Update on rebates for counselling under Medibank

Following some substantial changes in Medibank’s hospital and extras packages earlier this year, PACFA has received multiple inquiries from members enquiring whether rebates for counselling are still available.

PACFA met with Medibank in September to get an answer to this question, and also to explore ways to improve access to Medibank rebates for counselling.

Rebates currently available from Medibank Private

PACFA sought clarification on current eligibility for rebates and Medibank has assured PACFA that “package bonus” and “membership bonus” rebates are still available for counselling.

While there is only one current Medibank product still for sale that includes a package bonus, Medibank Silver Plus Families, many Medicare members have chosen to remain insured under their older-style hospitals and extras products, and are therefore still entitled to claim for counselling using their package bonuses.

Medibank have provided PACFA with updated product lists. A full list of eligible products and details on how to claim a rebate for counselling and psychotherapy, and how to become a Medibank provider, are all available on PACFA’s Medibank information page.

Medibank will also work with their Calls Centre to ensure that Medibank members receive clear and accurate information regarding their ongoing ability to access rebates for counselling.

If you are a PACFA Registrant with a Medibank provider number, it is important that you advise your clients firstly to check whether they have a Medibank insurance product with package bonuses or membership bonuses, and secondly to save up their bonuses if they wish to use them for their counselling.

Advocating for better rebates

In our meeting with Medibank, PACFA advocated for greater inclusion of counselling in extras products to ensure that more customers can get rebates for counselling.

Since BUPA added counselling to their extras products in 2018 and started providing a good level of cover for counselling in a wide range of their products, we have had greater interest from health funds in meeting with us to discuss rebates for counselling.

Not surprisingly, Medibank now seems more willing to discuss the expansion of rebates for counselling that they have been in the past. We look forward to continuing discussions with Medibank to seek better rebates for counselling services provided by PACFA Registrants.