Bill S. 562 will amend the Social Security Act to cover services provided by licensed mental health counselors and licensed marriage and family therapists. Under the current bill, the only non-physician mental health care acts covered are performed by licensed psychologists and clinical social workers. This prevents Medicare clients (most of whom are vulnerable populations on fixed incomes, such as persons with disabilities and the elderly) from receiving low-cost care options from qualified and readily available sources. This bill has been proposed in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009, and has passed the Senate in 2003 and 2005 and the House in 2007 and 2009. For a bill to become law, it must be passed through the House, the Senate, and be signed by the President. To date, this has not happened, even though greater spending on licensed and qualified mental health care would work in a preventative capacity and be cost-effective.
American Counseling Association's Take Action! for S. 562
For information regarding Medicare's current mental health care coverage, visit this medicare.gov PDF:
Pass Bill S. 562 (Seniors Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2013). We realize that counseling and marriage and family therapists are professionally qualified and competent providers of mental health care services. They offer a cost-effective way to provide care to vulnerable populations and would help to make preventative mental health care services more accessible to the population as a whole.
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