You’ve heard about the benefits of talk therapy and behavioral health services and have considered giving it a try, but you’re a little uncertain about how to get started. From finding the right therapist and arranging payment to ensuring that your privacy is protected, there’s a lot to think about before your first visit. To help ease you into the process, we asked some industry professionals to field some of the most common questions.
Does insurance cover therapy?
Generally speaking, most insurance policies do cover therapy – but the reality is, it depends. “Insurance plans are typically scaled at different levels,” explains Julie Frischkorn, L.C.S.W., Spark360’s director of behavioral health and mindfulness. “Some levels cover mental health and some do not.”
Frischkorn says to always call the number on the back of your health insurance card before your first meeting with a therapist to check to see if your plan covers mental health, the person you are planning to meet with is “in-network” with your insurance plan and whether you are covered for only a certain number of sessions or for unlimited sessions.
Clinical psychologist Aviva Gaskill, Ph.D., points out that while therapy may be covered by insurance, people often have high deductibles for out-of-network or sometimes even in-network services. “You will need to meet your deductible before insurance payment covers the cost of these services,” she notes.