Therapies are very costly. That’s why you get insured right from the beginning. Whenever therapy comes into the picture, a question arises; how much will it cost?. Will I be able to pay for it, and can I get all the relevant mental health services via online therapy?
BetterHelp is a subscription service that provides people with access to online therapy. It allows you to talk to a psychologist, a marriage and family therapist, a clinical social worker, or a licensed professional counselor.
BetterHelp therapists have experience treating a wide range of issues, including depression, anxiety, stress, and relationships, among others. But there is a common question: “Is BetterHelp covered by insurance?” If you want to seek a straight answer, then BetterHelp insurance is not covered by the insurance companies.
This guide will help you learn more about BetterHelp, and how you can access therapy and other mental health services with or without BetterHelp insurance.
About BetterHelp Costs
BetterHelp offers a subscription model where the fee for a subscription ranges between $60 to $80 every week, and it is usually billed monthly. They will charge you between $240 and $320 per month, payable via PayPal or a credit card. They also has a good refund policy.
This subscription allows users to:
- Connect with their counselor through unlimited text messaging
- Connect with their counselor through unlimited audio messaging
- A live weekly video session with their counselor
BetterHelp financial aid
BetterHelp offers financial aid. It will ask you to fill out a short survey about your monthly income to check your eligibility.
What Are Deductibles, How Do They Work, And How Much Do I Have to Pay?
If you’ve started exploring the world of health insurance, you’ve probably heard about deductibles. If you are unfamiliar with the term, a deductible is the amount of money you need to add to your policy each year before your insurance plan is activated. Let’s take Medicare as an example.
Medicare is the most trusted insurance company in the USA. In fact, 93% of doctors accept health insurance with Medicare. It has 2 deductibles – one for Part A services and the other for Part B. In the first case, the deductible is $1,556. So, this means you will have to cover the first $1,556 of the healthcare services included in the plan.
In most cases, this is a one-time fixed annual amount. However, some companies have percentage deductibles which are calculated based on your total insurance plan cost. It’s also important to note that plans with higher deductibles have lower premiums and vice versa. In general, lower deductibles are better because they help you qualify for insurance faster.
When it comes to your total out-of-pocket spending for insurance, that mostly depends on the insurance plan you choose. Every health insurance plan also depends on the coinsurance and your specific age, gender, medical history, etc. Consult an expert healthcare insurance provider to find the best plan for your needs.
How to know your insurance coverage? And tips for finding therapy
If you’ve health insurance, there is a chance that your policy will cover at least some mental health services.
It is essential to note that there are vast differences in benefits provided by insurers. You will need to review your plan with cautiousness to understand better what is covered and what you will have to pay out of pocket.
Is Mental Health Covered By My Health Insurance Plan?
As of 2008, USA insurance companies must provide coverage for SUD (substance use disorders) and behavioral and mental health. To make things even better, national insurers like Medicare and Medicaid offer various mental health benefits. Even though it’s logical to assume that health insurance covers therapy, this isn’t always the case. But it’s not uncommon for insurers to pay a subsidy for therapy, especially if they are a larger insurance company.
Another thing important to note is that people’s favorite online mental health provider, Betterhelp, is not covered by your health insurance plan. However, some insurers may offer reimbursements. If you want to learn more about the mental health conditions and issues covered by your insurance, talk to your provider today! You can also inquire about your deductibles, copayments, and reimbursements.
Remember that to be eligible for mental health coverage; you need to be diagnosed with a certain condition or issue by a licensed mental health expert.
How to know if your insurance plan covers therapy?
Many beneficiaries are concerned if their insurance plan covers BetterHelp insurance or not. Or if they’ve insurance, then how to find coverage of therapy here? Below are some tips:
- Log in to the online account of your insurance company and read about the services they offer.
- Call your insurance provider and talk to them in detail about online therapy.
- If you’re using therapy services through the Employee Assistance Program, then ask the Human Resource Department for in-depth details.
- Ask a healthcare provider or a therapist if they cover their charges under your insurance network.
Keep in mind that most insurers pay for mental health services that are extremely necessary. It may require you to go through a doctor’s referral or a diagnosis before accessing the treatment.
How can I find a therapist covered by my insurance?
Once you find out what your insurance plan covers, now it’s time to find a therapist. To find a therapist, check out the following resources:
- Insurance plan’s list of providers
- Referrals from healthcare professionals, friends, and family
- Trustworthy online databases, such as American Association for Marriage and family therapy’s Therapist locator or American Psychological Association’s Psychologist Locator.
- Local organizations, such as advocacy groups, colleges, religious groups, and nonprofits.
Common concerns related to insurance coverage
If you’re buying insurance, it is good to ask these questions over the call:
- What are the particular health services that are covered or not covered in their insurance plan?
- If I’m already experiencing a pre-existing mental health condition, will it be covered in the therapy?
- Which therapy services or therapists do take mental-health-related insurance?
- Does my insurance cover BetterHelp?
