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Does Medicare Cover Counseling For Anxiety

Does Medicare Cover Counseling for Anxiety?

Anxiety disorders are a form of mental illness. Anxiety makes it harder to do daily tasks. Symptoms include anxiousness, panic, and terror, along with sweating and a racing heartbeat. 

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. Approximately 40 million Americans are affected. Nearly 30% of adults experience them at some point.

Most anxiety disorders begin in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. Medications and cognitive behavioral therapy are used as treatments. Your healthcare provider can build the optimal treatment plan for you. 

If you or a loved one need help dealing with anxiety, a common question you may have is, “Does Medicare cover counseling for anxiety?”

In this article, we answer the question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of counseling services and other helpful info.

Does Medicare Cover Counseling For Anxiety?

The short answer is yes; Medicare will cover the cost of counseling services for treating anxiety. But not 100% of the time. 

As is often the case with Medicare, certain conditions must be met for Medicare to pay for your counseling for anxiety. Below we look at what these are so you know what to expect.

Original Medicare Coverage of Anxiety Counseling

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) provides coverage for counseling services for treating anxiety. Original Medicare provides coverage for your counseling services if considered medically necessary. 

Your healthcare provider must first order counseling for Original Medicare to provide coverage. 

Original Medicare plan provides coverage for certain mental health therapy, including counseling services for treating anxiety disorders, so long as the service is provided by a licensed psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or other mental health professionals who accept Medicare assignments.

In addition to counseling, Original Medicare provides coverage for other mental health services that can help in overcoming problems, including anxiety disorders, such as:

When Does Part A Covers Mental Health Services?

Coverage for mental health services is provided by Medicare Part A if it takes place in an inpatient setting. 

When Does Part B Cover Mental Health Services?

On the other hand, Medicare Part B provides coverage for mental health services in an outpatient setting. 

Medicare Part B also has a yearly wellness visits program that includes depression screenings. Medicare Part B covers 100 percent of the costs of annual wellness visits if your healthcare provider accepts Medicare assignment. 

Medicare Advantage Coverage of Anxiety Counseling

Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) also provide coverage for counseling services for anxiety disorders. They cover everything Original Medicare covers but will offer additional benefits as well. 

However, precisely what it covers and how much the out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on the specifics of your plan.

Medicare Part C plans that include prescription drug plans will also provide coverage for medications your healthcare provider will prescribe to you, such as anxiety medications.

Medicare Part D plans provide coverage for mental health medications such as anxiety medications. Medicare Part D is a prescription drug plan. Like Medicare Part C, Medicare Part D plans are provided by private insurance companies.

How Much are Therapy And Counseling?

In-person therapy may cost somewhere around $75 to $150 per session. More people are turning to online therapy and teletherapy to get the help they need. Online treatment is usually less expensive than in-person therapy, with the average session cost between $60 and $90.

Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage. Always be sure to double-check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what your plan covers and what it does not.

Additional Info on Medicare Coverage

This article is part of our series on “What does Medicare cover?”

Also, you can check out other articles in this series, including: Does Medicare cover hair transplants?

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Medicare Plan Tips Team

Annie Kaye is a writer and researcher who was thrown into the Medicare world while taking care of her ailing mother. Even with a degree in Library Science and a long history of fighting for what's right, she felt lost. She learned a lot about Medicare during that time and now writes to help others understand how the system works.