For years, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a clear decline in national mental health. And Ohio isn’t exempt from that either; in fact, evidence from Columbus Public Health shows that Ohio suicides were on the rise even before the pandemic had started. So in Ohio, where more than 20% of the population has a Medicare plan, many people are asking: Does Medicare cover mental health treatment?
Medicare for Mental Health
If you’re learning about Medicare benefits for the first time, it’s normal to have some confusion with regard to Medicare vs Medicaid. So before looking into Medicare mental health coverage, there’s some good, foundational information about medicare that you should know.
First, whereas Medicaid is a state-funded program, Medicare is funded by the federal government. However, since it is administered by individual states, there can be some difference in programs from state-to-state, depending on which Medicare programs you qualify for.
For example, there are two programs known as Original Medicare. One of these is Part A, which is commonly used as hospital insurance, and Part B, which is typically applied to visits to doctor’s offices. These two programs are the same wherever you go in the United States, which can make it much easier to plan your mental health care.
Medicare Parts C and D, however, can vary between states, especially when it comes to price. Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is a private insurance plan that is offered by some insurers. Typically, Part C may bolster Parts A and B, but it does require additional monthly payments. And Part D is used to pay for prescription medications, and is thus an optional Medicare plan that often costs extra.
So now that we know that the primary parts of Medicare, Parts A and B, are the same nationally. That means that all Medicare mental health policies will be consistent across the nation, including Ohio. But can you use Medicare to pay for mental health care?
Does Medicare Cover Mental Health Care?
The million-dollar question: Can you use Medicare coverage for mental health care? The answer is most likely yes, depending on what Medicare plan(s) you’re enrolled in.
For example, Plan A may be used to cover inpatient services. This is usually applied to hospitals, but it can also be used to cover inpatient mental health and addiction treatment programs. This means that if you need intensive, immediate help with your mental health and wellbeing, Medicare Plan A will cover that for you.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for outpatient mental health services, these are covered under Medicare Plan B. This includes things like regular counseling appointments, consultations with psychiatrists, etc. And while these service providers can greatly help people who can wait for appointments and do not need urgent mental health care, this level of care may not be enough for others who are in a mental health crisis.
More than just asking if Medicare covers mental health care, it’s also important to ask if you’re seeking the right kind of treatment for your mental health needs.
What Kind of Mental Health Care Do I Need?
The easiest way to determine what mental health care is right for you is to look at how it’s affecting your life. For example, if you experience only minor mental illness symptoms, then outpatient treatment could be a great option to help you overcome them. These milder symptoms include anything that is a minor annoyance, but does not completely derail your day, like:
- Lack of energy
- Trouble sleeping
- Persistent worry
- Difficulty relaxing
However, if you’re dealing with more severe mental illness symptoms, then you might require further treatment. Warning signs of a more serious mental health issue include:
- Thoughts of harming yourself or others
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Hallucinations or delusions
- Violent tendencies
- Difficulties performing tasks at work or school
If you’re presenting with these more severe symptoms, then outpatient mental health care may not be enough. Instead, you may be better served by using Medicare Plan A to cover mental health services at an inpatient behavioral hospital.
When you enroll in an inpatient mental health program, you can expect a high quality of care. By staying on-site at the Ohio mental health center, you’ll receive care and support whenever you need it. And, if you’ve been struggling with thoughts of self-harm or suicide, having a safe environment can make all the difference as well.
You can expect comprehensive, evidence-based programming like support groups, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication management, to name a few. In this way, mental health experts will help you both minimize your symptoms and develop new, healthy coping skills to deal with the when they arise. And since there is no cure for a mental illness, this is the path forward to control over your life.
Using Medicare Benefits in Georgetown, Ohio
Our behavioral health center in Georgetown, Ohio is proud to accept Medicare for mental health treatment and dual diagnosis care. So whatever issues you’re struggling with, we will be ready to help you stabilize and take the next steps toward your new life.
Do you have questions about Medicare coverage or our programs? Call our admissions specialists at 937-483-4930 or fill out our confidential contact form. Trying to navigate Medicare and commercial insurances can be challenging, but we’ll help you sort everything out and get the help you need.