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Topic: Feel like such an idiot!

12 posts, 0 answered
  1. MissJ94
    MissJ94 avatar
    31 posts
    3 May 2021

    Ive just had my second appointment with the psychologist.

    I feel it went really well, was able to open up more about a few things and got good feedback and solutions to a few more issues that have been bothering me.

    It felt good to talk about those things and i really did leave with my head held high sort of thing.

    That was until i got to reception to book my next 2 sessions.

    I dont know who had put the idea in my head but i was genuinely under the impression that with my mental health care plan i had 6 free sessions with the psychologist! I dont know who had planted that thought but thats what i genuinely believed! Looking back i realise how stupid i was!

    The lady at reception said i had just walked out without paying last time and that i needed to pay for both then and there. This was despite seeing the reception lady last time about my next appointment and nothing was mentioned about having to pay anything!

    Usually that wouldnt be an issue. Id just apologise for what happened, pay whats due and go on with my day. But because ive been on placement the last 2 weeks and unable to work im literally broke right now. Have $53 until wednesday when i get my FTB payment which even then isnt much! After that its next thursday ill get paid all of just about nothing because ive had to be off work for placement. I dont get paid for completing placement and centrelink wont let me go on job seeker even though im now earning well under their max.

    The doom came straight over me as i stood there explaining this to the lady who really didnt give a crap and just needed me to pay now.

    After promising id be back on wednesday to pay both fees i finally walked out almost crying. Got into my car and all the emotions just came right up and in an instant i felt like self harming if i had the means then and there.

    As i drove home i just cried and still am. How could i be SO stupid to not realise that of course its not free! How had no one told me this sooner! Why did no one call me about it in the 2 weeks its been since my last appointment! My head hurts from crying now!

    Im always such an honest person and it really hits me when someones trying to say otherwise! I genuinely didnt know!

    So now ive gone from feeling pretty good to absolute crap.

    Of course ill be there first thing wednesday morning!

    I almost feel too ashamed to even go back for my next appointment..

    What hurts even more is that when faced with something sudden like this, it was self harm my mind first went to..

  2. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    5944 posts
    3 May 2021 in reply to MissJ94
    Hi MissJ94, 

    We are so sorry to hear about your experience at the receptionist - that sounds like a really difficult and stressful situation to find yourself in. We hope that you have been able to remember the positive elements of the appointment as well. We can hear how the finanacial side of seeking support is making you feel and we are really encouraged that you are still going to continue to see them. Perhaps you could discuss with them a way to spread the payments to make it more achievable? 

    If you find yourself feeling that way again please know that you can always call our Phoneline on 1300 22 4636 and talk it through. Our lovely counsellors are always available to talk about distressing moments in your life if you want. There is also our friends at Lifeline on 13 11 14 - they are also lovely, understanding and kind.

    We want to thank you showing so much bravery and sharing your story with us today. Please feel free to come back and update us on how you are feeling if you are comfortable doing that. 

    Kind regards, 
    Sophie M
    1 person found this helpful
  3. socialmoth
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    socialmoth avatar
    79 posts
    3 May 2021 in reply to MissJ94

    Hi MissJ94,

    I'm so sorry to hear what you went through at the end of your appointment. When things are sprung on you like that it can be quite confronting, especially after a session with your psychologist.

    It's a shame this wasn't explained to you by your GP or the clinic when you booked your initial appointment. At least you know now and have some action points in place to move forward (like paying on Wednesday).

    As Sophie mentioned, I hope this hasn't taken away from the great work you did during your appointment. Seeing a psychologist is such a great step and you should be super proud of yourself.

    1 person found this helpful
  4. CalmCat
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    CalmCat avatar
    354 posts
    3 May 2021 in reply to MissJ94

    Hi MissJ94,

    Thank you for sharing something so personal with us all.

    Don't feel ashamed, these things happen to the best of us. Do you have private health insurance maybe you have mental health cover and can claim some of your costs?

    If not, don't worry, what happens to you happens to all of us. But if you are strapped for cash, give the Beyond Blue help line a call (1300 22 4636) for a chat, that could be really helpful till your bank account is replenished.

    Most importantly keep up the great work on looking after your mental health by seeing a professional!

    Let is know how you get on.

    Regards,

    CC

  5. Petal22
    Community Champion
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    Petal22 avatar
    1359 posts
    3 May 2021 in reply to MissJ94

    Hi MissJ94’s,

    Sorry this happened to you.....

