Support Medicare Legislation

The American Counseling Association (ACA), American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA), and the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) are working in collaboration with the Medicare Mental Health Workforce Coalition to urge you to contact Congress today in support of passing the Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S. 828/H.R. 432).

Passing the Mental Health Access Improvement Act would:

  • Provide 225,000 mental health counselors (MHCs) and marriage and family therapists (MFTs) 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 and the disabled population, and increase veterans’ provider choices for mental health care.

Where We Are Now:

  • The U.S. House version of the bill was passed by 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.

You Can Support the Profession:

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 simultaneously. This is the first congressional session in which the passage of this bill in both chambers of Congress is realistic. For bill passage to happen, we need you to advocate for this bill. There are two major steps you must take:

First, contact your Senate health staffer: Please locate your senator and draft a brief email to the staff contact informing them of:

  • The benefit that constituents in the state will have once the Mental Health Access Improvement Act passes.
  • The issues you and your clients face because of the outdated Medicare policy are clearly described.
    • Provide a copy of the .
    • Note that outdated language in current Medicare coverage legislation has resulted in many individuals who rely on Medicare experiencing a variety of challenges to getting the care they need, including:
      • Limited access to more affordable treatment options.
      • Lack of continuity of care when individuals in therapy either age into Medicare or become Medicare-eligible due to permanent disability.
      • Lack of access to 40% of behavioral health professionals with a master’s degree.
      • Barriers to better integration of physical and mental health care.
      • Lack of access to coordinated benefits for dual-eligible beneficiaries and veterans with Medicare because LPCs/MHCs and LMFTs are not recognized as Medicare providers.
      • Likelihood of foregoing or discontinuing therapy altogether for individuals living in rural areas with few or no available Medicare providers.

The Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S. 828/H.R. 432) would close the gap in federal law that prevents LPCs/MHCs and LMFTs from being recognized as Medicare providers. The legislation would give Medicare beneficiaries immediate access to more than 225,000 additional licensed mental health professionals and help close the widening treatment gap.


Second, respond to the action alerts: Each organization has its own organizational action alert. Please click on your organization of choice and respond to that alert.


Thank you for your support. If you have questions, please reach out: