There are a lot of different things that can trigger grief, such as losing a loved one or beloved pet, losing a job, and even deciding to leave a cherished family home. It’s a feeling that will affect almost everyone at some point in their lifetime. Luckily, for seniors on Medicare experiencing a level of grief and feeling the need to seek professional help, Medicare is there.
Medicare Coverage of Mental Health
For those enrolled in Medicare, Original Medicare Part B provides coverage for mental health care services. This is because Medicare Part B is responsible for outpatient services. Some of those services include:
Annual Depression Screening
Medicare Part B provides coverage for a depression screening once annually. The depression screening covered by Medicare is a test that detects whether the beneficiary is at risk for depression. Medicare beneficiaries should get their depression screenings done by doctors who accept Medicare assignment to ensure they don't owe anything for their screening, and the screening must be done in a primary care setting.
Medicare Part B covers individual psychotherapy for those in need of it. Psychotherapy is the type of mental care that grief counseling normally falls under. Beneficiaries also get the option of therapy in a group setting if they prefer. Medicare Part B will even cover family counseling for family members of a beneficiary who is on hospice care to help them prepare for the loss of their loved one.
Medicare has a set of rules, requirements and conditions that must be met before it provides coverage for mental health care and grief counseling. Medicare allows the following types of medical professionals to provide mental health services:
- Clinical nurse specialists
- Clinical social workers
- Clinical psychologists
- Physician assistants
- Nurse practitioners
Medicare will cover mental health services provided in the following settings:
- Community mental health center
- Hospital outpatient department
- Doctor’s office
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