A person’s mental health is just as important as their physical health. And, unfortunately, adults seem to be at a higher risk than ever of developing mental illnesses such as depression.  

If you are feeling down, need help, or know someone who needs mental support or assistance, we strongly advise that you seek help from a medical expert such as a psychologist.  

If you need help and are over 65, you may be wondering, “Does Medicare cover mental health services?” In this article, we answer this question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of mental health services and other helpful info. 

Does Medicare Cover Mental Health? 

The short answer is yes; Medicare will cover the cost of mental health services. But not 100% of the time. As is often the case with Medicare, certain conditions have to be met for Medicare to pay for your mental health services. 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 mental health services. Medicare Part A provides coverage for mental health services that you receive as an inpatient. Mental health services that Medicare Part A covers include: 

  • Cost of the room 
  • Standard nursing care 
  • Lab testing 
  • Inpatient therapy 
  • Several medications 

Medicare Part A will only cover 190 days of inpatient care in a psychiatric hospital.  

On the other hand, Medicare Part B provides coverage for mental health services you receive in an outpatient setting. Medicare Part B also covers yearly depression screenings along with follow-up appointments and referrals to other mental health specialists.  

Aside from that, Medicare Part B also covers the following: 

  • Counseling appointments, both general and specialized 
  • Psychiatry appointments 
  • Clinical social worker appointments 
  • Diagnostic lab testing 
  • Intensive outpatient care, including treatment for substance abuse disorder 
  • Certain medications 

Here is a list of mental healthcare providers that Medicare approves for your counseling or therapy appointments: 

  • Psychiatrists or doctor 
  • Clinical psychologists  
  • Social workers 
  • Nurse specialists 
  • Nurse practitioner 
  • Physician assistant 

Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) also provide coverage for mental health services. 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. 

Medicare Part D may help cover some of the mental health medications that you may need. This includes antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety drugs, mood stabilizers, and more.  

How Much Does Mental Health Services Cost? 

There are a number of different services that can go into mental health care. We’ll take a look at some average costs of some of the more common ones here. 

The average cost of psychological therapy typically falls somewhere in the $60 to $120 per session range. One factor that will affect the cost of psychological therapy is the type of mental healthcare provider you go to. Here is a list of the average rates of some mental health providers: 

  • Psychiatrists – $100 – $200 per session 
  • Psychologist $70 – $150 per session 
  • Counselor $20 – $80 per session 
  • Psychotherapist $100 – $300 per session 

Drug-addiction rehab program costs may differ depending on whether you will have it as an inpatient or outpatient. Some drug rehabilitation programs are free. Outpatient drug rehabs range between $1,000 to $1,500. Meanwhile, inpatient drug rehabs may cost from $6,000 to $60,000 depending on if it is a 30-day, 60-day, or 90-day drug rehab.  

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 Prolia?

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