News Archive for 2009

Senate Health Care Bill Fails to Cover Counselors Under Medicare

by User Not Found | Nov 19, 2009
The Senate’s health care reform bill, unveiled November 18th by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, fails to establish Medicare coverage of licensed professional counselors.  This despite the fact that the Senate has twice approved Medicare coverage of counselors, and that Medicare beneficiaries need better access to outpatient mental health service providers.

The Senate’s health care reform bill, unveiled November 18th by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, fails to establish Medicare coverage of licensed professional counselors.  This despite the fact that the Senate has twice approved Medicare coverage of counselors, and that Medicare beneficiaries need better access to outpatient mental health service providers. 

There are more than 110,000 licensed professional counselors across the country meeting education and training standards on par with currently covered providers, and covering counselors under Medicare is estimated to cost only $100 million over 5 years, a drop in the bucket in the context of other Medicare improvements costing tens of billions of dollars.  Senators claim the bill will make major updates to Medicare, but the bill misses an opportunity to bring Medicare’s mental health coverage policies up to speed with the practices of private sector health plans, which have covered licensed professional counselors for decades.  The House-passed version of health care reform legislation, H.R. 3962, includes Medicare coverage of state-licensed professional counselors and state-licensed marriage and family therapists.

ACA encourages counselors to contact their Senators to ask them why Medicare coverage of counselors was not included in the health care bill, and to ask them to cosponsor S. 671—the “Seniors Mental Health Access Improvement Act”—to show support for establishing Medicare coverage of counselors.

ACA also encourages counselors to contact their Representative to ask that they cosign the letter being organized by Rep. Bart Gordon, expressing support for maintaining the House-passed counselor Medicare coverage provisions.

To find out who your Senators and Representative are, visit our internet action center. For more information, contact Scott Barstow with ACA at 800-347-6647 x234, e-mail: sbarstow@counseling.org.

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Latest News

Senate Health Care Bill Fails to Cover Counselors Under Medicare

by User Not Found | Nov 19, 2009
The Senate’s health care reform bill, unveiled November 18th by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, fails to establish Medicare coverage of licensed professional counselors.  This despite the fact that the Senate has twice approved Medicare coverage of counselors, and that Medicare beneficiaries need better access to outpatient mental health service providers.

The Senate’s health care reform bill, unveiled November 18th by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, fails to establish Medicare coverage of licensed professional counselors.  This despite the fact that the Senate has twice approved Medicare coverage of counselors, and that Medicare beneficiaries need better access to outpatient mental health service providers. 

There are more than 110,000 licensed professional counselors across the country meeting education and training standards on par with currently covered providers, and covering counselors under Medicare is estimated to cost only $100 million over 5 years, a drop in the bucket in the context of other Medicare improvements costing tens of billions of dollars.  Senators claim the bill will make major updates to Medicare, but the bill misses an opportunity to bring Medicare’s mental health coverage policies up to speed with the practices of private sector health plans, which have covered licensed professional counselors for decades.  The House-passed version of health care reform legislation, H.R. 3962, includes Medicare coverage of state-licensed professional counselors and state-licensed marriage and family therapists.

ACA encourages counselors to contact their Senators to ask them why Medicare coverage of counselors was not included in the health care bill, and to ask them to cosponsor S. 671—the “Seniors Mental Health Access Improvement Act”—to show support for establishing Medicare coverage of counselors.

ACA also encourages counselors to contact their Representative to ask that they cosign the letter being organized by Rep. Bart Gordon, expressing support for maintaining the House-passed counselor Medicare coverage provisions.

To find out who your Senators and Representative are, visit our internet action center. For more information, contact Scott Barstow with ACA at 800-347-6647 x234, e-mail: sbarstow@counseling.org.