Does Medicare Cover Psychiatric Care?

Medicare covers up to 80% of the cost of a psychiatrist visit. Medicare may cover some other costs if you visit a psychiatrist in a different setting, such as a psychiatric hospital. The online Physician Finder tool lets you locate a Medicare psychiatrist in your area.

Rachel Christian, writer and researcher for RetireGuide
  • Written by
    Rachel Christian

    Rachel Christian

    Financial Writer and Certified Educator in Personal Finance

    Rachel Christian is a writer and researcher for RetireGuide. She covers annuities, Medicare, life insurance and other important retirement topics. Rachel is a member of the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education.

    Read More
  • Edited By
    Lee Williams
    Lee Williams, senior editor for

    Lee Williams

    Senior Financial Editor

    Lee Williams is a professional writer, editor and content strategist with 10 years of professional experience working for global and nationally recognized brands. He has contributed to Forbes, The Huffington Post, SUCCESS Magazine,, Electric Literature and The Wall Street Journal. His career also includes ghostwriting for Fortune 500 CEOs and published authors.

    Read More
  • Published: December 1, 2020
  • Updated: October 23, 2023
  • 6 min read time
  • This page features 11 Cited Research Articles
Fact Checked
Fact Checked

Our fact-checking process starts with vetting all sources to ensure they are authoritative and relevant. Then we verify the facts with original reports published by those sources, or we confirm the facts with qualified experts. For full transparency, we clearly identify our sources in a list at the bottom of each page.

Cite Us
How to Cite's Article

APA Christian, R. (2023, October 23). Does Medicare Cover Psychiatric Care? Retrieved February 28, 2024, from

MLA Christian, Rachel. "Does Medicare Cover Psychiatric Care?", 23 Oct 2023,

Chicago Christian, Rachel. "Does Medicare Cover Psychiatric Care?" Last modified October 23, 2023.

Why Trust
Why You Can Trust Us

Content created by RetireGuide and sponsored by our partners.

Key Principles

RetireGuide’s mission is to provide seniors with resources that will help them reach important financial decisions that affect their retirement. Our goal is to arm our readers with knowledge that will lead to a healthy and financially sound retirement.

We’re dedicated to providing thoroughly researched Medicare information that guides you toward making the best possible health decisions for you and your family.

RetireGuide LLC has partnerships with Senior Market Sales (SMS) and GoHealth.

Our partners are able to be reached through the phone numbers and/or forms provided on our website.

The content and tools created by RetireGuide adhere to strict Medicare and editorial guidelines to ensure quality and transparency.

Editorial Independence

While the experts from our partners are available to help you navigate various Medicare plans, RetireGuide retains complete editorial control over the information it publishes.

We operate independently from our partners, which allows the award-winning RetireGuide team to provide you with unbiased information.

Visitors can trust our inflexibility regarding our editorial autonomy. We do not allow our partnership to influence RetireGuide’s editorial content whatsoever.
Psychiatric Coverage at a Glance
Medicare PlanPsychiatric Coverage
Part A (Inpatient)Covers a lifetime limit of 190 days care in a psychiatric hospital. You are responsible for your Part A deductible.
Part B (Outpatient)Covers 80% of approved costs for outpatient psychiatrist visits in a private practice, clinic or similar situation. You are responsible for your Part B deductible.
Part C (Medicare Advantage)Mirrors Part A and Part B coverage but may include added benefits.
Part D (Prescription Drugs)Can cover costs of prescription drugs associated with your psychiatric treatment.
Supplemental InsuranceCan cover out-of-pocket costs if you have Original Medicare.

What Is a Psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in psychiatry.

These physicians have been trained to diagnose mental health conditions.

After you undergo a mental evaluation, psychiatrists can prescribe medications to treat mental disorders.

Psychiatrists work in various settings, including:
  • Private practices
  • Clinics
  • Nursing homes
  • Courts and prisons
  • Rehabilitation programs
  • Both general and psychiatric hospitals
  • Community agencies

About half of all psychiatrists in the United States operate private practices, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

Did You Know?
There are about 45,000 psychiatrists in the United States.

People seek mental health services for many reasons.

It’s easier to find the right provider once you understand the difference between psychiatrists and other mental health professionals.

Mental Health Professionals Who Take Medicare
Psychologists hold doctoral degrees in clinical psychology or another specialty such as counseling or philosophy. However, they are not medical doctors and cannot prescribe medication. They can conduct testing, clinical interviews and psychological evaluations. They can also diagnose your condition and conduct individual or group therapy.
Clinical Social Worker
Clinical social workers can evaluate your mental health and use therapeutic techniques based on certain training programs. They’re also trained in case management and advocacy services.
Clinical Nurse Specialist
A psychiatric and mental health clinical nurse specialist is a registered nurse with a master’s degree and clinical experience in mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression or grief. They can diagnose conditions, develop and implement treatment plans, administer psychotherapy and, in some cases, prescribe medication.

