Starting March 31, 2024, Blue Cross will cover an annual mental health wellness exam. This exam may be conducted as part of the annual preventive visit with a primary care provider (PCP), or as a standalone visit with a PCP or licensed mental health professional. Because the mental health wellness exam is considered preventive care, there is no out-of-pocket cost for members in most plans.

The annual mental health exam is covered as required by the Act Addressing Barriers to Care (ABC Act) to improve mental health care across Massachusetts.

What is the mental health wellness exam?

The exam will consist of taking the patient’s mental health history, a mental health exam and appropriate screening tests, shared decision making (that could include lifestyle education and counseling), and a discussion about next steps. This may include referrals for treatments and medication options. The mental health wellness exam may or may not result in a diagnosis. The exam may be administered by a PCP, including OB/GYNs, licensed mental health professional as part of the annual wellness visit or as a separate exam.

BCBSMA will host an informational webinar about this topic on March 20, 2024, from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM. The session will be facilitated by Dr. Greg Harris, MD, MPH, DFAPA, Senior Medical Director, Mental Health and Paul Jones, Senior Manager of Public Policy, Government & Regulatory Affairs. The registration link is: