How Health Insurance Can Help Treat Mental Health

Admitting to yourself that you need therapy is an act of bravery, and chances are that if you’re reading this article right now- you’re at least considering it. 

It’s common knowledge that mental health services don’t come cheap, but there are places that can help or at least take some of the burden off your shoulders. In this article, we talk about how health insurance can come to the rescue if you think you need therapy, but find yourself in need of assistance.  

Government-Sponsored Mental Health Support 

There are systems put in place by the US government to help provide the cost of therapy and affordable prescription drug coverage for seniors and children. These services are Medicare and CHIP, respectively. Medicare provides mental health assistance through Medicare Part B; enrolling in a Medicare Part D plan can help seniors with getting prescription drugs for mental illness diagnoses.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides low-cost health insurance to children from low-income families. CHIP coverage includes: 

  • Counseling 
  • Therapy
  • Medication management 
  • Social work services
  • Peer support and 
  • Substance abuse disorder treatments.

The mental health services covered by government-sponsored health insurance might not assist you in every way you need, but for countless vulnerable citizens, it’s making a real difference.  

Options Under Private Health Insurance 

Many people might not qualify for state-provided health insurance, but that doesn’t mean the government left them helpless. The Affordable Care Act- or ACA requires most health insurance plans to cover over 10 essential health services, and those include mental health services like: 

  • Behavioral health treatments,
  • Mental and behavioral inpatient services, and
  • Coverage for pre-existing conditions. 

In addition, parity protections are in place to make sure that people who need mental health services receive the same- or similar, rates of assistance as people do for medical and surgical services. Health insurance providers are also forbidden to place any yearly or lifetime limits on the financial help they provide in lieu of any mental health services a patient receives.  

Because of these regulations, your health insurance would be obligated to pay for a portion of your therapy sessions, and the exact extent of this help varies depending on what state you’re in, or what insurance you’re using. 

You can find out if your insurance covers therapy by checking your insurance provider’s website. Make sure that the information you’re checking is yours, since plans may vary for different people. You can give them a call or simply ask your therapist if they accept your insurance as well.

 Most times, you’ll be required to spend a certain amount on therapy before insurance can step in to help. Even after that, there are requirements and logistic hurdles to overcome. These hurdles or requirements are the reason people who can afford it often opt to pay for therapy out of pocket. 


Things to Consider 

The help that health insurance has to offer often comes with strings attached. As we mentioned before, some of these requirements are the reason people decide to pay for their therapy themselves. 

Most people aren’t comfortable with the fact that in order for your health insurance to begin covering your therapy, you need to have a diagnosis. That diagnosis stays on your permanent record and can be accessed by background checking systems. For people trying to heal from and eventually overcome their demons this really isn’t the right choice. 

The same goes for covering couple’s counseling or couple’s therapy. One of the two feuding partners needs a diagnosis, and people might feel like the diagnosis stands in the way of them getting impartial treatment. 

If you’re suffering from any mental health issues and need help, there are ways to find it. Your health insurance might not be able to cover all of your mental health-related expenses, but it can probably help with some of them. In any case, it might be an option worth checking out for anyone who’s looking to go to therapy.