Changes to the Better Access to Mental Health Care for 2023
Medicare Australia

The Federal Government announced that the 10 additional sessions for psychology under Medicare is not going to be extended past 31st December 2022.

We are communicating this news so that you are informed and can make a plan with your psychologist at your next session(s).

What does this mean?

The Government has confirmed that clients with a current mental health care plan and current referral for sessions (whether this is for the initial 10 or additional 10) will be able to use that referral to access up to 10 sessions in 2023 without having to go back to their GP. This aligns with current arrangements for the rollover of unused sessions across calendar years.

We are obviously disappointed about this news as we have seen a number of clients benefiting from these sessions over the last 18 months and as per psychology organisations such as AAPI and APS, we continue to support the importance of having more than 10 sessions per calendar year for care and support.

What does this not change?

If you are currently seeing a provisional psychologist, the need for a mental health care plan does not apply and the number of sessions is also not a problem as this is considered as a private consultation.

For psychoeducational assessments, no Medicare rebates are available (in most circumstances), so these types of sessions also continue to be considered private as well.

If you are currently accessing support via NDIS, this is also not impacting access to psychology sessions.

The Government made an announcement earlier this year that Telehealth, implemented during the covid period, remains and can continue to be a possible way to access psychology sessions.

If you are impacted by the changes above, take the time to discuss this with your psychologist at the next available appointment so that you have a plan for the new year.