This is a list of the best online therapy services that take insurance. Our blog will first discuss certain important considerations when looking for such services. Along with explaining how insurance and online therapy work, and why therapy is expensive, we’ll elaborate on our list. Readers will also learn about two free online therapy services.
What’s the Best Online Therapy That Takes Insurance?
Not many online therapy services take insurance. Here are the few that do:
- Doctor on Demand
Do Insurance Companies Cover Online Therapy?
To address the importance of and demand for sustaining mental wellness, most insurance companies offer coverage for mental health services. However, the extent of how much they do varies from company to company.
Due to the pandemic, therapy, like a lot of other things, have shifted to the web. Even though there might have been telehealth before that, it has become a necessity now. Therefore, you need to be aware of whether your insurance is covering online therapy or not. Online therapy and telehealth are covered under most insurance policies.
If you have an employee assistance program (EAP) with behavioural health benefits, you may be eligible for coverage. Check with your employer. Your personal health insurance plan may cover mental health benefits. Having insurance that covers online therapy can help lower out-of-pocket costs.
Insurance-Covered Online Therapy Apps
Online therapy, unlike conventional therapy, can be accessed from the comfort of your homes. All you need is a smart device and a stable internet connection. There are several credible and effective service providers that can get you access to professional help.
Research shows that online therapy is quite effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Though some people may hold reservations due to the changed settings, online therapy has plenty of potential strengths. In general, it can be really useful for someone struggling with anxiety, especially in times of the pandemic.
Now let’s describe the online therapy services that take 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.
Doctors and allied health professionals are available round the clock, even during holidays on this platform. You do not have to make an appointment and can have your visit by just signing in. Prescriptions are then sent electronically to the pharmacy of your choice. Install the mobile app and access healthcare from anywhere, at any time, using Amwell.
Visits on Amwell accepts insurance coverage from over 80 brands like UnitedHealthcare, Cigna, Aetna and more. With this, you do not have to wait uncomfortably in a therapist’s waiting room. Solve your problems right from the comfort and privacy of your own home.
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. It is easy to use MDLive.
First, you have to register on the site for free and download the app for easy access. Then, you can search through our network of board-certified professionals and choose the one that’s right for you. Finally, you can speak to them over the phone or video. Your prescription will be sent to your nearest pharmacy if you need one.
With insurance, this would cost you somewhere between $0 to $108, whereas psychiatric consultation would cost you between $0-$284. However, this is just for the initial session, after which the ceiling value would be $108. MDLIVE professionals are friendly, caring, compassionate, and experts in conducting virtual consultations.
Doctor on Demand
With 24/7 access to doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and other experts, care is always available at Doctors on Demand. Select and see your favourite providers again and again, right from your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Doctor On Demand’s mental health practice isn’t confined to business hours, Monday through Friday. Whether it’s work stress, relationship issues, or trouble sleeping, Doctors on Demand will help you with a personalized plan. From talk therapy to medication management, this portal is here to support your full mental wellbeing. Their team consists of US-based psychiatrists and therapists, rated 4.9 out of 5 stars by patients.
If medication is a part of your therapy, their psychiatrists can order electronic prescriptions to the pharmacy of your choice. They have experts to treat anxiety, depression, trauma and loss. You will be screened as well, which will give you and your therapist more insight into your problem.
Doctor On Demand is a covered benefit for over 98 million Americans by their health plan or employer. It is free to sign up and easy to check your coverage when you register.
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.
The way Talkspace works is entirely online and extremely simple. You have to first fill out a brief assignment, answering a few questions about your preferences. Then you pick your therapist from a list of recommendations.
Now, you are ready to begin your mental health journey, towards a happier you. 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. You also get a special offer to save $100!
Talkspace works with many employers, health plans, employee assistance programs (EAP), and educational organizations to make therapy available and affordable. You can easily select your company, health plan, or EAP to get started today!
Does Online Therapy Even Work?
Due to the pandemic, most therapy now takes place over video conferencing programs, rather than a traditional in-person meeting. However, many people still might doubt its efficacy, and that is alright. Let us look through some research.
