Medicare covers mental health treatment and will also cover procedures for early detection and therapy. You may obtain psychotherapy, counseling, psychiatric care, and other services as a beneficiary under Medicare. We’ll look at how Medicare covers mental health in this section.

Medicare coverage for mental health services

Mental health care is covered by either Medicare Part A or Part B. You are covered under Part A if you are admitted to a hospital as an inpatient for psychiatric care.

Medicare also covers outpatient visits to a doctor to diagnose and treat a mental illness under Medicare Part B.

Medicare costs for mental health services

Original Medicare will pay the standard 80% for inpatient services.

Medicare covers mental health care, including psychotherapy, counseling, and psychiatric care. In addition, there are other mental health services such as day treatment programs, hospitalization, and ambulatory mental health services.

Ambulatory mental health services provide evaluation and treatment on an outpatient basis. Medical and surgical treatments used to diagnose and treat mental illness are also covered by Medicare.

What is the Medicare-approved amount for mental health services?

Mental health does have an annual limit for mental health services for people not in inpatient care in a hospital.

Conditions that have limits include treatment of mental, psychoneurotic, and personality disorders, and diagnosis is not included in the limitation. Medicare will pay for outpatient mental health care is limited to 62.5% of expenses per calendar year.

Inpatient psychiatric care

Medicare Part A will help cover inpatient mental health care when admitted to a general hospital for psychiatric care. The same part of Medicare will also help pay for your hospital stay and help cover some of the costs for medications and treatments you receive while in the hospital.

Outpatient psychiatric care

Medicare Part B will help cover outpatient psychiatric care when you visit a doctor to diagnose and treat a mental illness.

Original Medicare will pay for some of the costs of the doctor’s visit, including medications and treatments you receive during the visit.

Partial hospitalization

Partial hospitalization is an outpatient psychiatric service offering an alternative to inpatient care. This type of care is more intensive than that provided in a physician’s or therapist’s office and is delivered in a day-long format, requiring no inpatient stay.

Medicare provides financial support for partial hospitalization services received through either a hospital’s outpatient department or a community mental health center.

Outpatient mental health coverage

Part B covers your regular doctor’s appointments for mental health conditions. You may visit clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, and other medical specialists under this plan.

Medicare covers no annual alcohol or substance abuse screenings. You can get therapy in a therapist’s office or at a clinic.

Medicare Advantage coverage for mental health

All Medicare Advantage plans cover mental health services. Coverage on a Medicare Advantage plan usually includes fixed copays for most services, making it a predictable option.

Depression screenings

Medicare covers an annual depression screening for all Medicare beneficiaries. This is an important benefit, as depression is a common, serious, and potentially disabling condition that can significantly reduce a person’s quality of life.

During your annual wellness visit, the screening is a simple questionnaire to help identify individuals who may be depressed or at risk of developing depression.

Early identification and treatment of depression can improve quality of life, reduce disability, and lower healthcare costs.

Medicare’s coverage of an annual depression screening helps ensure that individuals can receive the help they need while in the comfort of their homes. It is important to remember that screening is only a first step in addressing depression, and it is important to seek professional help if the screening identifies possible depression.

Medicare Supplement coverage for mental health

Medicare Supplement plans cover mental health services and pay for your portion of the costs of Medicare’s benefits. Depending on your supplement, you could pay little or nothing out of pocket for Medicare-covered mental health services.

Part D prescription drug coverage for mental health

Medicare Part D plans must cover antipsychotic and antidepressant medicines. All Medicare prescription drug plans must include at least one option of all therapeutic classes. This ensures that mental health drugs have coverage, and healthcare providers cannot discriminate against them.

What if my mental health medication is not on my plan formulary?

Medicare covers all therapeutic classes of prescriptions, which doesn’t mean there is coverage for all prescription drugs. If you’re on an uncovered medication, you have a few options.

  • Ask your provider to prescribe another medication that can help provide the same results
  • Ask for a Formulary Exception

Mental health and substance abuse disorder services

Medicare covers a variety of screenings, services, and programs that are designed to aid in the treatment and recovery of mental health and substance use disorders. This includes inpatient and outpatient services, psychotherapy, partial hospitalization, and programs that provide a wide range of therapeutic activities.

