Unfortunately, Colorado ranks only 42nd in the country for pediatric mental health. This indicates a lack of access to mental health care for children in Colorado and an unawareness of services available. If you have a child or teen with mental health needs, you know how important high-quality mental health treatment and care can be for your family. But if your income falls above a certain level, you may be worried that using Medicare or Medicaid to cover your child’s needs takes advantage of the system.
There are several benefits, however, to using these benefits that extend beyond employer-covered insurance. These programs are designed to improve access to care beyond what is generally accessible, and it is not taking advantage to make sure your children get the best care available.
Another common misconception is that Medicare and Medicaid are only for physical illnesses or conditions. But they both offer services to people in need of behavioral and psychiatric health care. Although there are limits, copays, and lifetime maximums, these resources can help bridge the gap between the care your child or teen needs and the care currently available without access to public benefits.
Medicare covers a variety of mental health services for both outpatient and inpatient care. For outpatient care, Medicare Part B includes a review of depression risk factors, depression screenings, psychiatric evaluation for mental health illnesses and the resulting care plan, diagnostic tests, group or individual psychotherapy, family counseling for mental health treatment, medication management and some prescription drugs, partial hospitalization for mental health issues, and testing and wellness visits.
For inpatient care, Medicare Part A covers services that require admission to a hospital for psychiatric care. Psychiatric hospital stays are covered for 190 days of inpatient services, but mental health services in a general hospital can be covered beyond that timeframe.
Colorado’s Medicaid program is called Health First Colorado. For covered behavioral health diagnoses, benefits range from community treatment to case management services, to drug screening and monitoring, to school and day treatment services for children. Other insurance must be used first, but there are no co-pays for services rendered through Health First Colorado organizations.
An experienced estate planning attorney can also help with public benefits planning. This planning will protect your family’s assets while ensuring your loved ones can qualify for the care they need. A child experiencing mental health issues can be stressful and difficult for a family to endure. Taking care to minimize the financial strain while ensuring your children get the best care possible will alleviate some stress and allow you to prioritize the well-being of your teen or child.
Speak with a Boulder, Colorado, Estate Planning Attorney Today
Contact us for information about Medicare and Medicaid eligibility. Braverman Law Group is here to help clients with benefits planning, estate planning, and many things in between. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our trusted Boulder estate planning attorneys, give us a call today at (303) 800-1588.