Advertiser Disclosure

Unlocking Medicare: Is Psychiatric Care Covered?

5 mins read
Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your health and finances. Although we may receive compensation from our partner insurance companies, whom we will always identify, all opinions are our own. CoverRight Inc. and CoverRight Insurance Services Inc. (NPN: 19724057) are collectively referred to here as "CoverRight".

Psychiatry is the medical field focused on diagnosing, preventing, and treating mental health conditions. These conditions encompass a range of issues related to behavior, mood, cognition, and emotions.

Mental health problems are widespread in the United States and globally. They can range from mild to severe, impacting an individual’s emotional, social, and psychological well-being. Common mental illnesses include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and personality disorders. In 2022, approximately 55.8 million adults in the United States received treatment or counseling for their mental health. This treatment included outpatient or inpatient care, prescription drugs, or counseling.

Psychiatric treatment is essential for mental well-being. In this article, we will examine various neurological disorders that psychiatrists treat and answer the frequent question, ‘Does Medicare cover psychiatrist treatment?’

What Neurological Treatments Would a Psychiatrist Treat?

Psychiatrists treat a variety of neurological conditions that affect mental health. These treatments often include managing conditions such as epilepsy, traumatic brain injuries, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. They may also address disorders that affect mood, behavior, and cognition, such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Treatment methods can involve medication, therapy, and coordinated care with neurologists and other healthcare professionals.

Psychiatrists work in various capacities across different settings. Some operate private practices, while others work in community centers, nursing homes, and general or psychiatric hospitals. Additionally, many psychiatrists provide services in specialized facilities such as rehabilitation programs and correctional institutions.

When seeking help for mental health, it is crucial to look at the costs and insurance coverage. If you have Medicare, you can search for ‘Medicare psychiatrist near me’ online to get a list of doctors who accept your insurance. 

Does Medicare Pay for Psychiatric Care?

The cost of seeing a psychiatrist and the extent of Medicare coverage vary based type of treatment facility and the services. How much does a psychiatrist cost depends on where you receive the treatment. 

Medicare Part B Mental Health Coverage: Outpatient Services

Medicare Part B covers outpatient mental health services in settings like a doctor’s or therapist’s office, a hospital outpatient department, or a community health center. This includes services by psychiatrists, other doctors, clinical psychologists, clinical nurse specialists, clinical social workers, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. 

Starting January 1, 2024, licensed marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, and addiction counselors can enroll in Medicare and receive reimbursement for their services.

In 2024, you must first pay a deductible of $240 for Medicare Part B. After you have paid this amount, Medicare covers 80 percent of the approved costs for outpatient mental health services. You are responsible for the remaining 20 percent of these costs. For example, if a mental health service costs $100 and is approved by Medicare, you would pay $20, and Medicare would cover the remaining $80.

Medicare covers partial hospitalization for those needing more intensive treatment than what is provided in a doctor’s or therapist’s office. This program requires at least 20 hours of weekly treatment in a hospital outpatient department or mental health center without an overnight stay. 

In this setting, you will pay a percentage of the Medicare-approved cost for each service. You may also be responsible for a coinsurance payment for each day of care. The cost of partial hospitalization for outpatient treatment varies depending on the treatment type. However, they cannot exceed 40% of the Medicare-approved amount under Medicare rules. Thus, it is important to ask what is the Medicare-approved amount for mental health services to your healthcare provider. 

Medicare Part A for Mental Health: Inpatient Services

Medicare Part A covers inpatient mental health services you receive in a hospital or psychiatric hospital. Here’s a breakdown of what this coverage includes and the associated costs:

Coverage Details:

Inpatient Hospital Stays: Medicare Part A covers mental health care you receive in a hospital, including general hospitals and psychiatric hospitals. This coverage includes room, meals, nursing care, and other hospital services and supplies for inpatient admission.

Lifetime Limits in Psychiatric Hospitals: Medicare Part A covers up to 190 days of inpatient care in a psychiatric hospital over your lifetime. This limit does not apply to general hospitals.


Deductible: You must pay the Medicare Part A deductible, which is $1,632 in 2024, for each benefit period.


