- Are there specific mental health services/therapists that my health insurance plan doesn't cover?
- Am I covered for therapy/therapists if I have a pre-existing condition?
- What is the number of therapy sessions my health plan covers per year?
- Do I have a deductible to pay before my health plans cover services under my health insurance plan?
- Is there a copay required by individual or group health insurance plans?
- Do I need a referral from my primary care doctor for a therapist?
What Are Health Insurance Network Providers?
- A network provider is a provider who accepts health insurance as a form of payment. In this case, that health insurance partially pays for mental health care. Although they may accept insurance for mental health coverage, a network provider is "inside" your health plan’s network.
Coverage & Deductibles - How Insurance Coverage Works
- Even though your therapist takes your insurance plan, you may have to pay for each session out-of-pocket until your health plans reach a certain balance before insurance will pay. That's why many people prefer to pay for more affordable licensed online therapy.
Sliding Scale Coverage
- Some people find a therapist they like who doesn't take their insurance, but who will work with them and see them on a sliding scale. Sliding-scale therapists may charge a lower fee than another psychologist who has a private practice, allowing you to bypass the deductible problem. The sliding scale offers lower rates to those with less financial flexibility.
Low-Cost Clinic Coverage
- Another option for finding affordable mental health care is to find a low-cost clinic. Under the Affordable Care Act, some mental health care facilities are designed for people who have lower incomes (where you can pay a sliding scale fee for therapy sessions and mental health benefits). There are also universities that have programs where graduate students are training in psychology under the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines, and provide low-cost services under the Affordable Care Act.
FSA & HSA - What Is Covered By Them
- Another option to pay for therapy is a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA). A health savings account is a savings account that allows users to save money tax-free to pay medical expenses ONLY. You can learn more about flexible spending at Healthcare.gov.
What Are Parity Laws? How Does It Affect Insurance Coverage?
- Mental health parity laws don't always require insurance companies to cover therapy in all situations. Parity laws stipulate that large group health insurance covers mental health care services and medical health care services equally. What this means is that there can be no differing amounts in what your medical and mental health plans cover.
- If you have questions about what your health insurance or mental health insurance plan covers under the Affordable Care Act or MHPA, review the terms outlined in your insurance policy, or contact your insurance provider directly.
If you are worried about paying for online counseling, it might be more affordable than you think. Public health specialists have increasingly seen it as a cost-saving solution that can reach a large portion of the population. A recent study found online therapy not only delivers successful treatment, but also costs significantly less than face-to-face options over the course of a year.
BetterHelp is an option to consider for those who think they can’t afford therapy. Prices are billed at affordable out-of-pocket rates, so it is cheaper for people who do not have insurance, or for people who have insurance but also have a high deductible. BetterHelp counselors can receive access to your permanent medical record, allowing them to treat mental health and substance use disorders. Read below about what others have to say about their experiences with BetterHelp.
"I've always struggled with going to appointments. Although I don't have to pay in Germany for mental health care, I choose to use BetterHelp because it's easier for me to have counseling sessions and I can be in the comfort of my own home! I am very happy with Daniel Merchant's help so far, I feel very understood, and for the first time in my life I don't feel like i'm incurable. I don't get treated as if something is wrong with me [but like] I have challenges I face that can get solved with methods that I am comfortable with. I can totally recommend it, it's totally worth the money!"
"I had some trauma when I was younger that was severely affecting my life and my relationships in a negative way. I also didn't have even the kind of money to afford this service for a long period of time. But Danny took the time and discussed treatment options for PTSD that I did not know much about before. I had tried different forms of therapy with limited success, but being able to write out my feelings, thoughts, and experiences allowed me to express myself in a way that I would not feel comfortable doing while sitting one on one with someone in the same room with me. Maybe that's a sign of me being on the older side of the texting/dm/instant message generation, but the messenger discussion was a game changer for me. Danny and BetterHelp helped me so much in a short amount of time, and they didn't dismiss me or treat me as less important just because of my adverse financial situation. Because of Danny, I found a local EMDR therapist that I can see, and it has been so helpful. Thank you so much."
The process of looking for a therapist and juggling insurance can be complicated with the many factors involved. We hope that this article has given you the tools to reach out to your insurance provider. If you find that your insurance does not pay for therapy, or there is a deductible that's too high, try taking the first step with BetterHelp. You can cancel at any time, no hassle, no questions asked.