- Ask about the cost of talk therapy.
- If I’m prescribed some medicines, will they be covered under an insurance plan?
- Do I need to take a referral from my primary care doctor under a health insurance plan?
- Will it be possible to conjoin my medical insurance plans with other options such as auto insurance, mental health, etc., to receive a discount?
If you already have a pre-existing medical insurance plan, call them to find all the details mentioned above.
What do FSAs and HASs cover?
For those unfamiliar with these acronyms, FSA stands for flexible spending account while HAS for health savings account.
The first one is the responsibility of your employers. They need to contribute a part of your pay to your FSA each month. The portion contributed is not taxable and can be used as coverage for certain healthcare costs, including vision expenses and virtual therapy.
The HAS functions almost exactly like the FSA; however, it isn’t available for everyone. In order to enjoy the benefits of having a HAS, you need to satisfy 3 criteria:
- You shouldn’t have a Medicare coverage;
- You shouldn’t be dependent on anybody’s tax return;
- You should have a health insurance plan with a higher deductible.
The FSA and HAS differ in another crucial aspect – the FSA is linked to your employer while the HAS is completely yours. Simply put, if you switch employers, you cannot take the FSA with you, but you can take the HAS.
Because some employers don’t give out FSAs and HSAs, it’s advised to ask early on about your options. As the old saying goes, better to be safe than sorry.
Some other Affordable Options for Therapy
If you do not have health insurance (or even if you do), here is what you can do to access some affordable mental healthcare:
Keep in mind that online therapy isn’t for everyone, but it does have many advantages. For one, it tends to be less expensive than paying for a therapist.
Online therapy has affordable options and even has some of the best free online therapists. People consider it more convenient than visiting a therapist in person. And during the recent COVID-19 outbreak, it is a safe option for mental health support.
Therapist Training Centers
Another great way to reduce the cost of your therapy sessions is to schedule them at a therapist training center. These centers are special training institutions that allow students to gain valuable experience and relevant certification before entering the field on their own.
In fact, in most cases, students must participate in such internships to qualify as professionally trained therapists. But because the people working there are technically not licensed mental health professionals, the therapy sessions come for free or at a significantly reduced cost.
There is no need to worry about the quality of service in these community mental health centers as they are a part of university programs in advanced psychology, counseling, and social work studies. Experienced professionals guide the students in training, so quality is never compromised, and high-standard therapeutic services are available at all times.
In addition, most of these educational institutions are covered by insurance, most commonly by Medicaid, the nation’s public health program for low-income citizens.
So, if you are interested in an effective yet low-cost solution for improving your mental health, try to find a therapist training center nearby. Feel free to contact your local state health department and discover the best community mental health centers in your area.
Sliding Scale Therapy
Some therapy providers offer sliding scale payment options for their mental health services. It means they will charge you based on your income, usually between $70 and $175 per session. The lower your income, the lower you pay.
Be aware that you will have to provide documentation to prove your annual income.
There is no significant difference between sliding scale therapy and regular therapy. However, you might have less choice in terms of therapists and specialties available.
Ask about discounts
If you’ve found your desired therapist but can’t pay their fee, it wouldn’t hurt to ask them respectfully about the discounts. While it isn’t common for therapists to offer discounts, it is not uncommon either.
Reach out to the therapist and openly tell them that your funds are limited. You can also ask them to suggest other less-expensive options like group therapy.
Local Support Group
If your BetterHelp insurance coverage isn’t helping your budget, then look for local support groups. Most of them are free to attend and usually structured around particular issues, like depression, addiction, or chronic illness.
By joining a local support group, you will connect with other people dealing with similar issues and challenges. Look for a local support group run by a mental health professional. Self-run groups can lack organization. That’s why you should always join a group with a moderator.
Get Immediate Help
If you need to talk to a mental health professional ASAP, call one of the national crisis lines! They are open 24/7, and on the other side of the phone, there is a kind and caring person who is ready to help.
Dial one of these numbers to get immediate help:
- Lifeline – The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255
- SAMHSA – Mental Health and Substance Abuse National Helpline: 800-662-4357
- Samaritans Crisis Hotline: 212-673-3000
- YouthLine – The National Helpline for young people (11 to 21 years old): 877-968-8491
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
Contact 911 or go straight to the ER if you have the urge to hurt yourself or another person. If you prefer texting, there are also crisis chat services:
- Crisis Text Line – write “Hello” to 741741 in the UK and the USA, or to 686868 in Canada
- YouthLine Text – write “teen2teen” to 839563
- Lifeline Chat
We understand that asking for help doesn’t always come easy! However, it’s more beneficial than most people care to admit. Don’t shy away from contacting a crisis line, your doctor, your local community mental health center, or your preferred licensed mental health professional.
You must be already aware of the fact that BetterHelp is an online, subscription-based therapy service. And it is not covered by health insurance. But as you see other multiple therapy providers in the list above, you can choose one from them.