Online therapy services have proven to be one of the most convenient alternatives to covering mental health therapy. Many people use these online services because it provides many benefits such as being less time consuming, less expensive in some cases, and overall, it is more comfortable for the person.
This kind of online service allows you to get the help that you need while being at home or at your office. It also helps people who can’t get to a counselor’s office or don’t feel comfortable yet with talking to another person face-to-face about their private lives and feelings.
While online therapy is a good alternative for many people, and has similar benefits to traditional face-to-face therapy, it doesn’t substitute the latter in every case, so it is important that you first check which option works best for you. There’s no wrong choice while choosing; it all depends on your available resources, your individual circumstances, and personal preferences.
One of the main things that people have on their mind when choosing a therapist is: How they are going to pay. Many health insurance providers offer different plans for mental health coverage, so it’s a matter of asking your provider about the coverage that they offer or asking your therapist directly if they take coverage for mental health care services.
Having this in mind, one of the questions that people have regarding online therapy services is: Does online therapy take insurance? The short answer would be: In some instances, yes.
Some insurance companies are currently showing interest in online therapy services, so more of them may offer that kind of coverage in the future. However, today, keep in mind that online services are not usually covered by health insurance. Many insurances only cover video calls using HIPAA-compliant video services and do not cover other services such as text messages, phone calls, or e-mails.
Large health insurance with more than 50 employees are required to provide coverage under the Mental Health Parity Law, which states that the coverage for mental health care and physical health care services has to be equal. This kind of coverage can include both traditional face-to-face counseling and online counseling. You can ask your provider directly to check if it covers online therapy services and what are the conditions for applying.
Keep in mind that not all health insurance companies are required by law to provide coverage under parity laws. This can be the case of smaller insurance companies with fewer than 50 employees that are exempt from the Parity law.
BetterHelp services are not generally covered by insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, since it doesn’t allow using the platform for diagnosing mental health issues, and insurance companies require that an official diagnosis is associated with mental health services.
Another reason for this is that BetterHelp charges you a specific fee, monthly or weekly; It doesn’t charge you depending on what type of session you receive or the type of communication you use on the platform. Insurance companies usually charge you based on the type of service you take.
Is BetterHelp Covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield?
No. Even though Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of the insurance providers that cover both in-office therapy and online therapy in their plans, insurance providers require the therapist to send an official diagnosis for you to apply for the coverage. BetterHelp’s Terms of Service do not authorize counselors to provide a medical diagnosis to users.
Although it is not covered, we do recommend that you talk to an expert to take care of your mental health if you are in need, and trust your judgment in case of financial decisions.