Licensed Professional Counselors and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LPCs, LMFTs, LCPCs, MFTs, etc.) can generally accept any and all types of insurance—from Blue Cross to Tri-Care. However, unless affiliated with a larger clinic or hospital, Medicare reimbursement has been oddly unavailable, and restricted to other mental health providers such as Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Psychiatrists, and Psychologists. However, new legislation put to the U.S. senate may soon change that.
Possible Upcoming Changes
There are two bills (S. 1879 and H.R. 3032) under consideration by congress right now. If both bills pass, they will amend the current legislation of the Social Security Act to include coverage for marriage and family therapist services as well as mental health counselor services under Medicare. To become law, these bills must pass in the House and the Senate.
Specifics: MFTs and MHCs
A Marriage and Family Therapist is defined in this proposed bill as a professional with a master’s or doctoral degree who qualifies for state licensure or certification as a marriage and family therapist. These professionals have also completed at least two years of clinical experience in this field.
A Mental Health Counselor is someone with a master’s or doctoral degree in mental health counseling (or a related field). Additionally, these professionals have completed at least two years of mental health counseling experience.
What can you do?
Mental health professionals are strongly encouraged to call, write, or e-mail their U.S. Senators about sponsoring and passing this bill. The more people that take the time to do this, the more likely this bill will pass. Here’s how you can reach them:
- Call 202-224-3121 (the main Capitol switchboard).
- Ask to be connected to the office of one of your senators.
- Once connected, ask to speak with the health legislative assistant.
- Ask his or her boss to sponsor and pass this bill.
- Type your U.S. Senator’s name into an Internet search engine.
- Go to his or her website.
- Use the “Contact” function (typically in the upper right hand corner of the home page) to send an e-mail urging sponsorship of this bill.
Please take a moment to call or e-mail your U.S. Senators and encourage them to support and pass this bill. If you have any questions for us about this bill call our credentialing team at 1-855-664-5154.