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Does Medicare Cover Psychological Therapy

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How Do You Know If They Take Medicare

Does Medicare Cover Mental Health?

Since March of 2020, Medicare covers online therapy for all Medicare members. The tricky part can be finding a telehealth provider that accepts Medicare. Online telehealth platforms usually state on their website whether they accept Medicare, or list all the various insurance providers they accept. If not, you should speak to one of their agents.

For a private therapist or practice, you should be able to contact the office directly in order to get an answer on whether they provide remote consultations and accept Medicare. Once you have found the ideal private care provider, you can ensure they accept Medicare through the Health Resources and Services Administration . HRSA has a website that allows you to type in the address of your preferred telehealth specialist and it will verify whether or not they accept Medicare.

If you want to utilize online medical service platforms that specialize in telehealth, there are a variety of them that accept Medicare. One of the most popular providers is Doctor On Demand. Even better, Doctor On Demand is currently waiving co-pays for Medicare Part B enrollees during the ongoing public health emergency.

Another telehealth provider, Amwell, accepts Medicare. However, they only take Medicare Advantage, so if you are only enrolled in Original Medicare, it may be best to go with Doctor On Demand. These are just a couple of the many telehealth providers that accept Medicare.

Does Medigap Cover Mental Health Care

Medigap plans can cover some or all of the costs of mental health care, dependent on the Medigap plan you choose. For instance, while many Medigap plans will cover part of your costs, only Medigap plan C and F will cover all mental health service costs by a Medicare approved provider. Medigap C and F will cover your Part A and B deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.

If you were to have one of these plans, you should not have any out of pocket expenses besides your monthly premium -unless you were to go beyond your lifetime care days .

When Does Medicare Cover Counseling Services

Medicare has comprehensive mental health care benefits for both inpatient and outpatient counseling services. In order to be covered, your counseling or therapy must be provided by a licensed healthcare professional, such as:

  • A psychiatrist or other medical doctor
  • A clinical psychologist
  • A clinical nurse specialist or nurse practitioner
  • A physicians assistant

It is important to note that Part B will only pay for therapy and counseling services if your provider accepts Medicare assignment.

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Medicare Coverage For Outpatient Mental Health Services

Many mental health conditions can be managed with outpatient therapy. This therapy can consist of one-on-one visits with a psychotherapist or counselor, group therapy, or family counseling. Part B covers all of these services, including family counseling, as long as your provider deems each as being medically necessary for treating your condition.

Medicare doesnt cover all types of therapy, however. For instance, marriage counseling isnt typically covered by Medicare. Counseling provided by a non-licensed professional, such as a member of the clergy, also isnt covered by Medicare.

Another noteworthy piece of information is that there may be coverage limits on Medicares counseling benefit. For example, Part B only pays for four alcohol misuse counseling sessions per year. Medicare also requires that your counseling or therapy sessions take place in a doctors office or other Medicare-approved facility.

Medicare pays 80% of the allowable charges for counseling and therapy after you meet your Part B deductible.


Medicare has comprehensive mental health care benefits for both inpatient and outpatient counseling services.

Find Care Beyond Location

Does Medicare Cover Therapy and Other Mental Health Services?

Online counseling has also become extremely beneficial to those living in remote areas. If you live in a rural or lower-resourced area, you can contact a specialist almost anywhere in the country. This is especially useful for treating disorders that are uncommon, as you can receive advice from individuals specialized in that specific area of medicine who arent necessarily located near you.

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Medicare Outpatient Mental Health Services

Medicare Part B covers outpatient mental health services, such as care youd get in a health clinic or doctors office. Youll generally pay 20% of the Medicare-approved cost for outpatient care delivered by providers that accept Medicare assignment.

Medicare covers the following types of psychotherapy :

  • Psychiatric assessment
  • Family counseling, when the primary goal is to treat your condition
  • Alcohol misuse counseling, up to four sessions

You may need to meet other criteria to be eligible for therapy coverage, and the doctor, psychologist, or other health-care professional must accept Medicare assignment. Medicare doesnt cover certain types of therapy, such as pastoral counseling or marriage counseling.

If you need more structured or frequent treatment, Medicare Part B also covers partial hospitalization programs, which are outpatient mental health programs where treatment is provided throughout the day and doesnt require an overnight, inpatient stay. The programs are usually run through a community mental health center or a hospitals outpatient department. Services may include therapy with a mental health professional, diagnostic services, and occupational therapy . These programs dont cover meals or transportation to the facility.

Does Medicare Coverage Include Outpatient Mental Health Services

Partial hospitalization, outpatient mental health treatment, and yearly depression screenings are only covered if you are a beneficiary of Medicare Part B.

Medicare covers the majority of your outpatient treatment services, but you must fulfill some financial conditions before Medicare provides coverage. Here are a few basic Medicare Part B costs:

  • Standard premium amount $148.50
  • Any coinsurance or copayment fees if you use services at a hospital outpatient clinic
  • 20% of the Medicare-approved amount when receiving a treatment.

