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Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / Private health insurance for Psychiatric services

Topic: Private health insurance for Psychiatric services

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. Jazza86
    Jazza86 avatar
    1 posts
    16 April 2016


    I have been trawling through the private insurance options for psych inpatient care and there are very few that offer full cover that aren't the most expensive top cover.

    I have found BUPA standard hospital for $122 single and then the top cover of most other funds, but that is it.

    Does anyone have any experience using insurance for inpatient treatment since the changes were made? I am in NSW.

    Thanks in advance

  2. Kathryne
    Valued Contributor
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    Kathryne avatar
    132 posts
    18 April 2016


    I personally have no experience with private insurance for psych however in public system in sa you can receive the treatment you require at no cost under a registered psychologist.

    Good luck

  3. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6069 posts
    19 April 2016 in reply to Jazza86

    Hello Jazza

    Welcome to Beyond Blue. Private hospitals and insurance is a tricky field. My doctor wanted me to have a procedure and gave me a referral to a specialist, who has performed this procedure in the past. However, on this occasion I could not go to their (nearby) facility, which I went to the first time, because, since my previous procedure, the contract between the doctor's practice and my insurer had not been renewed. However the same doctor and insurance provider provided the service and the medical cover at another hospital. I hope that makes sense. So I could have the procedure in one place but not another. Don't ask why as I have no idea.

    If you are looking for private hospital insurance you need to know which hospital you will be admitted to. Some psychiatrists have admission 'rights' to a hospital. These hospitals have, in effect, a bulk billing arrangement with some private medical insurance providers.

    If you are seeing a psychiatrist it's best to ask him/her which hospital they are affiliated with and which insurance providers have partnership arrangements with the hospital. You also need to consider the waiting period the insurer mandates for some services. You may find you have to wait two/six/twelve months before you can access these benefits. At a guess I imagine the cheaper the insurance costs, the longer you will need to wait. But then I am no expert on this.

    Surely your psychiatrist can send you to a public hospital if you are in need of this. I know public hospitals do not have the frills of private hospitals, but should offer the same level of service. I know there are all sorts of stories and experiences in public hospitals and I don't want to start a war about the pros and cons of different hospitals. The bottom line is, if you need to be in hospital it's better to go to public hospital than no hospital at all.

    I really hope that helps you and I would love to hear from you again.


  4. perilpetey
    perilpetey avatar
    2 posts
    18 February 2017

    Hello everyone. I am wondering whether anyone has made any discoveries about the best private health insurance for psychiatric treatment. Due to ever increasing cost and ever diminishing income I have always paid top private cover for fear of needing inpatient treatment. 30 years ago when I first became ill I was treated in a public hospital and it was wonderful. However, because I work in the mental health field now I know that the quality of care in public hospitals is vary variable and often very poor other than in aged care, where it remains relatively good. In addition, because of the huge increase in people being admitted with drug induced psychosis the acute psych ward is frequently now a very frightening place. As I suffer from a serious depression, I need to maintain my private insurance so I can be admitted and treated with the best ECT (many public hospitals have old equipment which delivers worse side effects i.e. memory loss) but I am trying to find basic hospital cover that still includes psych care. For any physical health condition I would be very happy with public treatment, but I am very afraid of public psychiatric treatment because of what I have seen at my work.

  5. graceo
    graceo avatar
    1 posts
    24 January 2018 in reply to Jazza86
    bupa doesnt cover psychiatric inpatient.
  6. Over1t
    Over1t avatar
    19 posts
    27 January 2018 in reply to graceo

    My Bupa covers Psych inpatient. I've been admitted 3 times at a private facility in Adelaide each time for 5 - 7 weeks. Each time my cost was only $250 excess.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Aunt Jobiska
    Aunt Jobiska avatar
    22 posts
    6 November 2019
    Hi - bumping this, as I'm looking (on behalf of someone else) for the cheapest private health insurance that covers inpatient psych treatment only, nothing else needed. Thus far Health Partners is the cheapest I've found, has anyone found anything else?

    Having experienced both public and private psych hospitals, no way would I ever send anyone I loved to a public psych hospital. They do keep people who are acutely psychotic (relatively) safe, but no way would I call them a therapeutic environment.
  8. Rob851
    Rob851 avatar
    21 posts
    4 February 2020
    Hi I’m in Sydney and looking to get TMS done. I can’t find a health fund that will cover me as I won’t me an inpatients I will be having outpatient treatments. Anyone know of any health funds?
  9. Nurse Jenn
    Health professional
    • Health professional
    Nurse Jenn avatar
    381 posts
    9 February 2020 in reply to Rob851

    Hi Rob,

    I was having a look around and it appears that TMS is still not a Medicare billable item. There were a few TMS providers and Insurers that are piloting an initiative with a private health insurance company so TMS could be covered on an outpatient basis but it was very vague on what this looked like. You can Google TMS Pilot Private Health and you might find a few results where you could call the organisation who are providing the TMS and find out more. Another option is to talk to a TMS provider and find out if there are payment options that you can arrange directly with them.

    There has certainly been a push from the mental health industry to make TMS a Medicare item so people can get this treatment affordably. In the USA it has become widely billable under private health insurance. I hope this changes in Australia soon.

    Providing feedback from the voice of the consumer of health services is really important. I have attached a link for you to report some feedback if you choose to Medicare. Feedback from the people using or trying to access services is the best way we can improve the quality of the health care system.

    I am sorry I haven't been much help as it must be really frustrating to want to heal and have systems and bureaucracy get in the way of reaching your goals. Please don't hesitate to vent here on the forum. You are not alone. I know others have expressed frustration about the 'system' and we are here to listen.

    Wishing you the best possible outcome,

    Nurse Jenn

    1 person found this helpful

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