Mental health health insurance coverage: what you need to know

It may indeed be rare and difficult to access, but there are situations where you can activate health insurance plans to pay for mental health therapy.

In fact, the main question most people ask is whether it is possible to get insurance providers to pay for mental health therapy and how much it will actually cost if a person decides to buy mental health therapy out of pocket pay.

With the coronavirus crisis sweeping the world, these are important questions to consider. Many people today suffer from mental health problems as a direct result of job loss, the death of loved ones, mental illness, family crises, marital breakups and ongoing depression stemming from the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Millions of people face a bleak future with failed businesses and accumulated debts that threaten personal happiness and family survival. Thousands of others have lost hope of life and are contemplating crime and suicide.

But it doesn’t have to be a horde of licensed online therapists lining up to offer help. With digital technology, anyone suffering from anxiety and depression or mental stress due to economic lockdown and restricted movement can access instant help via online therapy and phone counseling and live video with licensed and accredited internet therapists.

While you have to pay for online or physical psychotherapy in one way or another, the question is whether health insurance companies will cover the payments for these treatments.

First, the Mental Health Care and Parity Act (MHPA) legislation requires health insurance to cover treatment or therapy for mental and behavioral health. This applies to large health insurance companies and business organizations with more than 50 employees.

Health insurance must also cover medical health, mental health, and substance abuse. Coverage aside, it’s worth noting that paying for mental health care is now as cheap as life, home, and auto insurance premiums.

If you are ever in doubt as to whether your health insurance will cover mental health treatment, it is best to consult your doctor for clarification.

Simply contact your health insurance company to find out if you are covered for mental health therapy and treatment for substance abuse and behavior problems. Sometimes health insurance offers coverage under certain conditions, which you need to be aware of so you know how to take advantage of all the provisions.

However, it is important to note that some health plans do not comply with the Mental Health Parity Act and the Affordable Care Act.

In certain situations, you may turn to outside healthcare providers who will accept your health insurance plan as payment for the mental health therapy they offer you. For out-of-network services, a psychotherapist may decide to treat you and you will be reimbursed by your health insurance provider after treatment.

You may also need to pay your therapist upfront as a co-payment so your insurance company can foot the bill for the remaining treatment.

It is also possible to use insurance deductibles to pay for your mental health treatment, but care must be taken to ensure that the out-of-pocket expenses are reasonable.

When the odds aren’t in your favor, you need to use online mental health therapy through platforms like BetterHelp, where you pay to access the professional expertise of licensed and fully accredited mental health professionals.

Read here how health insurance companies work in therapy and counselling. It’s important to know what your plan offers, what it covers, and what limitations you may have.

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