After you experience a loss, it’s normal to experience deep and painful feelings of grief. During this challenging time, older adults can really benefit from grief counseling and other mental health services. Medicare provides coverage for many different types of mental health care, including grief counseling. Here’s why grief counseling is so important and how to make sure you’re covered.

What is Grief? 

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Grief is a very complex range of emotions that can occur after an experience of loss. Grief is often associated with the death of a loved one, but can also occur after the end of a relationship or the loss of a job. There are many emotions that are associated with grief, including sadness, anger, and guilt.

How Can Grief Counseling Help?

During your grief counseling sessions, you’ll work with a professional to process the feelings associated with your loss and develop new routines. Depending on your individual situation, your counselor will have you do things such as identify and share your feelings, come to terms with the reality of the situation, and identify traumatic experiences. They can also help you adjust to a new routine after loss and find new sources of emotional support. Techniques like journaling and role-playing can be very helpful during this process.

It’s important to note that grief counseling cannot completely eliminate feelings of grief. What it can do is give you the tools you need to move forward in a healthy way after a loss. When selecting a mental health professional, it’s important to choose someone you trust and feel comfortable with.

Does Medicare Cover Grief Counseling? 

Medicare Part B covers outpatient medical services, including grief counseling and other mental health care. Medicare covers individual grief counseling and other forms of therapy with a mental health professional, as long as it is deemed medically necessary. It also covers group therapy sessions. You will only pay your deductible for this counseling if your provider accepts Medicare assignment. Medicare Part B also covers a yearly depression screening, which can identify signs of grief and other mental health problems.

If you see a psychiatrist and they prescribe medication for conditions like depression or anxiety, this will not be covered under Original Medicare. Instead, you will need a Medicare Part D plan, which covers prescription drugs.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you may receive additional mental health coverage beyond what Original Medicare provides. Medicare Advantage plans are supplemental plans offered by private insurers to provide coverage beyond what Original Medicare can offer.

If you’re struggling with grief, don’t wait to seek help. Grief counseling offers essential support and tools to help you cope during this difficult time. To learn more about your Medicare coverage options, contact Time for 65’s licensed partnered agents today. Fill out this form or give us a call to see how we can help you find the coverage you need.