What Percentage of Psychiatrist Fees Does Medicare Cover?


Quick Answer

Medicare covers 80 percent of psychiatrist fees meeting its criteria, leaving patients with a 20 percent copay. Medicare provides nearly full coverage for fees associating with outpatient mental health services, including office visits with practitioners and even some therapies, such as art and dance therapy. Medicare offers coverage for these services, provided patients select practitioners participating in Medicare's plan, called in-network providers, according to Medicare Interactive.com.

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Full Answer

Medicare patients, after selecting in-network providers, receive financial coverage for services relating to mental health care. Medicare offers payment assistance for qualified medical practitioners working in various settings, such as private offices, hospitals and clinics. Financial assistance covers fees arising from primary visits to offices, along with ancillary services like family therapy, testing, substance abuse counseling and even prescription medication. Financial assistance also includes annual screenings for depression, Medicare Interactive.com notes.

Medicare extends psychiatric payment assistance to other mental health providers too, including clinical psychologists, social workers and nurses. These practitioners may work in doctor's offices, hospitals and clinics. Although federal Medicare usually covers costs associating with seeing these practitioners, it recommends patients ensure providers accept Medicare before scheduling appointments. For out-of-network physicians, Medicare may or may not cover fees of treatment. Patients opting for out-of-network care should check with Medicare agents before pursuing treatment to determine financial obligations.

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