PACFA Registrants now recognised by Bupa

PACFA has entered an agreement with Bupa, Australia’s largest private health fund, for recognition of PACFA Registrants to deliver counselling services for Bupa  from 1 July 2018. Both counsellors and psychotherapists who have training that meets Bupa’s requirements may be eligible to deliver Bupa-funded counselling services.

Recognition is only available to Clinical Registrants (and some experienced Provisional  Registrants) who have completed training that meets Bupa’s recognition criteria. PACFA is writing to Registrants to advise them if they are eligible based on Bupa’s requirements.

Eligible Registrants must be in private practice, must hold a current Senior First Aid certificate and maintain their PACFA registration.

Benefits for counselling services will only be paid for Bupa members who have the appropriate level of Extras cover. It is expected that a fairly wide range of Bupa insurance products will provide some level of cover for counselling under Extras.  Bupa has already written to their members with Extras cover to advise them if they will be covered for the new counselling services from 1 July. Insurance products with cover for counselling can also be purchased from 1 July by new customers wishing to switch to Bupa.

This is a major change that will improve access to mental health services from counsellors and psychotherapists. It has been brought about by years of lobbying for recognition by PACFA, and supported by federal government reforms aimed at encouraging private health fund to make a greater contribution to mental health services in Australia.

So far, Bupa is the only health fund to have moved in this new direction, however, PACFA will be using this change as leverage in our discussions with other private health funds.