. Are there any Medicare Rebates for Speech Pathology?
Yes. The Chronic Disease Management Plan (formerly called the Enhanced Primary Care Plan) provides Medicare rebates for Allied Health services including Speech Pathology and Psychology. You may be eligible to claim a maximum of 5 rebates through Medicare per calendar year for Speech Pathology.
Your GP can discuss with you whether you or your child is eligible for a Chronic Disease Management Plan. If they are eligible, the GP will provide you with a referral for you to bring in to Melbourne Wellbeing Group. Please talk to your GP or treating Physician to find out more about the Chronic Disease Management Plan, or follow the links here for more information.
7. Are there Private Health Insurance Rebates for Psychology and Speech Pathology?
Yes. If you have extras cover that includes speech pathology, psychology, and/or psychiatry, you will be able to claim a rebate from your health fund provider. The rebate varies depending on your level of cover, so please call your Private Health Fund for more information.
8. How can I pay for my sessions?
You may pay for your psychology or speech pathology session by Cash, Eftpos (cheque or savings card), or Credit Card. If you have a MHCP, or a Chronic Disease Management Plan, then the full fee of the session is to be paid before the Medicare rebate is processed as we are not a bulk-billing clinic. Once the fee is paid, our receptionist will be able to process your Medicare rebate straight away if we have a copy of your relevant paperwork. We do this by using our online claiming system. This means that once payment is made, our receptionist will process your Medicare claim on your behalf, and Medicare will transfer the rebate into your nominated bank account that you have provided to Medicare. Please note that Medicare no longer issues cheques for rebates. If you do not have your bank details saved with Medicare then we would recommend that you to do this in order to make the processing of your claim easier. Please also note that to be eligible for a Medicare rebate you will need a valid referral, and/or a MHCP, or Chronic Disease Management Plan in place.
Private Health Fund Rebates
If you are claiming health fund rebates you will only be charged the gap between your rebate and the cost of the session. Private Health fund rebates and Medicare rebates cannot be used at the same time.
If you are claiming sessions through Medicare, then you will be able to lodge your claim at the time of your session. In order to do this, the full amount will need to be paid first by the above methods, before the Medicare rebate can be processed. We also need to have your referral, MHCP, or Chronic Disease Management Plan on file.
If you have used all 10 sessions in the current calendar year under the MHCP for Psychology, and your condition is deemed to be chronic (i.e., persisting for at least six months), and there are two specialists looking after your needs (i.e., a psychologist and psychiatrist), then you may be eligible to access the Chronic Disease Management Plan. Eligibility for the Chronic Disease Management Plan is determined by your GP, and can enable you to access a rebate for a further 5 sessions in a calendar year. Please note that the rebate under a Chronic Disease Management Plan is slightly less than the MHCP rebate. Please also note that if you have used all 5 sessions of your Chronic Disease Management Plan for Speech Pathology, then you cannot access another 5 sessions for Psychology.