Aging presents many physical health challenges, but seniors struggle with mental health concerns as well. In many cases, the disorders are not related to aging – seniors struggle with anxiety and depression just like adults at all other stages of life. In fact, at least 20 percent of adults over age 55 suffer from some form of mental health disorder, including anxiety and depression.
All mental health concerns have negative side effects on their own, but they can take a toll in other ways as well. Unaddressed mental health concerns can exacerbate physical health problems and lead to increased rates of heart attack and stroke. Mental health care coverage is necessary at all stages of life, including your later years.
How Can Medicare Help?
If you are enrolled in Medicare, you have a certain amount of available mental health care, though the plan does not cover all costs. If you would like to attend outpatient counseling or therapy, Medicare Part B pays for 80 percent of the total bill after you have paid your deductible.
Medicare also pays 100 percent of the cost for an annual depression screening. You can visit a clinic or a specific doctor for diagnosis and treatment without paying a cent.
Selecting a Provider
Beware of the conditions applied when selecting a mental health care provider under your Medicare coverage. For all non-medical doctors, including psychologists, Medicare will not pay for services rendered unless the provider is Medicare-certified and accepts Medicare assignments. If the provider is Medicare-certified but does not take assignment, you may still be able to have a portion of the costs reimbursed, but you will be responsible for any upcharges issued by the provider.
Medicare Advantage plans are no different. You are still required to see a network-approved mental health care provider and the same payment rules apply.
When Should You Consider Supplemental Insurance?
Understand that treating a mental health condition can’t be completed overnight. And you should never cut mental health care treatment short because of financial concerns. You’re still responsible for the 20 percent of the treatment charges Medicare does not cover, but it is possible to find a supplemental plan that will save you a significant sum over the long-term.
Not only will a supplemental senior health insurance plan help ease your financial burden, it may reduce stress and help you focus on what’s important: managing your physical and mental health conditions and improving your quality of life.
Trust My Senior Health Plan to help you find the appropriate supplemental insurance plan for all of your mental health care needs – call today for a personalized consultation.