Can I get a Medicare rebate when I see a psychiatrist?
If you are eligible for Medicare and have a valid referral, Medicare will refund part of your fee.
The amount you receive from Medicare will depend on:
- the type of appointment
- how long the appointment is
- whether you need services not covered by Medicare (for example, insurance or NDIS reports).
|Type of appointment
||Amount you end up paying
|Assessment and GP report (item 291)
|Initial consultation (item 296)
|Consultation 30 minutes (item 304)
|Consultation 45 minutes (item 306)
*The fees listed here are examples only. Please contact your psychiatrist’s clinic to find out about their fees.
More information on estimated costs for all types of appointments, and in different areas of Australia, can be found on the Australian Government’s Medical Costs Finder website.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA): Informed Financial Consent – a collaboration between doctors and patients provides further information on how to discuss costs with your doctor.
Do psychiatrists bulk-bill?
Some psychiatrists may bulk-bill. This means Medicare covers the cost of the appointment and you have no out-of-pocket fee.
Each psychiatrist has their own criteria for whom they will bulk-bill.
Check the requirements for bulk-billing by calling the clinic before your appointment.
Can I use my private health insurance?
Private health insurance covers you for consultations during hospital admissions.
Appointments with a private psychiatrist (outside a hospital stay) are not covered by private health insurance. This is the same for all medical specialists.
More about private health insurance and mental health
Going to hospital
How many times will I see my psychiatrist?
You may only need to see your psychiatrist once or twice per year.
In other cases, you may need regular appointments to manage a long-term illness. The Medicare safety nets are there to help you cover ongoing gap fee costs.
I’m having trouble paying – what options do I have?
- Discuss options with your psychiatrist.
- Speak to the clinic receptionist – payment plans may be available.
- Medicare Safety Net.
Medicare Safety Net
The Medicare Safety Net provides extra rebates once your out-of-pocket medical costs reach $495.60 in a calendar year. This means your gap payment may be less.
Extended Medicare Safety Net
The Extended Safety Net provides more rebates on top of the standard Safety Net.
If you have a concession card or receive Family Tax Benefit A, you qualify when your out-of-pocket medical costs reach $717.90
For people who don’t have a concession card, the threshold is $2249.80
More about Medicare Safety Nets