You have worked hard and deserve to enjoy health and wellness after you retire. Like most Americans, you may count on Medicare to provide for your medical and mental health needs. You may, therefore, be surprised to learn that Licensed Professional Counselors cannot be reimbursed through Medicare. This means that many seniors who need counseling do not receive such services. Many older Americans struggle with grief, depression, anxiety, and addiction to opioid pain medication. Licensed Professional Counselors have the training and skills needed to help the most vulnerable and deserving members of our community.
At Coastal Samaritan Counseling Center, our Licensed Clinical Social Workers serve clients who are on Medicare. Our Licensed Professional Counsellors serve clients who pay cash or have other insurance. The Mental Health Access Improvement Act proposes an extension of Medicare coverage to include services provided by Licensed Professional Counselors. This will make Medicare more fair and allow us to better serve you and your community.
The Mental Health Access Improvement Act Needs Your Support
The Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S.286/H.R.945) was introduced to the U.S. Senate on January 31, 2019. There it was read twice and then referred to the Committee on Finance. Currently, the bill has only 17 cosponsors in the Senate and 35 in the House. Legislators pay attention when they hear from their constituents but may ignore important issues if they are unaware of how their constituents are affected.
Support Coastal Samaritan Counseling Center and your friends and family members who are Medicare-eligible. Ask your representative to cosponsor this bill.
- You may use this government website to find your representative’s contact information: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
- You may sign a petition to support this bill at: https://www.change.org/p/mitch-mcconnell-mental-health-access-improvement-act-2019
- You may submit your request via a form prepared by the National Board for Certified Counselors: https://www.votervoice.net/NBCCGrassroots/Campaigns/63024/Respond