Grassroots Action Center


Take Action to Support Medicare Coverage for Counselors!
S. 828/H.R. 432, the Mental Health Access Improvement Act, has been introduced in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) are the lead sponsors in the Senate and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA-5) and Rep. John Katko (R-NY-24) are the lead sponsors in the House. 

Passage of the Mental Health Access Improvement Act would: 

  • provide 225,000 mental health counselors (MHCs) and marriage and family therapists (MFTs) the option to enroll as Medicare providers.
  • create a new stream of income for eligible professional counselors.
  • increase access to care for our nation’s older Americans and the disabled population.
  • increase veterans’ provider choices for mental health care.

Where We Are Now (House and Senate): 

  • The U.S. House version of the bill passed the House Ways & Means Committee via legislative package in September 2022.
    • The next step is for the full House of Representatives to vote on this bill/legislative package.
    • We need you to contact your House representative to ask for support. 
  • In addition, the U.S. Senate version of the bill was included in the Senate Finance Committee’s draft package on improving the mental health workforce.
    • The Senate may also vote on a final package prior to the close of the 2022 congressional session.
    • We need you to contact your Senators to ask for support. 

Based on the above progress, we know there is widespread support for the Mental Health Access Improvement Act (H.R, 432/S. 828). However, we need to garner further support, as the 117th session will end soon. We are asking you to make sure your representatives know that H.R. 432/S. 828 will greatly expand access to care for seniors with mental health conditions as it will allow mental health counselors and MFTs into the Medicare program. In many counties, counselors and MFTs are the only practicing mental health care providers. They serve as primary mental health care providers.
 
We urge you to contact your Senators and Representatives immediately and request their support of this bill. The more contacts with legislators that we can generate, the greater likelihood we can finally get this bill passed. Use the tools below to call, email, and contact your legislators on social media.
 

Please share any response you receive from your congressional offices with govtaffairs@nbcc.org.
 

We also urge you to personalize the messages by sharing the impact this issue has had on your career and your clients.

 

NBCC Government and Legislative Affairs Team

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