Taking care of yourself means taking care of all of you – head to toe, inside and out. That means that mental health care is an important part of the healthcare mix. Fortunately, insurance coverage for mental healthcare has improved greatly over the years, which means that when you need mental healthcare, you should be covered by insurance.
If you have insurance, you probably have mental health coverage
Since 2014, most health insurance plans are required to include mental health service coverage. This includes most individual and small group health insurance plans, plans sold in the public marketplace and purchased through state exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid plans, and plans offered by employers. What this means is that if you have health insurance, there’s a good chance that mental health services are included.
How can you learn more about your mental health coverage?
If you have questions about exactly which services are included in your mental health insurance coverage, you should contact your health insurance provider directly. As with all insurance coverage, insurers are not required to pay for the full cost of services – including therapy, prescriptions, substance-use disorder treatments, and other services – so they may pay for a portion of your mental health services while you are responsible for paying the difference, or they may cover only certain types of healthcare providers or treatments.
Co-pays, deductibles, and in-network and out-of-network providers are some of the thornier details of coverage that might make a difference in your options for care and cost. Sometimes these specifics can be a bit confusing, so it’s best to contact your insurance provider directly and iron out those details so that you can take advantage of the coverage that you have and get the services you need. Your insurer should be available to help answer any questions you might have about just which services they cover. Often, they have an online portal and search engine, online customer service, or a behavioral healthcare focused customer care phone number you can call – so don’t let some of these details stop you from getting the care you need. Be sure to ask about options such as telehealth and covered apps in addition to office-based care.
Mental health is an important part of overall health, that’s why care is covered
In much the same way that you wouldn’t just expect a broken leg to just fix itself, so too you should get professional help from mental health providers if you know for certain that you need some help, or even if you just think you could benefit from assistance from mental healthcare professionals. After all, mental health plays a huge role in your overall health, and keeping yourself feeling good and healthy is more important now than ever.
- “Does your insurance cover mental health services?” American Psychological Association. American Psychological Association. Retrieved June 18 2018. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/parity-guide.aspx.
- “Health insurance and mental health services.” MentalHealth.gov. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, March 19 2018. Retrieved June 18 2018. https://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help/health-insurance.