Days 1-60: After you pay the deductible, Medicare covers the full cost of your inpatient care for the first 60 days of each benefit period.

Days 61-90: You pay a daily coinsurance amount of $408 per day in 2024.

Days 91 and Beyond: After being in a mental health facility for over 90 days in a benefit period, Medicare provides you with an additional 60 days of coverage, called ‘lifetime reserve days.’ During these reserve days, you are responsible for paying a coinsurance amount for each day of care.

In 2024, the coinsurance amount for each lifetime reserve day is $816. You can use these reserve days only once in your lifetime. Once you have used all 60 reserve days, Medicare will no longer cover any of your inpatient mental health care costs for that benefit period.

Beyond Lifetime Reserve Days: You are responsible for all costs.

Medicare Coverage for Therapy

Medicare Part B covers counseling services such as psychiatric evaluations and diagnostic tests, individual and group therapy, and family counseling if they aid your condition. Medicare also covers up to four sessions of alcohol abuse counseling. It is important to know that Medicare does not provide coverage for marital counseling or counseling with a pastor. Coverage is limited to mental health services by licensed psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, or other health professionals who accept Medicare assignments.

Medicare Coverage for Prescription Drugs 

Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs, and you can purchase this coverage separately. Alternatively, you can opt for drug coverage through a private Medicare Advantage plan. Check your plans for the list of covered drugs in their formularies. They must also cover all anticonvulsant, antidepressant, and antipsychotic medications, with some exceptions. You can contact Medicare or your plan provider for further information. 

Managing Psychiatric Treatment Costs with Medicare, Medigap, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid

To manage your out-of-pocket expenses, consider purchasing a Medicare supplement policy known as Medigap. This policy can help cover Medicare’s deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance.

If you opt for coverage through Medicare Advantage instead of Original Medicare, the plan must cover services under Medicare Part A and Part B and often includes Part D. However, the out-of-pocket costs may vary.

Medicaid provides coverage for mental health services, but the specifics of your coverage and eligibility criteria are contingent upon the state in which you reside.

Please note that these are general guidelines. It’s advisable to check with the respective programs or plans for detailed information regarding coverage and eligibility.

For more information on Medicare coverage for psychiatric treatments, reach out to CoverRight. Our experts are here to assist you in finding the coverage you deserve. Contact us today to start exploring the right Medicare plan for you.


Does the cost of psychiatric treatment differ between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans?

Yes, the cost of psychiatric treatment can vary depending on whether you have Medicare Advantage or Medigap insurance.

Medicare Advantage (Part C): With Medicare Advantage, your out-of-pocket costs for psychiatric treatment are determined by the specific plan you choose. These plans often have copayments or coinsurance for each service you receive, including psychiatric care. Some Medicare Advantage plans may offer additional benefits for mental health services that Original Medicare does not cover, but you will need to check with your specific plan for details on coverage and costs.

Medicare Supplement (Medigap): Medigap plans help pay for costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. If you have a Medigap plan, your out-of-pocket costs for psychiatric treatment will depend on your plan’s coverage. Medigap plans do not provide additional benefits beyond what Original Medicare covers, so any coverage for psychiatric treatment would be based on Original Medicare’s rules and limits.

Does Medicare cover repeat visits to a psychiatrist?

Yes, Medicare covers multiple visits to a psychiatrist if needed. This includes individual and group therapy sessions, managing medications, and having evaluations. How often you see the psychiatrist depends on what’s best for your treatment. It’s important to check with Medicare or your healthcare provider for specific coverage and treatment plan details.

Does Medicare pay for medicines for neurological disorders?

Yes, Medicare Part D covers prescription medications for neurological disorders. However, coverage may vary depending on the specific drug, your Medicare plan, and whether the medication is on your plan’s formulary.

Connor Wilson

Connor is a Content Writer at CoverRight focused on editing and publishing Medicare and health insurance-related information. He also serves the team as a Business Operations Lead, working to expand the business and enhance its strategy. Prior to joining CoverRight, Connor was able to hone his knowledge of the financial services industry through his work in investment banking. Additionally, he is the self-published author of a mystery novel.

Latest from Blog