Seniors Struggling with Depression Not Using Medicare Mental Health Benefits Print
GlobeNewswire
Thursday, 17 September 2020 06:42

While seniors minimize exposure to the outside world to mitigate exposure to Coronavirus, there is a trade-off of physical wellness and mental health that is being observed in the senior community. AGA Medicare Options advises beneficiaries on Medicare coverage for depression and anxiety.

ANAHEIM, Calif., Sept. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)

While seniors minimize exposure to the outside world to mitigate exposure to Coronavirus, there is a trade-off of physical wellness and mental health that is being observed in the senior community. AGA Medicare Options advises beneficiaries on Medicare coverage for depression and anxiety.

ANAHEIM, Calif., Sept. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- While actual data on depression in seniors amidst COVID-19 is limited, the statistics out there don’t support the observations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently conducted a survey, “Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020”. Of the respondents age 65 and older who completed the survey, there was only a 5.8% increase reported for Depressive disorder, a much smaller percentage than any other age group.

Why Seniors Don’t Seek Help for Mental Health

However, other studies have reported that those in isolation are far more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. It stands to reason that reports would show seniors among the leading demographic for increased mental health disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Then why the discrepancy in the statistics?

According to a recent article put out by Hartford HealthCare, “Older people, who are more at risk for catching and dying from COVID-19, were far less likely to report emotional reactions.” Perhaps, there is an element of fear within the senior community. According to Private Clinical Therapist Jacki C Stevens, LCSW, “The fear is greater to be withdrawn from society in an institution or nursing facility rather than have a ‘mental health problem’ warranting hospitalization and placement.”

While some are afraid of being carted off to a nursing facility, there is a variety of care options available through Medicare to help seniors cope with depression. Unfortunately, with nearly half of seniors reporting that Medicare is confusing, there could be a large population that is unaware their benefits will cover mental health.

Medicare Mental Health Coverage

In more extreme cases, Medicare Part A will cover general or psychiatric hospital needs related to depression and anxiety. However, the Part A deductible needs to be met before using benefits.

Part B will cover any doctor visits that are needed outside of a hospital, such as individual counseling, substance abuse treatments, and annual depression screenings, to name a few. To utilize Part B benefits, the annual deductible must be met, service providers need to accept Medicare, and a 20% co-insurance will be due.

Get Medicare Help

For some, meeting the cost of those deductibles may be cumbersome. Often there is confusion over what Medicare coverage a senior has or does not. If a person is in a state of depression, this can seem exponentially difficult. “Talking with an independent insurance agent who specializes in Medicare and can relay available options in layman’s terms is advisable,” notes Amethyst Bogner, AGA Medicare Options executive marketing coordinator. Mental well-being is just as important as physical health. Leveraging Medicare benefits to cover both is wise.

About AGA Medicare Options

AGA Medicare Options is one of the largest Medicare Advantage insurance agencies on the west coast. They help thousands of beneficiaries compare plan benefits and costs from a wide selection of carriers without bias and completely free.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/e14ef86a-e81c-4c59-a84f-da656878b89e

Applied General Agency, Inc.  Anaheim, CA  800-498-6880  [email protected]

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Increased Depression Among Seniors

Medicare can help cover the cost of mental health help.



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