In addition, Medicare provides coverage for medications used to treat mental health and substance use disorders. Furthermore, Medicare covers programs designed to help individuals develop skills necessary for leading a healthy and productive life, such as job training, dietary counseling, and smoking cessation.

These services and programs are essential in helping individuals with mental health and substance use disorders manage their conditions and can also help to prevent relapses.


How does Medicare cover mental health counseling?

Medicare Part B will help cover outpatient psychiatric care when you visit a doctor — such as your primary care physician — to diagnose and treat a mental illness.

Does Medicare cover partial hospitalization?

Part A may also help cover hospitalization in a psychiatric hospital. This hospitalization is like an inpatient stay in a psychiatric hospital, but you go home at night.

Does Medicare cover a psychiatrist?

Part A of Medicare will help cover inpatient psychiatric care when admitted to a hospital for psychiatric care.

Do Medicare Advantage plans cover mental health?

Medicare Advantage plans take care of mental health services and must cover all of Medicare’s benefits. These benefits include mental health services.

Can I get mental health services from any provider?

You can visit clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, counselors, and other medical specialists under Medicare Part B.

Can my Medicare Supplement plan cover my mental health services?

Medigap plans also cover mental health services. Medigap plans must cover all Medicare benefits, including mental health services. Depending on your supplement, you could pay little or nothing out of pocket for Medicare-covered mental health services.

Do Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans cover mental health drugs?

Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans must cover antipsychotic and antidepressant medicines. Advantage and Part D prescription plans must cover all therapeutic classes of prescriptions, meaning that all mental health drugs must have coverage.

What if I can’t afford my mental health medication?

Ask your doctor for a cheaper alternative if you cannot afford mental health medication.

You can also check with a licensed insurance broker to see if you qualify for the extra help program.

What is the Medicare-approved amount for mental health services?

Medicare will pay for 80% of approved mental health services. This is after you meet your deductible and coinsurance responsibilities.

Does Medicare cover psychiatrists?

Medicare does cover psychiatrists as long as they’re medically necessary. Medicare covers it at an 80 percent clip, with patients responsible for the remaining 20%. This includes initial psychiatric evaluations.

How much does Medicare pay for psychology?

Medicare pays $4 out of every $5 — or 80 percent — toward the cost of psychology services rendered. The rest is your out-of-pocket costs.

Does Medicare cover depression?

Medicare beneficiaries initially receive one free annual depression screening as a diagnostic test, then a follow-up appointment each year. Other health services related to depression receive 80% coverage from Medicare as coinsurance.

Does Medicare take care of mental health?

Yes. Medicare will take care of any medically necessary mental health services. This extends to mental health benefits like family counseling, group psychotherapy, medication management, and mental disabilities.

Does Medicare cover stress?

Medicare will want to treat the symptoms of any stress-related illness — like high blood pressure. It stands to reason they’d cover mental health services until you’re back in good physical health.

What is the Medicare co-pay for mental health?

You must cover 20% of the out-of-pocket costs plus a $240 Part B deductible during your benefit period.

Find Medicare plans that cover mental health

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so ensure you have the coverage to face anything. Our licensed insurance agents can help you find Medicare Supplement coverage to patch the holes in your regular Medicare plan.

Our agents are extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and patient to guide you to the health insurance plan that best suits your needs. Best of all, their time is free for you.

So give us a call today. Or fill out our quick and easy online rate form to be connected with the best rates in your area.

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Written By:
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Lindsay Malzone, Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare editor for She's been contributing to many well-known publications since 2017. Her passion is educating Medicare beneficiaries on all their supplemental Medicare options so they can make an informed decision on their healthcare coverage.
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Rodolfo Marrero, Rodolfo Marrero is one of the co-founders at He has been helping consumers find the right coverage since the site was founded in 2013. Rodolfo is a licensed insurance agent that works hand-in-hand with the team to ensure the accuracy of the content.