Medicare Mental Health

Posted on: August 12, 2016 by Chris Grimmond

A distressed prospective client told me that Medicare did not cover mental health treatment.  I stammered a bit because the subject had never come up before,  and I was surprised.  I said that it did.  She had read that it only covered a one time welcome visit to Medicare.  I then showed her in the Medicare & You Handbook on pages 40 and 59 where it detailed the coverage.  There is the welcome to Medicare screening, an annual screening, and complete medical coverage.  She was surprised and relieved there was Medicare mental health care.

Seniors Need Mental Health Care

Mental health is a serious problem in society, and it is growing among seniors.  The World Health Organization documents how important among seniors this issue is.   Depression is under reported, little recognized, and often an untreated illness; but Medicare mental health cares for beneficiaries with mental health concerns, like depression.  It probably does it better than most employer plans do.

Medicare Mental Health Part A

Medicare Part A deals with the hospital.  The same rules around hospital deductibles and co-insurance apply to psychiatric hospitals as to other hospitals.  There is, however, one difference.  Medicare only allows a lifetime amount of 190 days for  a stand alone psychiatric hospitals.

Medicare Mental Health Part B

Medicare Part B covers psychiatrists, counselors, treatment groups.  Again the same 20% co-insurance applies as to any other Part B doctor visit.  If you have a long standing relationship with a psychologists before Medicare, you may keep that relationship going after you go on Medicare if the medical professional takes assignment for Medicare.

Medicare Supplements will cover Medicare mental health issues and professionals the same as other fees in accordance with your particular Medicare supplement plan.  Medicare Advantage will have the same co-pays for psychiatrists and psychologists as for other specialists.

No need to be stressed or depressed about Medicare mental health.  You are covered.

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