The government has today advised that mental health practitioners can charge a gap payment for services provided under the telehealth provisions. The following groups must be bulk-billed:
- People who are ‘at risk’ of COVID-19
- Commonwealth concession card holders,
- Children under 16 years old.
The ‘at risk’ category has been reviewed and now includes a person who:
- is required to self-isolate or self-quarantine in accordance with guidance issued by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee in relation to COVID-19
- is at least 70 years old; or if the person identifies as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent—is at least 50 years old
- is pregnant
- is the parent of a child aged under 12 months
- is being treated for a chronic health condition
- is immune compromised
- meets the current national triage protocol criteria for suspected COVID-19 infection.
For clients with a mental health care plan who do not meet the above criteria, the session will be processed directly to Medicare and then a gap payment of $84 will be payable.
Please feel free to discuss this with me if you are experiencing financial hardship.