In 2018, a meta-analysis compared the effectiveness of online and in-person therapy for depression and anxiety. It looked at Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The researchers combined the results from 20 studies, which included almost 1,400 therapy patients.
They found that online CBT was just as effective as in-person CBT for treating anxiety and depression. A 2018 paper reviewed over 40 studies and found that both online and in-person therapy reduced PTSD symptoms.
Those who received online therapy were just as satisfied with their experience as the in-person patients. Many other pieces of research have had similar results. Thus, it can be safely said that online therapy works just as well as the traditional in-person variant.
Why is Therapy 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.
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.
Some Things to Consider in Online Therapy
Though therapy from home is pretty convenient, there are still some things you need to remember when considering online therapy.
Non-Verbal Cues are Missing
A large part of what we communicate is from facial expression, tones of voice, body language and gestures. Just speaking over the phone or a glitchy video might not transmit what you mean.
When you talk to one another face to face and in the same room, there is much more clarity and a deeper understanding. Without these dimensions, it might make the client misunderstand what the therapist is saying and vice-versa.
Privacy Requires Greater Measures
Unless the online therapy is encrypted there might be a breach of privacy. Therapy requires an extremely careful practice of ethics and one of them is confidentiality. Without encryption, there is no way anyone can guarantee privacy. It is extremely unpleasant to think of very personal information becoming public information that is available to others.
Some Insurance Companies May Not Cover It
Insurance coverage for e-therapy can depend upon where you live and the insurance that you have. Some insurance policies do not cover online therapy. Paying for psychotherapy services out-of-pocket can add up quickly
Compromised Crisis Situations
Since online therapists are distant from the client, it is difficult to respond quickly and effectively when a crisis happens. For a client experiencing suicidal thoughts or a personal tragedy, it can be difficult for the therapist to provide assistance.
Not Suitable for Serious Psychiatric Disorders
For serious addictions or severe, complex symptoms of a mental health condition, online therapy may not be recommended. Unless of course, other local and accessible therapies or treatments are also involved in your plan. The scope of online therapy can be limited, so it is typically not effective in more complex situations.
Free Online Therapy Services
Fortunately for most, there are a few places when you can get support for free. Here are two such options:
BetterHelp can help you with your anxiety, depression, stress, self-esteem, eating and personality disorders, etc. Users of this platform have experienced benefits within short durations of time and are enjoying their psychological well-being.
Fill out a questionnaire to help us assess your needs and get matched to one of 20,000 licenced therapists. You can message your counsellor whenever and wherever through our website or mobile app. If you are unsatisfied with your counsellor, you can request a new one at any time.
Need to talk to someone? 7 Cups trained volunteer listeners are available 24/7 to give emotional support over online chat. It’s anonymous and completely free. You can find support and friendship in chat rooms and forums presented by 7Cups. They are for many issues, like depression, anxiety, relationships, LGBTQ+ and more.
They have listeners available especially for teens, so you can chat confidentially whenever you need to. You can also get support from online therapists if you are above 18 for $150 per month.
This was a list of the best online therapy services that take insurance. Our blog first discussed certain important considerations when looking for such services. Along with explaining how insurance and online therapy work, and why therapy is expensive, we elaborated on our list. Readers also learned about two free online therapy services.
Online therapy providers that take insurance are Amwell, MDLive, Doctor on Demand, and Talkspace. You can get help for free at BetterHelp and 7 Cups too.
FAQs (Best Online Therapy That Takes Insurance)
Can Talkspace be covered by insurance?
Yes, Talkspace is one of the few online therapy services that accepts insurance. In August 2020, the company announced that it will now be available through eligible insurance plans. Over 40 million of its users are availing services through their insurance.
Does Blue Cross Blue Shield cover online therapy?
Yes, quite a lot of plans under Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance cover online therapy. Moreover, many of their chapters have partnerships with online networks. Contact your member services to check if your therapist of choice can be covered.
Is Talkspace or BetterHelp better?
It is hard to say whether one service provider is better than the other because when it comes to therapy, it is a very subjective experience. What works for someone may not for someone else. If you are sure you want live video chats with your therapist, then BetterHelp is a suitable choice. However, it doesn’t take insurance whereas Talkspace does.