Medicare Psychiatrist Costs and Coverage

Psychiatrists practice in various settings, such as private practices or psychiatric hospitals.

How much you pay for a psychiatrist’s services and how much Medicare covers depends on where you receive mental health services.

Outpatient Psychiatrist Coverage Under Medicare

Medicare Part B covers 80% of approved costs for visits to a psychiatrist or other mental health professional in an outpatient setting.

This includes services received at a private practice, a clinic or similar location.

The psychiatrist must accept assignment from Medicare, and your Part B deductible applies.

Medicare Part B will also cover 80% of other services a psychiatrist may provide, such as:
  • Psychiatric evaluations
  • Medication management
  • Diagnostic tests

Partial Hospitalization Coverage Under Medicare

Partial hospitalization is a structured program of outpatient psychiatric care that is more intense than what you’d receive in a doctor’s office.

Treatment is usually provided during the day, and you aren’t required to stay overnight.

Partial hospitalization can take place at a hospital outpatient department or a community mental health center.

You will pay a percentage of the approved cost for each service you receive from a psychiatrist in this kind of setting. The health care professional must accept assignment from Medicare.

You may also owe a coinsurance payment for each day of care.

Your cost for partial hospitalization depends on the treatment provided, but under Medicare rules, it cannot cost more than 40% of the Medicare-approved amount.

Inpatient Psychiatrist Coverage Under Medicare

Medicare Part A covers mental health care services you get in a general hospital or a psychiatric hospital.

In some situations, such as after a suicide attempt, you may be admitted as an inpatient to a general hospital. You may then be released to a psychiatric hospital for further observation and additional services.

Medicare Part A covers only 190 days for inpatient care in a psychiatric hospital over your entire lifetime.

Any days you spend in a general hospital do not count toward the 190-day lifetime limit — even if you were admitted for mental health reasons or are receiving treatment for a mental health condition.

Out-of-pocket costs are the same for both general and psychiatric hospitals.

This includes the Part A deductible ($1,632 in 2024), a per-day coinsurance payment for each benefit period for hospitalization of more than 60 days and less than 91 days, and 20% of Medicare-approved amounts for services from psychiatrists and other providers inside the hospital.

For more information about inpatient mental health care costs and coverage, visit

How to Find Psychiatric Care

The Medicare online Physician Compare tool is the easiest way to find a Medicare psychiatrist near you.

Enter your city or zip code and type “psychiatry” into the keyword box.

Hit “Search,” and a list of psychiatrists who accept Medicare will appear. You can click a doctor’s name for contact information, driving directions and other details.

If you are covered under a Medicare Advantage plan, you may need to check your plan’s website or call your provider to find psychiatrists who accept your specific Medicare Advantage insurance.

Medicare Advantage plans are an all-in-one alternative to Original Medicare.

These plans must cover the same services as Original Medicare, but often restrict beneficiaries to specific networks of doctors and providers.

In some cases, you may need a referral to see a specialist.

If you have trouble accessing the Physician Compare website, you can call 1-800-633-4227 and speak with a Medicare representative. This representative can also send you a printed version of the psychiatrist search results.

Frequently Asked Questions About Medicare & Psychiatric Care

Does Medicare cover mental health services?
Medicare covers a wide range of mental health services, from an annual depression screening to psychiatric care and even partial hospitalization. Medicare Part B covers outpatient mental health care.
Does Medicare cover mental health prescription drugs?
Medicare Part D drug plans cover retail prescription drugs for mental health care. These include all or almost all antidepressants, antipsychotics and anticonvulsants.
Where can you find Medicare mental health providers? can help you find mental health care providers in your area who accept Medicare. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, check with your plan administrator for a list of providers in your plan’s network. Using a provider outside of your network may cause you to pay more for their services.
Last Modified: October 23, 2023

11 Cited Research Articles

  1. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2022, September 27). 2023 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles 2023 Medicare Part D Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts. Retrieved from
  2. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2022, March). Medicare Mental Health. Retrieved from
  3. American Psychiatric Association. (2022). What Is Psychiatry? Retrieved from
  4. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2022). Mental health care (inpatient). Retrieved from
  5. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2022). Mental health care (outpatient). Retrieved from
  6. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2022). Mental health care (partial hospitalization). Retrieved from
  7. National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2020, April). Types of Mental Health Professionals. Retrieved from
  8. (2020). Medicare & Your Mental Health Benefits. Retrieved from
  9. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2015, September 10). Where can I find a doctor that accepts Medicare and Medicaid? Retrieved from
  10. Barry, P. (2014, May). Medicare Coverage for Mental Health Services. Retrieved from
  11. American Psychiatric Association. (n.d.). Providing Care to Patients With Medicare Advantage Plans. Retrieved from