Medicare is a government-sponsored health insurance program that provides full or partial coverage for a wide range of medical services, including mental healthcare, for retirement-age people. While there are some restrictions on what Medicare covers, psychiatric services are generally included.
This means that people with Medicare can receive treatment for mental health issues from qualified psychiatrists and other mental health professionals who accept Medicare. Let’s discuss more what psychiatry is, what Medicare psychiatry coverage is, and where you can go in Tampa and throughout Central and South Florida to receive excellent psychiatric services covered by Medicare.
What Is Psychiatry?
Psychiatry is the branch of medicine that is focused on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness. People who need psychiatric care have conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder (manic depression), and schizophrenia.
Psychiatric treatment often involves medication in addition to talk therapy. Psychiatrists are specialized medical doctors and are not to be confused with psychologists, who do not go to medical school and therefore cannot prescribe medicine.
Who Needs to See a Psychiatrist?
People who need psychiatry vary greatly in terms of their age, occupation, and life situation. Some people may only need occasional outpatient treatment, such as visits to a psychiatrist’s office on a regular basis, while others may require hospitalization or residential care.
What Psychiatric Services Does Medicare Cover?
The three main psychiatric services that Medicare covers are outpatient mental health services, inpatient mental health services, and (if chosen by the Medicare recipient) prescription drug coverage:
Outpatient Mental Health Services
Outpatient mental health services include any type of doctor’s visit that does not require a hospital stay. This can be a visit to a psychiatrist’s office, a psychiatric outpatient clinic affiliated with a hospital, talk therapy (individual and/or group therapy), and yearly mental health wellness visits. Outpatient services are covered under Medicare Part B.
Inpatient Mental Health Services
Inpatient services are medical services that are administered at a hospital. Medicare covers your room, meals, nursing care, medication administered in the hospital, therapy/treatment for your condition, and much more. Inpatient medical services are covered under Medicare Part A.
Prescription Drug Coverage
Prescription medication coverage is administered by Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, or Medicare Part D. Medicare drug plans are managed by private insurance companies, so drug costs vary by plan.
All antidepressant, anticonvulsant, and antipsychotic medications are covered by all Medicare drug plans, with few exceptions. It is important to periodically review the formulary for your plan, which includes the price of all drugs included in your Part D plan.
Medicare Advantage and Psychiatric Services
Keep in mind that all of this varies for Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage plans are Medicare-approved private insurance plans that replace Medicare Parts A and B.
This means that psychiatrist and inpatient mental healthcare coverage depends on the benefits of the specific Medicare Advantage plan. On the other hand, most Medicare Advantage plans include drug coverage (Medicare Part D), so it is important to consider your options carefully.
Medicare Psychiatrist in Tampa, FL
If you are looking for excellent-quality outpatient mental health services and psychiatry, look no further than Palm Medical Centers. We offer specialist psychiatrist services in-house at some of our centers and we partner with local psychiatrists that will create individualized treatment plans for all our patients.
We pride ourselves on treating and preventing mental health conditions, and we do accept Medicare and many Medicare Advantage plans. To schedule an appointment, call us today at (833) 500-PALM (7256) or register to become a patient online now. We look forward to being your healthcare partner!