Anyone can face mental health issues, but as we age, illness, isolation, or changes in our abilities can contribute to depression, anxiety and cognitive decline. Mental health is as important as physical health, so if you experience any chronic or extreme changes in your mood, emotions, focus, or memory, you may need to see a physician who specializes in mental health.  If you are enrolled in Medicare, your Part B coverage may include outpatient mental health services including psychiatric care.

Medicare Part B Mental Health Care

Medicare Part B provides medical insurance to cover a variety of mental health treatment options with health providers, including:

  • Psychiatrists or other physicians
  • Clinical Psychologists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Clinical Social Workers
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists

In many cases, you may visit your primary care physician to address changes in your mental health. Your physician may refer you to a specialist for outpatient mental health treatment.

Types of Covered Treatments

Medicare Part B coverage for mental health services includes a yearly depression screening. You must get that screening through a primary care doctor or primary care clinic. If you suffer with or show risk factors for mental health disorders, your doctor may refer you for a covered evaluation that may include:

  • Psychiatric evaluation
  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Group psychotherapy

It’s important to note that these services must take place in Medicare-approved by medical providers who participate in Medicare and accept assignment. The psychiatrist must agree to accept the Medicare-approved amount for services.

Mental health conditions can significantly erode your quality of life or even become a threat to your health and safety. Medicare Part B provides mental health coverage to help make sure you receive the assistance you need to manage any mental health challenges you face. If you are experiencing any changes in your mental health, talk to your doctor right away.

If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you will have at least the same Part A and Part B benefits as Original Medicare, but many Medicare Advantage plans offer additional coverage, including prescription drug coverage.

Related articles:

What is Medicare Parts A & B

Medicare Part C