So you’ve decided to put your mental health first by seeking help for the challenges you’ve been facing. But there’s one thing holding you back – money. You have realised that can’t afford to regularly see a psychologist, and this has prevented you from taking those first few steps to getting the help you need. So how do you move forward?
It’s no secret that financial hardship is stressful and overwhelming to deal with. But the good news is that it doesn’t need to get in the way of finding a psychologist to help you through the hard times. Bulk billing is one option that makes seeing a psychologist completely free of charge. This means that you don’t need to choose between prioritising your mental health and worrying about your financial situation.
What is bulk billing and how can it make my sessions more affordable?
You may have heard the term ‘bulk billing’ before. Perhaps you are wondering what exactly it means and how it can assist you in accessing affordable treatment from a psychologist. Fortunately, the process is relatively straight forward. For people with a Mental Health Treatment Plan, Medicare offers rebates which usually cover the large majority of a client’s out of pocket fee.
However, some psychologists may offer bulk billing. This means they lower their fee to the amount of the rebate and no more – so you pay absolutely nothing. This alternative is usually only offered to clients who are experiencing a period of financial hardship that would otherwise prevent them from accessing the help they need.
Because of this, a psychologist will usually only offer bulk billing when the client is facing a specific set of difficult circumstances that impacts their finances. This can include when they are receiving Centrelink payments, when they are unemployed or when they are a student or concession card holder. It’s important to note that psychologists have the freedom to decide the conditions they bulk bill under. Because of this, the requirements will change depending on which professional you see.
Ultimately, bulk billing is a terrific option for anyone who has opened themselves up to the idea of getting professional help, but simply can’t afford to pay a fee whenever they see their psychologist.
It’s important to remember that rebates and bulk billing are different schemes. Rebates exist to decrease the amount payable per session rather than remove the fee completely in the way bulk billing does. If you would like to learn more about how these two things differ, take a look at our previous blog.
So how can I organise bulk billing with my psychologist?
As mentioned previously, it’s important to know that psychologists who offer bulk billing usually only offer it under specific circumstances. But this doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to find someone who does provide this alternative. When choosing which professional you want to see, all you need to do is ask them if they bulk bill. If they do, ask them under what circumstances they will do it.
Of course, this can feel daunting. The last thing you want to do is put your mental health on the back-burner because the process of finding someone who meets your needs is too overwhelming. So to make this step that much easier, we can help you find a psychologist who offers bulk billing. All you need to do is fill out a few simple details on our website and we will put you in touch with a professional who is right for you.
Financial difficulties don’t have to stop you from putting your mental health first and getting the help you need. If the only roadblock in the way of you and your first session with a psychologist is money, bulk billing is something you should explore. This will ensure that your mental health and wellbeing remains a top priority.
If you need help finding the right psychologist for you, start the process today with our free service.