Does Medicare Cover Mental Health?

Mental health is an important part of overall wellbeing and can be just as important as physical health. Unfortunately, many people with mental health issues are unable to access the care they need due to lack of resources or insurance coverage. Medicare, one of the most popular insurance plans among seniors, is often seen as a potential source of coverage for mental health services. But what does Medicare cover when it comes to mental health? In this article, we’ll explore the different types of mental health services covered by Medicare and what you need to know about getting the care you need.

Medicare is a health insurance program administered by the United States federal government that provides health coverage to individuals aged 65 and older, as well as certain younger people with disabilities. Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital services, skilled nursing facility care, home health care, and hospice care for individuals who qualify. Mental health services are covered under Medicare Part A for inpatient hospital stays and some outpatient services. These services include psychiatric evaluations, individual and group therapy sessions, partial hospitalization programs, prescription drugs for mental health conditions, and other related treatments. In addition to Medicare Part A coverage, some states provide additional mental health coverage through their Medicaid programs.

What is Medicare Part A?


Medicare Part A is a hospital insurance program that helps cover the costs of inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and some home health care services. It is available to people 65 and older who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and certain individuals under age 65 with disabilities or end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Part A covers inpatient hospital stays for medically necessary procedures and treatments such as surgery, X-rays, lab tests, medications administered during a hospital stay, and some home health care services. It also provides coverage for skilled nursing facility care after a hospital stay of at least 3 days; hospice care for people with terminal illnesses; and some limited home health services such as physical therapy or occupational therapy.

Part A does not cover long-term care services such as custodial or personal care (help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, etc.), prescription drugs (except those administered in a hospital), private duty nursing services (care provided by an individual nurse), or routine foot care.

Part A differs from other parts of Medicare in that it covers only inpatient hospital stays and related services. Parts B and D cover outpatient medical expenses such as doctor visits, preventive screenings, laboratory tests, durable medical equipment, prescription drugs, and more. Part C is an alternative way to get your Medicare benefits through private insurance plans known as Medicare Advantage plans.

Copayment & Cost of Coverage

Medicare copay requirements are based on the type of health insurance coverage you have. Medicare Part A and Part B require a 20% coinsurance payment for most services. This means that you are responsible for paying 20% of the cost of covered services, while Medicare pays the other 80%. If you have Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap, your 20% share may be covered by your plan. Some Medigap plans cover all or part of your coinsurance payments, so it is important to check with your insurance provider to see what is covered.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll need to check your specific plan to see how much you’ll pay for copayments and coinsurance. Some Medicare Advantage plans include copayments for certain services, such as doctor visits and prescriptions. These copayments may be a fixed amount or a percentage of the cost of the service. Other plans may require coinsurance payments in addition to any copayments. Coinsurance payments are typically a percentage of the cost of services and may vary depending on the type of service provided.

It is important to understand your specific plan’s requirements when it comes to copays and coinsurance so that you can budget accordingly for any out-of-pocket costs associated with your care. Most plans also have an annual out-of-pocket maximum that helps limit how much you will pay in one year for covered services. Knowing what is covered by your plan can help ensure that you get the care you need without having to worry about unexpected costs down the line.


In order to be eligible for Medicare hospice benefits, you must meet certain criteria. The first requirement is that you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A. This is the hospital insurance program offered by Medicare and is necessary to receive any type of hospice care.

The second requirement is that the hospice provider must be Medicare-approved. Not all providers are approved by Medicare, so it’s important to make sure that the provider you choose has been approved before making any decisions about care.

The third requirement is that you must be certified terminally ill by a hospice doctor and your doctor (if you have one). This means that your life expectancy is six months or less, and this certification will help ensure that you are receiving the appropriate care for your condition.

The fourth requirement is that the hospice care must be for comfort care only, not because you’re trying to cure your condition. Hospice care focuses on providing comfort and support during end-of-life situations, rather than attempting to cure an illness or condition.

The fifth requirement is that you must sign a statement opting for hospice care over other Medicare benefits to treat your illness. This statement will indicate your desire to receive hospice services instead of traditional medical treatments and therapies, and it will also provide important information about your rights as a patient in this situation. You can find an example of this statement here [2].

Finally, if you are considering seeking treatment to cure your illness, it’s important to talk to your doctor first so that they can provide advice on whether or not this would be beneficial for you. You can stop hospice care at any point if desired, but it’s important to discuss these options with a healthcare professional before making any decisions about treatment plans or end-of-life care.

Plan A Coverage

Services Covered by Part A

Medicare Part A covers a wide range of mental health services for those who require admission to a psychiatric or general hospital. These services include inpatient care, such as hospital stays and visits to the emergency room, as well as outpatient care, such as counseling and therapy. Inpatient care includes all medical services and treatments that are provided while you are admitted to the hospital, including medications, tests, and procedures related to your mental health condition. Outpatient care includes visits with psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and other mental health professionals. Medicare Part A also covers some limited home health services related to the treatment of your mental health condition.

If you are admitted to a psychiatric hospital, Medicare Part A will cover up to 190 days of inpatient services over your lifetime. After that point, if you need additional inpatient care for your mental health condition you will need to receive it in a general hospital in order for it to be covered by Medicare Part A.

In addition to providing coverage for inpatient and outpatient services related to your mental health condition, Medicare Part A may also cover certain preventive services designed to help reduce the risk of developing a mental health disorder or prevent its recurrence. These preventive services may include screenings for depression or other mental illnesses; education about healthy lifestyle habits; stress management techniques; and support groups for individuals with similar diagnoses.

Services Not Covered by Part A

Medicare does not cover all types of services or treatments. Some services that Medicare does not cover include: long-term care, most dental care, eye exams related to prescribing glasses, cosmetic surgery, acupuncture, hearing aids and exams for fitting them, routine foot care and orthopedic shoes, and health care you receive outside the United States. Other services are only partially covered or have special rules or limits on coverage. These include: physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology services, durable medical equipment (such as wheelchairs), home health care, outpatient prescription drugs and ambulance transportation. Medicare also has limits on the amount it will pay for certain services. For example, Medicare will only pay 80% of the approved amount for hospital stays and doctor visits after you have met your deductible. Be sure to check with your provider to find out if a service is covered by Medicare before receiving it.


Medicare Part A covers mental health services, offering those who are eligible with the necessary coverage to receive the care they need. This is an important step in ensuring that individuals have access to the care they require without having to worry about the financial burden of obtaining it. Mental health is an important part of overall health and wellbeing, and having access to quality care can make a huge difference in people’s lives. Medicare Part A is a valuable resource for those who need mental health services, allowing them to get the help they need without breaking the bank.