Mental health care and Railroad Medicare coverage
Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, can come at any age and can happen to anyone. They are nothing to be ashamed of. While they can occur at any time, stressful holidays and the let-down after the holidays often make these conditions worse.
With that in mind, it’s important to know that Railroad Medicare covers many mental health services (Medicare pays 80 percent while the patient pays 20 percent) after your annual deductible is met and when the service is provided by: a psychiatrist or other doctor, a physician assistant, a nurse practitioner, a clinical psychologist, a clinical social worker or a clinical nurse specialist.
Some of the covered services are
- Annual screening for depression;
- Individual and group psychotherapy with doctors, or certain other licensed professionals who are allowed by the state to offer these services;
- Family counseling (if the main purpose is to help with your treatment);
- Testing to find determine if you’re getting the services you need and/or if your current treatment is helping you;
- Psychiatric evaluation;
- Medication management;
- Occupational therapy that’s part of your mental health treatment;
- Individual patient training and education about your condition;
- Diagnostic tests.
Talk to your doctor or health care provider if you feel you may be depressed or have any of these following symptoms (this is not an all-inclusive list):
- Sad, empty, or hopeless feelings;
- A lack of energy;
- Trouble concentrating;
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much;
- Little interest in things you used to enjoy;
- Suicidal thoughts.
If you have questions about your Railroad Medicare coverage, you can call their toll-free Customer Service Line at (800) 833-4455, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET. For the hearing impaired, call TTY/TDD at (877) 566-3572. This line is for the hearing impaired with the appropriate dial-up service and is available during the same hours Customer Service Representatives are available.
Visit Railroad Medicare’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/myrrmedicare. Join Railroad Medicare’s listserv/e-mail updates. Just select the ‘E-Mail Updates’ in the ‘Stay Connected’ section on the lower left-hand side of our main webpage at www.PalmettoGBA.com/RR/Me.