For outpatient mental health counseling, there is no limit on the number of sessions or the frequency offered by Medicare. However, given that most treatments involve out-of-pocket expenses, you will need to assess your financial position to determine how frequently you can get treatment.

If you want to start counseling or therapy sessions under your Medicare plan, here are a few types of mental health care professionals approved by Medicare that you can visit:

  • Physician assistant or nurse practitioner
  • Social worker, clinical psychologist, or nurse specialist.
  • Doctor or psychiatrist

If you still have no idea about whom to see, consult your doctor and ask about who can be the best specialist for you.

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Medicare Part B: Psychotherapy And More

Medicare Part B covers your outpatient care. Most forms of psychotherapy and group therapy will fall under Part B. Basically, Part B covers care that you receive from a healthcare provider while not admitted as an inpatient, and this includes most testing and therapy you will get done at a doctor’s office, therapist’s office, or mental health center.

Part B will generally cover any necessary outpatient care, including tests, preventative care, and outpatient therapies. Part B will also usually cover partial hospitalization programs. These programs involve treatment plans where you receive intensive care that may take most of the day, but you do not stay the night and are not actually admitted as an inpatient.

The Part B deductible is $233 in 2022. You will also need to pay a 20 percent coinsurance for most services.

Paying For Mental Health Services With Medicare

Medicare Mental Health
  • Learn what types of mental health care are covered by Medicare, how often you can access therapy and if you can combine insurance plans for more coverage.

If you’re a Medicare recipient, it can be difficult to determine exactly what’s covered under your plan. If you require counseling or other mental health services, you’re probably wondering if Medicare covers therapy or not. Below, we discuss how to access mental health care using your Medicare benefits.

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Does Medicare Advantage Cover Mental Health Care

Medicare Advantage does cover mental health care. While Medicare Advantage plans replace Original Medicare with a smaller, local network, they must cover what Medicare covers however, the costs for each service may vary. You will want to check with each plan to see how much Medicare Advantage will cost you for mental health services.

To learn more call a Senior65 agent at 800-930-7956.

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  • Medicare Insurance Switching: Ultimate Guide With so many different plans, carriers, deductibles and what not, picking the wrong plan happens. A lot. Check out your options.

How Does Medicare Cover Mental Health Services

Dear Marci,

I am new to Medicare. I have been receiving treatment for depression and anxiety for several years, and have gotten treatment in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Will these services be covered under Medicare? How much will they cost?

Dear Beau,

Medicare covers medically necessary mental health careservices and programs that are intended to help diagnose and treat mental health conditions.

If you have Original Medicare, Part A covers inpatient mental health services that you receive in either a psychiatric hospital or a general hospital. Your provider should determine which hospital setting you need. If you receive care in a psychiatric hospital, Medicare covers up to 190 days of inpatient care in your lifetime. If you have used your lifetime days but need additional mental health care, Medicare may cover your additional inpatient care at a general hospital.

Be aware that you will have the same out-of-pocket costs with Original Medicare whether you receive care in a general or psychiatric hospital:

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Medicare Part A: What Mental Healthcare Is Covered

Part A, often referred to as hospital insurance, covers your healthcare costs in an inpatient setting. This could be a general hospital or a psychiatric hospital. In either case, Original Medicare will cover you in the same way.

Medicare Part A will cover your room, meals, nursing care and therapy, lab tests, medications, and other forms of care that are necessary for your condition.

There is one central difference between being admitted to a psychiatric hospital and a general hospital: Medicare will only cover 190 days of psychiatric hospital stays over your lifetime. This is distinct from general hospital stays, which will renew in each benefit period.

Other Parts Of Medicare

Does Medicare Cover Marriage Counseling?

Although parts A and B cover most of your mental health needs, you can get additional coverage by enrolling in the following Medicare plans:

  • Medicare Part C: automatically covers all Medicare Part A and Part B services, plus prescription drugs and other coverage areas
  • Medicare Part D: can help cover some of your mental health medications, including antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, etc.
  • Medigap: can help cover some fees associated with your inpatient or outpatient care such as coinsurance and deductibles

If youre ready to seek mental health treatment, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations website to find behavioral health treatment services near you.

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Medicare Plus A Medicare Supplement Plan Can Help You Save Money For Mental Health Treatment

Navigating mental health problems can be challenging, but Medicare helps ensure you have one less thing to worry about.

Original Medicare can cover common treatment options, and a Medicare Supplement plan can help ease your financial burden during this already stressful time by paying for certain Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, copays and more. That means you can focus on improving your mental health without worrying about the cost of treatment.

A licensed agent can help you decide on a Medicare option that works for you. Call today to speak with a licensed agent and compare the Medigap plans that are available where you live.

Getting The Counseling You Need

You dont have to wait for your annual wellness visit or depression screening to talk to your doctor about mental health care. Medicare pays for visits with your primary care doctor if you want to talk about your mental health concerns now.