    My first 6 appointments with my psychologist we’re free ..... I’m confused why yours weren’t?

    If a gp does a mental health plan with you and refers you to a psychologist your first 6 appointments should be free.....

    id look into this more..... did your gp refer you?

  6. Petal22
    Community Champion
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    Petal22 avatar
    1359 posts
    3 May 2021 in reply to MissJ94

    Also MissJ94’s,

    The receptionist could have been more emphatic with you, maybe the psychologist needs to know who’s working at reception because that person sounds like she shouldn’t be working at a psychologists.....

    id have words with your psychologist next time and let the psychologist know how the receptionist made you feel...... I really don’t think the receptionist should have treated you that way....

    just remember that’s a reflection of the receptionist not you...... just remember the good things about your appointment, hold your head up high.... you know your a good person!

    definitely look into it I don’t think you should have been charged..

    im here if you want to chat

    1 person found this helpful
  7. MissJ94
    MissJ94 avatar
    31 posts
    7 May 2021 in reply to CalmCat

    I actually didnt think of this! Thank you!

    I have phi but psychology isnt covered. Apparently id have to wait a year before being able to claim anything anyway if i were to add it on.

    Giving me something to think about for the future! Can you really claim part back even with a mental health care plan?

  8. MissJ94
    MissJ94 avatar
    31 posts
    7 May 2021 in reply to Petal22

    See thats what i thought!

    I swear i remember the first 6 being free years ago when saw someone..

    It was my gp who referred me, it was the gp who wrote everything up. All i had to do was call and make an appointment..

  9. Petal22
    Community Champion
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    Petal22 avatar
    1359 posts
    7 May 2021 in reply to MissJ94

    Yes! I think we are correct MissJ94,

    Definitely speak to your psychologist about it and gp I really don’t think the receptionist should be charging you at all.... it’s government funded...

    if they are still asking you for money then I’d look for a new psychologist practice.....

    let me know how you go 😊

  10. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    15314 posts
    7 May 2021 in reply to MissJ94

    Hello MissJ, A mental health treatment plan lets you claim up to 20 sessions with a mental health professional each calendar year. To start with, your doctor or psychiatrist will refer you for up to 6 sessions at a time. If you need more, they can refer you for further sessions.4 Jan 2021, or If you have a Mental Health Treatment Plan, you will be entitled to Medicare rebates for up to 20 individual psychological appointments per calendar year until 30 June 2022. This gives you access — subsidised by Medicare — to certain psychologists, occupational therapists and social workers.

    You need to go back and talk with your doctor, these two quotes are what is said if you google 'mental health plan in australia'.

    As Petal has said 'the receptionist should be charging you at all.... it’s government funded...'

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

  11. Croix
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    Croix avatar
    10378 posts
    8 May 2021 in reply to geoff

    Dear MissJ~

    I'm afraid your psychologist is able to charge whatever they wish, the Federal Government under a Medicare Mental Health Plan organized by your doctor will pay a Medicare Rebate for such services up to a fixed number of visits in any one calendar year.

    https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/mental-health-treatment-plan

    Unfortunatly, unless your psychologist only bulk bills there will be a gap between what is actually charged and the Medicare Rebate, and you have to pay this yourself (unless you have certain types of private health insurance)

    Part of this gap may be covered each year by the Medicare Safety Net Arrangement

    http://www.mbsonline.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/Factsheet-EMSN1Jan2021

    It was most unfair you were not warned by your GP or by the psychologist or their receptionist that you were entering into a fee-paying arrangement and I'm sure it would have come at a great shock.

    I hope you can manage to keep on going for treatment, it is sometimes possible to come to an arrangement with a psychologist, and some others do make a practice of bulk-billing.

    Frankly I discuss with my GP the out of pocket expenses I will expect to pay if I'm sent off for any medical procedure. If I don't I've found many GPs simply do not think about their client's costs at all, concentrating just on the diagnostic/treatment side of things.

    Failing that if things are financially impossible I'd suggest talking the matter over with your GP and seeing if any other options are available.

    Hope this helps

    Croix

  12. geoff
    Life Member
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    15314 posts
    8 May 2021 in reply to MissJ94

    Hello MissJ, has any of this information being able to help you?

    Take care.

    Geoff.

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