Does Medicare Cover Psychotherapy?

More than 50% of people in the United States will be diagnosed with a mental illness. Mental illnesses are more common than most people realize and need to be treated with the same attention as physical illnesses. Psychotherapy is one of the most common ways to treat mental illnesses. Fortunately, Medicare covers the cost of psychotherapy, so you don’t have to pay for the treatment out of your pocket.

What Mental Health Services Does Medicare Cover?

Medicare is health insurance for seniors who are aged 65 or older. Many changes will occur in a person’s life as they age. People may feel lonely or depressed, or more anxious than usual. Mental health treatments can help with many of these problems. Taking care of your mental health ensures that you stay on track and continue enjoying yourself. Medicare covers a wide range of mental health treatments, allowing people with this coverage to seek the help they need.


Therapy is one of the most common ways professionals treat mental health issues. Psychotherapy or talk therapy allows a person to talk about the issues that are bothering them or creating problems in their lives. Treatment also enables a person to get to the root of their problem and understand why they feel a certain way. A therapist can then help the patient overcome current mental health issues and learn how to address issues that may arise in the future. Medicare covers individual therapy and group therapy.

Individual therapy provides one-on-one discussions, while group therapy allows a person to talk with others experiencing similar problems. Group therapy shows each patient they are not alone and fosters a sense of community. The shared aspect of treatment can be a great comfort to the patient and make it easier for everyone in the group to get better.

Medicare Part B covers outpatient treatment, including psychotherapy. Being an outpatient means getting treatment through a therapist’s office or clinic. Medicare does not give you unlimited options for mental health treatment, and there are requirements you need to satisfy and specific options you need to choose.

Diagnostic Tests

Medicare will cover psychiatric evaluations as well as diagnostic tests. These are both important for determining what mental health problems are present. Once you have a diagnosis, your treatment team can narrow down the most beneficial treatment.

Family Counseling

Medicare also covers family counseling in certain instances. Only a specific number of treatment sessions may be covered, but the admissions team can help you understand what is covered and help you create a treatment plan.

Depression Screenings

Medicare offers various preventative mental health options, like annual depression screenings. While depression can strike at any age, studies have shown that many older adults are more likely to be depressed than younger people. An annual depression screening is free with Medicare, and your doctor has to approve this service.

Medicare Coverage for Mental Health Treatment

Medicare covers many mental health treatments, including psychotherapy. This plan can also cover many preventative mental health treatments like diagnostic tests and health screenings. Check out our services to learn more about taking care of your mental health and how Medicare can help.