Licensed Professional Counselors (LMHCs, LPCs, LCPCs) and Marriage and Family therapists (MFTs, LMFTs, etc.) can generally accept any and all types of insurance--from Blue Cross to United Healthcare, to Tri-care. However, Medicare has been inexplicable closed to Professional Counselors, and restricted to Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and other mental health providers.
However, new legislation put to the U.S. senate may soon change that. The following notice was published this week by the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA).
Medicare Mental Health Counseling Bill Introduced in the U.S. Senate
Yes, Congress has actively considered legislation providing Medicare reimbursement to LPCs for several years now. But Congress is now embroiled in an ongoing debate on everything connected to health care reform. Furthermore, Congress must pass Medicare legislation this year in order to prevent a scheduled 20% pay cut for physicians under the program from taking effect on December 31, 2011. We need mental health counselor coverage to be part of this Medicare package—and this represents a prime opportunity to achieve our long-sought goals.
Please take a moment to call or e-mail your U.S. Senators and ask them to cosponsor the Seniors Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S.604). This legislation will improve Medicare beneficiaries' access to outpatient mental health care in a cost-effective manner, by establishing coverage of highly-qualified LPCs.
For more information or if you have questions, contact Al Guida, AMHCA's lobbyist, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Act Now!