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does Medicare cover marriage counseling

Does Medicare Cover Marriage Counseling?

There is no such thing as a perfect marriage. Problems will occur in every relationship, no longer how long the couple has been together.

But sometimes the problems prove to be too difficult for the couple to work through on their own. It may require help from a therapist.

Though marriage counseling, along with family therapy, may not sound like a medical need… it actually is. Marriage/family problems can affect a person’s mental health and well-being of the people inside that family/marriage. And mental health is just as important as physical health.

So, with all that said, a common question some seniors have is “Does Medicare cover marriage counseling?” In this article, we answer that question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of marriage counseling, as well as other helpful info.

Does Medicare Cover Marriage Counseling?

The short answer is yes; Medicare will cover the cost of marriage counseling. But not 100% of the time. As is often the case with Medicare, certain conditions have to be met in order for Medicare to pay for your marriage counseling. Below we look at what these are so you know what to expect.

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) provides coverage for the costs of marriage counseling. Marriage counseling falls under the category of family counseling and mental health care.

Both family counseling and mental health care are covered by Medicare Part B. However, Medicare Part B will only cover marriage counseling if it is meant to treat a mental illness issue, such as anxiety or depression.

Medicare Part B only provides coverage for marriage counseling if the professional who provides the counseling is one of the following:

  • Clinical psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Clinical social worker
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Physician
  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • Clinical psychologist

Also, the professional you see and/or the place they work must be enrolled with Medicare.

If you do get coverage for marriage counseling, Medicare will pay 80% of the cost.

Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) also provide coverage for marriage counseling. They cover everything Original Medicare covers as well as some additional benefits. However, out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on the specifics of your plan.

How Much Does Marriage Counseling Cost?

The costs of marriage counseling will depend on whether you do it online or in-person. Online marriage therapy is a much cheaper choice. Costs range from $35 to $50 per session. On the other hand, in-person marriage therapy can cost from $50 to $200 per session.

Usually, a single session only takes one hour. However, the session can be shorter or longer than that. This will impact the exact cost you pay per session. Also, the type of provider you see will also affect the cost of a counseling session.

How Can Marriage Counseling Help?

Marriage counseling helps couples who are going through a rough patch in their relationship. The goal is to help them overcome difficult life challenges and to develop and strengthen their relationship.

The therapist’s job is to help the couple find a way to resolve their conflict/problem. And to do that without resulting in aggression, anger or resentment. A good marriage counselor will help a couple address the core issues causing problems in their relationship.

Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. 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 emergency room visits?

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