Sinema’s Bipartisan Bill Expands Mental Health Services for Seniors in Rural Arizona

Apr 1, 2019

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema joined a bipartisan group of senators in backing the Mental Health Improvement Act, which expands mental health services for seniors. The bill allows more mental health counselors to be covered under Medicare so seniors in underserved rural Arizona communities have increased access to mental health services.
“Arizona’s seniors should not be denied critical health services because of where they live. We are expanding access to mental health providers so all Arizona seniors can get the care they have earned under Medicare,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Aging Committee.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 20% of individuals above the age of 55 experience some type of mental health concern. Medicare Part B covers mental health care from licensed psychiatrists and psychologists. However, other licensed counselors are not covered under Medicare. It is estimated that half of all counties in the U.S. do not have a single practicing psychiatrist or psychologist – including Greenlee County in Arizona. The Mental Health Improvement Act expands the types of mental health counselors covered under Medicare to increase access to mental health services for seniors.
Sinema also supported the Mental Health Improvement Act in the U.S. House.