Medicare Inclusion

We encourage you to contact your two Senators and your Congressional Member in the House of Representatives, to express your support for the Mental Health Access Improvement Act.  Please use the bill numbers in all your communications.



December Call to Action

Although we have asked you on several occasions this year to reach out to members of Congress on our Medicare bill, it is critically important that we maintain a steady flow of messages over the next few weeks when key congressional non-defense spending decisions will be made. 


It is the view of several lobbyists that the best chance for passage of our Medicare bill is during this current lame-duck session of Congress.


If our bill does not pass in this congressional session, we would need to begin the process anew in 2023 with a divided Congress, where it could be difficult to pass significant mental health legislation.  


Please contact the following Congressional Leaders:

  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
  • House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal
  • House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone


The key message to Congressional leaders:

Please include S. 828/HR 432 in the final OMNIBUS federal budget and spending package in order to address ongoing mental health access issues that older Americans are experiencing.

Passing the Mental Health Access Improvement Act would provide:

  • 225,000 Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists the option to enroll as Medicare providers.
  • Create a new stream of income for eligible Professional Counselors.
  • Increase access to care for our nation’s Older Americans, the disabled population, and increase veteran’s provider choice for mental health care.

Where Are We Now:

  • The U.S. House version of the bill passed out of the House Ways & Means Committee.
    • The next step is for the full House of Representatives to Vote on this bill.
  • The U.S. Senate version of the bill was included in the Senate Finance Committee’s draft package on improving the mental health workforce.
    • The Senate may vote on a final package prior to the close of the 2022 Congressional Session.,


Over the past decade we, along with partner organizations have advocated for the successful passage of this bill. The bill has passed in both the House and Senate previously, however it has never happened at the same time. This is the first congressional session where passage of this bill in both chambers of Congress is realistic.


Proposed Common Messages:  

  • Several studies show that levels of anxiety and depressive disorders for older adults have doubled since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, but many lack access to providers and needed services.
  • Inclusion of Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists in the Medicare Program would increase the pool of eligible providers by over 200,000 practitioners so that Medicare beneficiaries would gain better access to care for their mental health conditions.
  • Mental health counselors and MFTs are licensed in all 50 states and well qualified to treat anxiety, depression, trauma, PTSD and addiction disorders, and several behavioral health conditions.

    Proposed Common “Cost-Savings” Messages

    • The Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S. 828/H.R. 432) will save money for the Medicare program.
    • Mental health counselors (MHCs) and marriage and family therapists (MFTs) can reduce in-patient costs through the provision of cost-effective services.
    • Older adults with mental illness have the highest Medicare costs – 2 to 3 times the cost of other beneficiaries. And untreated mental and substance use disorders among older adults exacerbate health conditions and increase overall Medicare health care costs.
    • The legislation under consideration proposes to pay mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists only 75 percent of the psychologist’s rate for mental health services, thereby saving money when the lower cost provider is accessed.
    • Congress can “bend the Medicare cost curve” through recognition of cost-efficient and effective providers by passing the Mental Health Access Improvement Act.
    • The Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S. 828/H.R.432) would expand the availability of cost-effective providers under Medicare to help treat older adults and address the mental health crisis and the opioid epidemic.

      Fact Sheet
      Sample Email or Phone Call to Senators
      Sample Email or Phone Call for Senators and Representatives
      Scripts for Phone Calls


      In order to maximize the campaign’s visibility on social media, we propose using the hashtags #UpdateMedicare and #ICARE on all Facebook and Twitter posts.  We encourage all social media posts from state-level members to include #UpdateMedicare or #ICARE.



      @YourSenator or @YourRepresentative, I’m a constituent from [City] and we need to include mental health counselors and marriage & family therapists in the Medicare program to improve access to mental health care for older adults. #UpdateMedicare or #ICARE! 


      @YourSenator, I’m a constituent from [City] and there’s a shortage of Medicare mental health/addiction providers. Please sign on to S. 828 or HR 432. #UpdateMedicare or #ICARE.



      Sample 1:

      @SenatorX or @RepresentativeX, I am a constituent from [City] and a mental health counselor (or marriage and family therapist). There’s a shortage of mental health and substance abuse providers in the Medicare system, despite a significant increase in mental health and addiction disorders amongst older adults due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Please sign-on to the Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S. 828 or HR 432) to increase beneficiary access to cost-effective mental health counselors and MFTs and save Medicare money. #UpdateMedicare or #ICARE. 


      Sample 2:

      @SenatorX or @RepresentativeX, I am from [City] and your constituent. Recent studies and surveys show that the incidence of substance use and mental health disorder has increased substantially in elderly populations. We need licensed mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists available to address this issue in a cost-effective manner and save money for Medicare. I ask you to support the Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S. 828 or HR 432) because #UpdateMedicare or #ICARE.

      Medicare Mental Health Workforce Coalition Webinar

      On February 24, 2022, members of the Medicare Mental Health Workforce Coalition came together to share important updates on the state of Mental Health Access Improvement Act, as well as sharing how to urge congress to pass this important legislation.

      Click on the images below to download them and use them in your social media outreach.