11 October 2023
PACFA is proud to have agreements in place with a range of health funds: Medibank, ahm, Bupa, HCF and ARHG (encompassing St Luke's Health, Police Health, GMHBA, Westfund, Emergency Services Health, Phoenix Health, CUA Health, AIA Health and Teachers Union Health.)
The requirements and procedures for obtaining a health fund number vary among different private health insurance companies. This currently splintered approach of assessment by private health insurers has come about due to a lack of consistency surrounding qualifications and membership in the counselling and psychotherapy space over many years. However, PACFA anticipates that the implementation of the National Standards by the Australian Government will provide a significant boost in ensuring that appropriate and consistent recognition for counsellors, Indigenous healing practitioners and psychotherapists is achieved moving forward.
Although HCF does not currently recognise PACFA registrants’ psychotherapy qualifications, please rest assured that HCF is currently reviewing this decision as a result of PACFA’s advocacy in this area.
Additionally, please be aware of the following health funds who do recognise psychotherapy qualifications for providers:
Medibank and ahm qualification requirements:
Providers must hold a Bachelor's Degree (AQF level 7) or a Master's Degree (AQF level 9) specifically in Counselling/Psychotherapy, or have been assessed by VETASSESS as having completed an equivalent overseas Bachelor’s or Master's qualification
ARHG (encompassing St Luke's Health, Police Health, GMHBA, Westfund, Emergency Services Health, Phoenix Health, CUA Health, AIA Health and Teachers Union Health) qualification requirements:
- Providers must hold a qualification specifically in counselling or psychotherapy that is accredited at AQF level 7 to 9
BUPA qualification requirements:
Providers must hold an Australian Bachelor’s degree (AQF7), issued by a registered higher education provider, with 3 years of full-time (or part-time equivalent) training specifically in counselling or psychotherapy.
To view each insurer’s requirements and to begin the application process, visit the Private Health Funds page on the PACFA website.
Provider numbers are highly valuable for several reasons:
Health Fund Reimbursement
Health fund numbers are necessary for psychotherapists and counsellors to be recognised as registered healthcare providers by private health insurance companies. This allows their clients to potentially claim rebates for their therapy sessions. Clients with eligible health insurance can claim a portion of the cost of their therapy sessions, making it more affordable for them.
- Having health fund numbers can increase the accessibility of psychotherapy and counselling services to a wider range of clients. Many individuals rely on private health insurance to cover part of the cost of mental health services, so having a range of provider numbers enables these clients to use their insurance benefits.
- Being registered with private health insurance companies and having a health fund number can enhance a psychotherapist or counsellor's professional credibility. It demonstrates that they meet the necessary qualifications and standards to be recognised by these insurance providers.
- Being able to offer health fund rebates can make a therapist's services more attractive to potential clients. Clients may be more inclined to choose a therapist who can help them access insurance benefits, which can reduce their out-of-pocket expenses.
In a competitive marketplace, having a health fund number can give psychotherapists and counsellors a competitive advantage. It distinguishes them as registered providers and may make them more appealing to clients who have private health insurance.
Increase your opportunities by securing a provider number with as many private health funds as possible. For queries regarding PACFA’s Private Health Fund agreements, please contact [email protected].