Does my Insurance cover this (online counseling, counseling, etc)? Whether I meet a client online or in my office, this is one of the first questions clients ask me, usually after “Are you licensed?” The answer is the same whether I am meeting someone online or in my office: “I am not sure, but I know how to find out.”
Even employees who work for the same company and have the same insurance provider can have different plans, with different benefits and deductibles and copayments. Now with the Affordable Care Act there are even more plans with more confusing benefit structures.
Whether you plan to see a counselor online or in their office, it is a good idea that you verify your insurance before your first appointment so that there are no surprises. Imagine how terrible it would feel to share your story and feelings and then be excited that you have found a counselor you like, only to find your insurance plan does not cover services or that you can’t afford the payments.
I think you can see the benefit of checking on your coverage before you bare your soul.
The steps to verify whether your visits are covered are the same whether you plan to see a counselor online or in an office. You should contact your insurance company and ask the following questions:
- Does my plan cover Mental Health Benefits?
- What is my Mental Health Deductible? – It may be separate from your medical deductible.
- Have I met my deductible? If not how much have I contributed towards my deductible.
- Do I have a Copayment or Coinsurance that will be due at the time of service?
- Are Online Therapy Services (Telemental Health Services) covered under my plan? (Many states require that insurance companies cover online services).
- Ask your insurance company if it requires the therapist to be part of a preferred provider network.
- Is there a limit to the number of sessions?
More than 17 states require insurance companies cover Online Counseling, so there is a good chance you are covered. Many states require the counselor be based in the state where you live, while others do not. Even if you find you are not covered by insurance, many services are very affordable, for instance irx.thedotsmedia.com currently offers a $25.00 initial session with additional sessions at reasonable rates.
It has never been more convenient to receive counseling, it is a difficult decision to take the first step, but it is one that can change your life forever.If you would like more information you can visit: www.irx.thedotsmedia.com and view the “Insurance” section found in the online counseling dropdown box.
Hope to see you there!
Licensed Psychological Associate