Grassroots Action Center

Recent Health Affairs Article: Medicare Should Cover Marriage and Family Therapists, Mental Health Counselors
August 24, 2022 by NBCC Government Affairs

In July 2022, Health Affairs published an article titled Medicare Should Cover Marriage and Family Therapists, Mental Health Counselors. The article addresses the importance of Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) and Mental Health Counselors (MHCs) becoming Medicare-eligible providers, how they can address gaps in the behavioral health needs of older adults, and the Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2021 (H.R. 432/S. 828) legislation that is currently under consideration to make this possible. 

The article provides a comprehensive overview of the Medicare program and the ever-growing need to address the behavioral health care of older adults. MFTs and MHCs are qualified behavioral health providers who are NOT currently covered by Medicare. NBCC has been working to change this for over a decade and continues to advocate as part of the Medicare Mental Health Workforce Coalition (MMHWC) alongside the American Counseling Association, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, American Mental Health Counselors Association, and the National Council on Behavioral Health. Roger Smith of AAMFT (a member of the MMHWC) co-authored the article along with a team from the University of Michigan's Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center.  

Congress needs to pass the Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2021 (S. 828/H.R. 432) to allow Medicare beneficiaries to receive covered services from MFTs and MHCs. 

Please visit our action center to support this legislation and make your voice heard!  





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