In this guide, we are going to first explore some insurance companies that either fully or partially cover mental health expenses. Then, we are going to discuss why all companies don’t offer these premiums. Finally, we will describe some online therapy services that take insurance.
What are the Best Insurance Companies for Mental Health Coverage?
- Kaiser Permanente
- United Healthcare
- Marsh & McLennan
- Prudential Financial
Insurance Companies That Have Your Therapist Covered
Let us first describe some of the insurance companies that cover therapist charges. In this section, we will talk about the details of four such companies:
Aetna is an American managed health care company that sells traditional and consumer directed health care insurance and related services. This includes medical, pharmaceutical, dental, and behavioral health.
Their health insurance services include:medical, pharmacy and dental plans, medicare plans, medicaid services, behavioral health programs and medical management. Aetna offers a range of insurance and employee benefits products. Apart from that, it has programs that help control rising costs while striving to improve the quality of healthcare.
Regarding mental health, they cover various services provided by psychiatrists, psychologists and even primary care physicians. With Aetna, your talk therapy and medication therapy will be covered by them.
Kaiser Permanente, commonly known simply as Kaiser, is an American integrated managed care consortium. Their doctors, hospitals, and health plans are connected, collaborating seamlessly across specialities to ensure the best health of their patrons.
Plans for insurance provided by Kaiser are across various domains. For example, individual or family, or provided by the employer. You can also choose between Medicaid, Medical or Medicare.
Regarding mental health, they provide coverage for individual therapy, group therapy, psychiatry and health classes. Since mental health is not the same for all, treatment differs too. The type of provider, frequency of visits, and the duration of treatment will be tailored to specific needs and goals. The client can also switch professionals provided by Kaiser if they do not think they are a right fit.
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated is an American multinational managed healthcare and insurance company based in Minnesota. It offers health care products and insurance services.
UnitedHealthcare negotiates with providers in periodic contract negotiation; contracts may be discontinued from time to time. As a condition of participation, they require that providers notify them of changes. Along with that, they have a program to proactively request information from providers.
Coverage for mental health care services by UnitedHealthcare depends on your health plan benefits. Some of their programs include Employee Assistance Program (EAP), telehealth visits or other health and well-being resources. TalkSpace online therapy is one therapy service provider covered by them.
Cigna is a global health services company dedicated to improving the health, well-being, and peace of mind of those they serve. With more than 180 million customer and patient relationships, they are able to harness actionable insights that address whole-person health. and drive better health outcomes.
Nearly all Cigna plans cover therapy for mental and behavioural health conditions. However, the rate of coverage depends on your particular plan and the provider you’re seeing. Most medical plans by Cigna offer 100% coverage for in-network, annual preventive care appointments. They offer a number of plans with a variety of features that people can pick according to their needs. Some of them are, Open Access Plus, Cigna SureFit and PPO.
Insurance Companies That Have Some Benefits for Mental Health
In addition to the four mentioned above, there are a few more companies that have some benefits for mental health. Their policies cover therapy charges partially if not fully.
Marsh & McLennan
Marsh McLennan helps insurers operationalize effective growth, risk and capital strategies to address the future of insurance. This firm understands industry trends around cyber risk, increased digitalization, consolidation, and the workforce of the future.
They educate insurers about various things that can impact them. By delivering tailored solutions, they help organizations adapt and thrive in this rapidly evolving environment.
Aflac provides supplemental insurance to help pay out-of-pocket expenses your major medical insurance doesn’t cover. MyAflac resources will help you tackle everything from filing claims to managing policies all in one place. They claim to provide what health insurances do not. However, mental health is not amongst their services. It is just a part of some of the health insurance packages like the ACA.
Aflac has health plans ranked according to their value, beginning with the bronze and climbing to the higher end platinum plan. Each has different levels of coverage for Essential Health Benefits or EHB. The rest of the percentage will come out of the insurer’s pocket. Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioural health treatment.
Prudential Financial, Inc. is an American Fortune Global 500 company, one of whose subsidiaries provide insurance. Like most other companies, they provide short-term insurance, ACA individual plans, Medicare Supplement, or Medicare Advantage policies. You can shop and compare your health plan options from some of the most trusted health insurance carriers in your area.
By law, ACA plans must cover preventative and rehabilitative care which can include psychological disorders too. This kind of coverage comes with higher premiums than non-ACA short-term plans but with far greater levels of coverage. Therefore, Prudential Financial also has this service, which however does not extend to any other policies.
MetLife, Inc. is the holding corporation for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. MetLife is among the largest global providers of insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs. Their insurance cover life, auto, home, dental, vision and more. They have affordable prices, a good claims process and nationwide availability.
