Retirement bring a big change in lifestyle, and many other life-altering events can occur during your sixties. And as we know, with stressful changes often come depression, anxiety, and other symptoms. If you’re a Medicare beneficiary, you should be informed of your ability to seek mental health care when it is needed.
Medicare will cover certain preventive mental health services. As we all know, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Staying healthy is much easier than many remedies for those who are sick. So with regard to your mental health, you should know that Medicare does cover the following preventive services:
- A “Welcome to Medicare” visit within your first coverage year, including an assessment for depression risk
- One depression screening via your primary care doctor, each year
- Alcohol misuse screenings each year
- Annual wellness exams, during which you can talk to your doctor about mental health concerns and ask for referrals if necessary
Medicare also covers a variety of outpatient mental health treatment options. Mental health conditions are extremely common, and most of us will experience one of them at some point in life. If you do experience depression, anxiety, or another condition, Medicare covers the following types of treatment on an outpatient basis:
- Psychiatric testing and diagnoses
- Therapy -both individual and group
- Family therapy (in some situations)
- Up to 4 sessions of alcohol abuse counseling
Medicare offers coverage for prescription drugs that treat mental health conditions. Medicare Part D prescription plans, or Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription coverage, do cover many common drugs used to treat mental health symptoms. However, each plan’s formulary is unique, so this is something to research carefully during your enrollment periods each year.
Medicare can cover inpatient services. Occasionally, hospitalization is needed for mental health reasons. Medicare Part A does offer up to 190 days of hospital care in your lifetime.
If you have any questions about Medicare coverage or the different plans available to you, call one of our friendly representatives. We can help you evaluate your coverage options and choose a plan that works best for your anticipated needs.