So, if you feel anxious or depressed, make an appointment with your doctor without delay. Medicare pays for mental health evaluations and tests to help your doctor diagnose a potential problem. Medicares comprehensive mental health coverage means youll get the counseling services you need to feel your best.

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How Much Will Medicare Pay For Mental Health Services

Medicare will pay a portion of a designated Medicare-approved amount for mental health services provided by licensed professionals who accept Medicare assignments. You are responsible for copays, coinsurance, deductibles, and any amount charged for the service that is higher than the Medicare-approved amount.

Mental health services, such as individual counseling provided in an outpatient setting, will be covered at 80% of the approved charge with Medicare Part B after the annual deductible is met. You pay the other 20%. If you have an MA plan, you will pay a copay, typically ranging from $20 to $40 per session, to see an in-network provider. Deductibles may apply, and your MA plan will cover the rest of the contracted in-network cost.

MA plans must provide mental health services as a Medicare-covered service. Any out-of-pocket expenses you incur in the form of copays count toward your maximum out-of-pocket limit set by your MA plan.

If you receive inpatient mental health services that require hospitalization under Part A, you will be responsible for the deductible .

Alternatively, if you are in a MA plan, you pay a daily copay for days one six for each admission. In 2021, for instance, if you have a UnitedHealthcare MA HMO plan, your daily copay is $225. If you have a similar type of plan with Humana, your daily copay is $190. And if you have a similar plan with BCBS/Anthem, your daily copay is $270. See each plans Evidence of Coverage for more details.

Does Medicare Cover Other Types Of Counseling

Does Medicare cover #MentalHealth?

There are other specific situations in which Medicare may cover specialized counseling services. For example:

  • Grief and loss counseling for hospice patients and their families.
  • High-intensity behavioral counseling about sexually transmitted infections for at-risk sexually active adults.
  • Behavioral counseling to help you lose weight if you meet certain medical requirements.
  • Counseling sessions to help you quit smoking.
  • Alcohol misuse counseling if its provided in a doctors office or other primary care setting.

These specialized types of counseling are usually limited to a certain number of sessions per year. Ask your health care provider for details if he or she recommends these counseling services.

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Medicare Coverage Of Mental Health Services

A persons mental health refers to their state of psychological, emotional, and social well-being and its important to take care of it at every stage of life, from childhood to late adulthood. Fortunately, Medicare beneficiaries struggling with mental health conditions may be covered for mental health services through Medicare. Mental health services are a system of care that aim to assess, diagnose, treat, and counsel in an individual or group setting anyone who needs help alleviating mental or emotional illness, symptoms, conditions, and disorders. Find out what is included in your Medicare coverage for mental health services and get the help you or a loved one need.

How Much Does Medicare Pay For Mental Health Counseling And Other Services

WhileMedicare offers many mental health services, it doesnt usually cover theentire costs. Original Medicare alone typicallyonly pay up to 80% for your inpatient or outpatient services, excluding othercharges like copays and deductibles. Original Medicare also doesnt typicallycover your prescription medications. There are several solutions to helpcontrol your costs:

  • Medicare Supplement Plans: Medicare Supplement plans come in a range of coverage options, and help cover the gaps in the services that Medicare pays for. For instance, if you have Medicare Supplement Plan G, you may have no other out-of-pocket costs after you pay your yearly deductible, which is $203 in 2021. Youre able to keep Medicare as your primary coverage, but they dont offer any prescription coverage.
  • Medicare Part D Prescription Plans: These plans help cover the costs of your prescription medications. They vary in coverage by carrier and zip code, and your costs may also change depending on which pharmacy you receive your prescriptions from.
  • Medicare Advantage Plans: Medicare Advantage plans are primary instead of Medicare. Some of them offer prescription coverage, and they may reduce your out-of-pocket costs for mental health services compared to Original Medicare alone. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you should refer to it directly for details on costs and coverage.

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Does Tricare For Life Cover Marriage Counseling

TRICARE for Life is a health care program for current and former military service members and their families that enhances their Medicare coverage. It does not specifically cover marriage counseling, but like Medicare, it covers counseling for mental health.

If you or your spouse has depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, adjustment issues or other mental health problems, counseling may help. It could be one-on-one or family counseling.

TRICARE for Life members must use in-network authorized counseling providers. You’ll pay your Medicare Part B premiums, but there are no other costs to access counseling through TRICARE for Life in most cases.

Which Mental Health Services Does Medicare Cover

Does Medicare Cover Counseling in 2021? Learn About Your ...

Medicare covers a wide variety of mental health treatments. This includes psychotherapy and counseling services provided by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist, clinical social worker, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or physician assistant. Group psychotherapy and family counseling are often covered in most cases as well.

Medicare also covers a variety of diagnostic tests and psychiatric evaluations. This includes an annual depression screening, alcohol misuse screening, and testing for other mental health conditions. These tests may be performed by a psychologist or your normal physician — they should be covered either way.

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