Does Health Insurance Cover Mental Health Services?
Lauren Lewthwaite 28-03-2022

Does Health Insurance Cover Mental Health?

Does Health Insurance Cover Mental Health

Mental health is gaining awareness throughout the country, and it’s about time. After all, nearly one in five Americans live with a mental illness and it’s likely that even more are undiagnosed. Many people are asking the question, “does health insurance cover mental health?”, so that they can begin to get the help they need.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about insurance coverage and mental health services. 

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Does Health Insurance Cover Mental Health?

The short answer is that it varies by plan and insurance type. We’ll dive into the types of health insurance plans below 

  • Employer-sponsored health insurance: companies with more than 50 employees are mandated to provide health insurance to employees, but that health insurance doesn’t necessarily need to include mental health services (although most large companies do provide a form of it).
  • Affordable Care Act health insurance: health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace under the ACA is required to cover certain essential services, including mental health services.  While the plans vary by state, all plans must place no dollar limits on yearly or lifetime mental health coverage and must have parity protection so that all out-of-pocket costs for mental health services are similar to medical and surgical benefits.
  • Medicaid: state-run Medicaid is required to provide mental health services.
  • Medicare: Original Medicare Part A covers inpatient behavioral health services, while Parts B and C cover outpatient mental health services, but costs can vary.
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): for families with children that don’t qualify for Medicaid, CHIP offers an array of mental health services and parity protections like ACA health insurance.

There are many types of health insurance plans in the USA and each has its own coverage, spend limits, and approved providers. Checking in advance with your insurance provider to ensure you fit the criteria for mental health services and using an in-network provider can help ensure that you’re getting the coverage you need and spending the least amount out of pocket possible 

How to Find Out If Your Health Insurance Covers Mental Health

Understanding insurance and what you’re covered for can be confusing. Luckily, there are a number of ways to quickly find out the answer to the question, “does health insurance cover mental health services for me?”. 

  • Call your insurance provider
  • Log onto your insurance account online
  • Ask your company’s HR department (if you have employer-sponsored health insurance)
  • Ask the therapist or mental health service if they accept your insurance 

Your insurance provider is there to help answer your questions and even provide you with a list of resources to contact for mental health services. 

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So, Does Health Insurance Cover Mental Health?

There’s a growing need for mental health services, and as a result, more and more plans are covering it in some way. While plans can vary significantly by insurance provider and state, your insurance provider should be able to quickly tell you if mental health is a covered service. Getting the help you need can be as simple as calling your insurance provider and getting a list of providers, so find out today if your particular health insurance plan covers mental health services.

Lauren LewthwaiteLauren Lewthwaite has been freelance writing for almost five years writing content that ranges from health to insurance and everything in between. Lauren is also a trained translator in French and English and is a dog-mom to an adorable Australian Shepherd.