One of the first considerations you might have when signing up for BetterHelp online therapy is how much it will cost you and whether it accepts your insurance. Considering the logistics of taking on a new weekly or monthly expense can be advantageous. Understanding the BetterHelp platform, how it works, and the terms around payment may help you choose whether to utilize the services.BetterHelp can be an affordable, accessible option for therapy that offers many unique benefits you might not find with in-person options. Before making a choice, consider making a pros and cons chart about in-person options and online therapy.
What Is BetterHelp?
BetterHelp is the world's largest online therapy platform. This therapy service offers over 30,000 licensed therapists and providers and is designed to be an affordable, convenient, and discrete online option for various forms of mental health counseling. All therapists through BetterHelp are vetted, licensed, and experienced in offering therapy. You can fill out a quick questionnaire and pay for a monthly prescription plan to sign up.
Can You Get Diagnosed On BetterHelp?
Many individuals seek therapy because they are concerned that they may be living with a mental illness, like depression or an anxiety disorder. If this is the case, you may wonder if you can get diagnosed by a BetterHelp therapist.
While the therapists through this platform are equipped to treat and diagnose symptoms of various mental illnesses, they are not permitted by BetterHelp to diagnose mental illnesses on the platform due to the terms and conditions of the service. Their restriction from clinically diagnosing also means they cannot prescribe medications for any mental health condition. However, regardless of your current diagnostic status, they can still support you with your symptoms or concerns.
How Does BetterHelp Work?
You can also choose to indicate a preference for an LGBTQ, BIPOC, or spiritual therapist. After filling out the form, the BetterHelp algorithm can use your answers to select a therapist personalized to your needs. However, you can change your therapist anytime if you don't feel they are a proper match.
Once you match with a therapist, you can schedule your first online therapy session. All sessions are conducted remotely through the BetterHelp portal. They can be completed over a computer, tablet, or mobile device. In addition, you have multiple options for communicating with your therapist, depending on your preferences. Options include:
- Live chat
- Live phone calls
- Live video sessions
How Long Are BetterHelp Sessions?
The average BetterHelp session lasts 30 minutes and occurs once a week. However, you may be able to schedule a 45-minute session, depending on the flexibility or schedule of your therapist. Your session will take place over live video, phone, or chat.
Messaging is an additional feature for conversing with your therapist throughout the week, outside your sessions. You can participate in therapy from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
The Cost Of BetterHelp Therapy
Before embarking on the journey of improving your mental health, consider the costs you may have with various providers.
You're not alone if you're worried you can't afford mental health treatment. In one study, 60% of participants worried they couldn't afford their therapy sessions, and over 40% stated they skipped some sessions to save money. With an average in-person therapy cost of $100 to $200 a session, therapy can be a significant financial commitment.
How Much Do BetterHelp Sessions Cost?
BetterHelp hopes to break down barriers for people worldwide. This hope may become a reality with more individuals participating in online counseling. When considering BetterHelp's weekly cost, note that online sessions through the platform typically cost less than traditional therapy.
While BetterHelp doesn't accept insurance, you can factor out commuting costs to an office. In addition, BetterHelp offers financial aid and discounted rates to some clients. Weekly sessions range from $65 to $90, billed to you every four weeks. You can expect to pay between $240 and $360 a month.
How Will I Pay For BetterHelp?
BetterHelp subscriptions are billed monthly. The subscription includes one 30 or 45-minute session a week and messaging with your therapist. This weekly cost will range from around $65 to $90.
The weekly price is billed monthly as a recurring charge to a credit card or PayPal account. The first monthly payment is charged when you sign up and again four weeks later. You can continue with therapy for as long as you need it. If you decide after a few months that you no longer want to use the service, you can cancel your subscription for free at any time with the click of a button.
Health Insurance And BetterHelp
You may wonder whether BetterHelp accepts insurance, as it offers licensed therapists. However, BetterHelp cannot submit claims to Medicare, Medicaid, or any health insurance plan. For this reason, it is not covered by insurance.
Due to the legal complexity of the online format, varying patient locations and costs, and BetterHelp's inability to offer diagnoses, the therapists working as independent contractors through the platform cannot submit claims to insurance companies. If the therapists offer services outside of BetterHelp, they may submit claims for their own practice. However, these claims are not in connection to their BetterHelp contract.
Can I Discuss Coverage With My Insurance?
