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Medicare Boosting Coverage For Mental Health Issues

Medicare coverage for people with depression used to be, well, depressing. But that’s starting to change.

In October, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began covering screening for depression without any cost sharing when Medicare patients visit their primary care doctor. That’s a big deal, because although older people have lower rates of depression than the general population — 10.7 percent, compared with 16.9 percent overall — they often have other chronic conditions that may worsen if their depression isn’t treated.