On 5 August 2018 the Australian Government announced that people living in a rural or remote location can now access a Psychologist through Telehealth sessions (online video-call) from the comfort of their own home and it is now covered by Medicare for up to 10 sessions per year.
There is several benefits of Telehealth sessions for residents in rural and remote areas, some of these include guaranteed privacy which is sometimes an issue in small towns. Another benefit is that some people find it easier to open up about their mental health issues online rather than in-person, because it can be less confronting to talk on a computer than in-person.
Please see the eligibility requirements below.
The person receiving care must:
a) be eligible for Medicare / DVA rebates (you must have a GP or Psychiatrist referral); and
b) not be admitted to hospital at the time; and
c) not a patient of an emergency department at the time; and
d) be located both:
i) within a telehealth eligible area at the time of the attendance; and
ii) located at least 15 kilometres by road from the eligible allied health provider.
On 1 September 2018, the Australian Government removed the face-to-face requirement, which means that clients will no longer need to have one of their first four sessions conducted face-to-face.
Determining Your Eligibility
Note: To receive a Medicare Rebate, you MUST be in a geographical area considered by the Department of Health and Ageing to be ‘remote’ or ‘rural’ (i.e., “The person receiving care must be located in Monash Modified Model areas 4 – 7”). What this means is that you need to look up your address and confirm you are considered to be living in and remote or rural area.
To check your area’s eligibility, go to the official page here. Enter your address AND choose Modified Monash Model 2019 in the Classification box. Then click on ‘Search Location’. You must be from an area rated ‘4’ or greater (5, 6 or 7) to be eligible.
Please contact us if you need assistance with determining your eligibility.