Their Employee benefit plans include mental health. The Mental Health Care in coordination with the EAP program pays for the first 3 visits. MetLife helps companies’ global workforce stay their healthiest with guidance, recommendations, and health risk assessments. It is low for all, irrespective of where they are working in accordance with the IEAP. However, they do not provide individual therapy services as part of their health insurance, unlike dental and vision care.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Why Don’t All Insurance Companies Cover Mental Health?
First and foremost, even in the 21st-century people do not realise the seriousness of mental illnesses. Some believe that through willpower and determination, they can overcome their anxieties. Others believe that stress is a daily part of life that everyone has to endure. There are many such myths surrounding mental health.
Secondly, symptoms of physical illnesses are quite prominently visible to the naked eye. Their symptoms can be correlated directly to the diseases. Mental illnesses manifest them in novel and unprecedented manners.
People do not understand their underlying cause. However, millions of researchers have confirmed that mental disabilities have a profound effect on physical health. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to take care of both equally.
One of the largest healthcare fraud cases has occurred in behavioural health, one of healthcare’s smallest sectors. This arena requires the utmost integrity because crime in the mental health sector hurts healthcare’s most vulnerable.
Especially the underserved and disenfranchised patient populations, while escalating costs. When insurance providers see such statistics, they get apprehensive of providing insurance for therapy.
However, there have been big insurance companies recently that have included behavioural health in their healthcare policies. People are being educated more and more about mental health on a daily basis now. Even though change is slow, it is continuous. We can look forward to a future when healthcare becomes accessible to all.
Online Therapy Services That Accept Insurance
Here are three online therapy services that accept payments through insurance:
The Amwell platform converges all kinds of virtual cares in a single meeting place. It has services like Amwell Psychiatric Care and Virtual Primary Care. The former provides on-demand and scheduled telepsychiatry services when and where health systems need it.
The latter consists of a group of primary service care providers who help to address gaps in care immediately. They also try to proactively engage members to address their emerging health risks.
MDLive has board-certified doctors and licensed therapists who can provide you with fast, hassle-free healthcare for over 80 common conditions. Their provider network is the USA’s largest and has trained, licensed mental health professionals providing counselling and behavioural health services.
They provide behavioural health therapy for 15 common issues that make our life hard and often debilitating. This includes addictions, phobias, relationship issues, stress management, Trauma, LGBTQ+ support, OCD, life changes, panic disorders, stress management and PTSD.
Unlike the previous platforms, Talkspace is exclusively an online mental health service. They offer you individual and couples therapy and also cater to teenagers aged 13-17 years old. You will also be supported with medication management from psychiatrists.
With Talkspace, you get 24/7 access, so that you can reach out whenever you need. There are flexible plans to meet your needs and lifestyle. If you are not satisfied with your therapist, you can seamlessly switch over, at no extra cost.
BetterHelp: A Better Alternative
Those who are seeking therapy online may also be interested in BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers plenty of formats of therapy, ranging from live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions. In addition, unlimited messaging through texting, audio messages and even video messages are available here.
BetterHelp also offers couples therapy and therapy for teenagers in its platform. Furthermore, group sessions can also be found in this platform, covering more than twenty different topics related to mental health and mental illness. The pricing of BetterHelp is also pretty cost-effective, especially considering the fact that the platform offers financial aid to most users.
In this guide, we first explored some insurance companies that either fully or partially cover mental health expenses. Then, we discussed why all companies don’t offer these premiums. Finally, we described some online therapy services that take insurance.
Companies that do help with mental health bills are Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, United Healthcare, Cigna, Marsh & McLennan, Aflac, Prudential Financial, and MetLife. Online therapy services that take insurance are Amwell, MDLive, and Talkspace.
FAQs (Best Insurance Companies for Mental Health Coverage)
Is depression covered under insurance?
Some insurance companies do cover the expenses of a therapist, whether it’s a psychiatrist or a psychologist. Common depression treatments that can be paid for through insurance are talk therapy, pharmacotherapy, CBT, and ECT.
How do I know if my insurance covers mental health?
The best way to find out is to contact the company customer service or to visit your website. Ask for a description of the plan benefits and see if there is any information related to information on behavioral health services or coverage for mental health and substance-use disorders.
Why is mental health so expensive?
There are many reasons why therapy is so expensive. To practice professionally, they need to have at least a Masters’ degree. This does not come for free and might incur heavy loans on them, which might take years to pay.
Therapists also work more hours than they charge for. A lot goes on before and after you get done with a session. Planning it and managing the administrative work happens before the session. Following it, your therapist has to read the notes, plan for the subsequent session and take supervision.
Thus, the hourly charges for therapy are high. Insurance systems do not support therapists’ diagnoses. Insurance companies tend to see things more from a biomedical perspective, where the illness is apparent. Thus, invisible mental disabilities are not covered by them.