Your health insurance might cover a small portion of the costs if you submit a claim and have a health plan that provides reimbursement for medical or mental health costs. If you do not have mental health coverage, you may be unable to do so.
To discover your reimbursement options, contact your insurance provider directly. Use the 1-800 number on the back of your insurance card and ask them if they offer any reimbursement for BetterHelp therapy sessions.
Does Medicare Pay For BetterHelp?
Medicare does not pay for BetterHelp online therapy. However, besides the benefit of affordable sessions, the platform may accept HAS or FSA cards. BetterHelp is considered an eligible expense under many HAS or FSA providers.
Factors That Could Affect The Cost Of BetterHelp
The price you pay for BetterHelp can vary based on various factors, including the following.
Where You Live
BetterHelp therapists are independent providers licensed and certified in their respective US states. When you sign up for BetterHelp therapy, you will be matched with a therapist licensed in the state that you indicate as your home state upon signing up.
Where you and your therapist are located can affect the cost of therapy. For example, the demand for therapists may be higher in urban areas on the west coast, and those therapists might have a higher subscription cost. Midwestern therapists may be cheaper.
The Availability Of Your Therapist And Preferences
You may see different costs depending on your therapist's availability. For example, they might offer 45-minute sessions or late hours. In addition, you might be able to pay a small fee for an extra session each week. How frequently you have sessions with your therapist can affect the weekly cost.
Whether You Qualify For Financial Aid Or Discounts
BetterHelp offers financial aid to specific individuals who meet the income criteria. This potential for financial aid can offset the cost of your monthly payments.
In addition, the platform often has discount code promotions to take a percentage off your first bill. If you want to know whether you might qualify for any financial aid, contact the BetterHelp Customer Service team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is BetterHelp Worth It?
BetterHelp aims to offer comprehensive services that match the depth and efficacy of traditional in-person therapy.
While the therapists cannot diagnose you with a mental illness or prescribe medication, they are licensed providers who are well-equipped to listen, offer tools, and guide you along the healing process. BetterHelp therapists cover a wide range of mental health conditions and concerns, including:
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Family dynamics
- Eating disorders
- Substance use disorders
- LGBTQ+ concerns
- Sleep issues
If you are in crisis, or someone you know is in danger, do not use this site. BetterHelp is not an emergency service. You can seek support from one of the following crisis options:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
- Veterans Crisis Line: Call 1-800-273-8255 (and press 1) or text 838255. For support for the deaf and hard of hearing community, please use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255.
- Trevor Lifeline (LGBTQ Lifeline): (866)488-7386
- SAMHSA National Helpline (Substance Use): (800)662-4357
- National Eating Disorder Association Helpline:1-800-931-2237 (M-Th: 9 AM-9 PM EST, Fri 9 AM - 5 PM EST)
- Child Help Hotline: Call 1-800-422-4453 or use the online chat feature
- National Anti-Hazing Hotline: 1-888-NOT-HAZE (1-888-668-4293)
- Physician Crisis Support Line: Call 1-888-409-0141 if you are a first responder or medical provider experiencing crises related to Covid-19
- Sexual Assault Hotline: Call RAINN at 1-800-656-4673
BetterHelp is the world's largest online therapy platform, with over 30,000 certified, vetted, and licensed therapists. Therapy sessions are conducted virtually, with a multitude of communication options to choose from. Your weekly session can take place over live video, live chat, or live audio call, per your preference. You can also message your therapist during the week to check-in.
In addition, a recent study on BetterHelp's services found that 71% of the participants in the study who utilized the platform found it effective and preferable to in-person therapy.
Online therapy can offer unique advantages that in-person therapy might not, depending on your location and financial situation. If you're interested in trying telehealth therapy, consider signing up with a platform like BetterHelp.
Therapy is a personal experience, and not everyone will go into it seeking the same things. But, keeping these things in mind can ensure that you will get the most out of online therapy, regardless of what your specific goals are.
If you’re still wondering if therapy is right for you, and how much therapy costs, please contact us at email@example.com. The BH platform specializes in online therapy to help address all types of mental health concerns. If you’re interested in individual therapy, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Commonly Asked Questions
Does BetterHelp app take insurance?
Does BetterHelp or Talkspace take insurance?
Can I get reimbursed for BetterHelp?
Can I use FSA for BetterHelp?
Is therapy covered by insurance?
How does BetterHelp billing work?
Is Talkspace or BetterHelp cheaper?
Is it hard to cancel BetterHelp?
Is BetterHelp a real therapist?
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