Your mental health matters, as the better you feel mentally, the better you may feel in other areas of your life.  As you near the age of 65 and the world of Medicare, you may wonder just what Medicare is willing to pay when it comes to mental health care.

Good news is that Medicare does cover some aspects of mental health care and does require that you see a Medicare approved healthcare provider. When it comes to the parts of Medicare, Part A, or Original Medicare, is essentially hospital insurance. Part B is considered medical insurance. If you’re needing inpatient mental health care, Medicare Part A will cover things like your room costs, meals, and various supplies, whether you’re at a regular hospital or psychiatric hospital. 

However, there is a 190-day lifetime limit when it comes to inpatient psychiatric care.

Regarding hospital coverage, benefit periods are used by Medicare. Essentially, a benefit period is 60 days from the time you are admitted to the hospital. 

Medicare Part A

Mental health care using Medicare Part A is not free. There are certain things you should know regarding deductibles and coinsurance.  The amounts may vary each year, but as of 2019, the following are Part A Medicare costs:

  • $1,364 deductible for each benefit period
  • For days 1-60, $341 coinsurance
  • For days 61-90, $682 coinsurance

Medicare Part B

For mental health visits you receive outside of the hospital, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, general practitioners, physician assistants, or nurse specialists, Medicare Part B may cover some or all of costs associated with the visits.  Your deductible and coinsurance are likely to vary each year. As of 2019, the following are Medicare Part B costs for mental health:

  • $185 deductible
  • 20 percent of services received from Medicare-approved medical professional
  • Possible 20 percent additional copay if services are received at an outpatient center. 

The following are some mental health services that Part B may cover:

  • Individual or group psychotherapy
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Evaluation for depression, usually one per year
  • Various diagnostic tests and lab tests
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Occupational therapy
  • Medication, including injections
  • Alternative therapies like music, dance, or art therapy
  • Family counseling

What About Medicare Advantage?

Medicare Advantage is offered by private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare. If you have Medicare Advantage, you’ll get the same coverage as in Part A and Part B, and you may also get prescription drug benefits. You’ll pay for your Medicare Advantage premium, as well as your Medicare Part B premium.

Mental health conditions can happen to anyone regardless of age or background. You certainly don’t have to handle such things by yourself. If you’re struggling with things like anxiety, depression, substance abuse, or other negative emotions, consult your healthcare provider for help. There are various treatments for mental health disorders that can help you manage or overcome symptoms. 

If you want to learn more about Medicare, the benefits it provides, deductibles, coinsurance, and enrollment information, visit Medicare.gov for up-to-date information.

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