does health insurance cover psychotherapy?

Does Health Insurance Cover Therapy?

Natalie Buchwald, LMHCTherapy With Insurance

By Natalie Buchwald, LMHC | Last Updated: June 15th, 2023
Reviewed by Steven Buchwald

The Covid-19 pandemic has put mental health front and center. Mental health break is now part of our culture. Self-care is celebrated. The “Treat yo’Self” ethos popularized a decade ago in the Parks and Recreation TV-Show has penetrated deep into our collective consciousness.

Talk therapy is hardly taboo anymore, particularly in big cities like New York. Especially among younger folks. Yet, we are not quite at the point where one would go see a shrink as readily for anxiety as one would see a podiatrist for a broken toe.

One obstacle is the persisting perception that talk therapy is not covered by insurance. There are a few good reasons why this perception is so sticky. Chief among them is the reality that it is so hard to find a good therapist that accept insurance – side note: this is where we come in: our therapists are really good and accept insurance.

Another reason is that insurance companies do a really good job at obfuscating that insurance cover therapy, what your co-pay and deductible are, if any, and whether there is a session cap – there usually isn’t.

Story Time

Starting in 1996 with the enactment into law of the Mental Health Parity Act, insurance companies had to start providing the same level of benefits for mental illness, serious mental illness or substance abuse as for other physical disorders and diseases. This law, which was further expanded in 2008, turn mental health care into essential services that insurance companies had to cover just as well as physical health.

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So does Health Insurance cover therapy? Yes! It is now covered by virtually all commercial Medicaid plans.

As Healthcare.Gov, the government’s website, states:

“All plans must cover: Behavioral health treatment, such as psychotherapy and counseling…”

So does insurance pay for therapy sessions?

The answer is yes. All insurance plans must cover therapy.

However, whether you you have a copay or deductible for therapy will depend on your plan. Read more to find out what are the best insurance for therapy.

Now that we’ve hopefully dispelled this misconception, let’s discuss the next challenge: finding a therapist that accepts insurance AND that is a good fit for you.

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Therapy is wonderful tool for healing from anxiety, depression, trauma and other mental health disorders. But it only works well with a commitment on your part of showing up every week and a strong bond with the therapist that you are working with. Vulnerability require safety. A feeling that you can reveal all of who you are without a mask. Don’t force the connection if it is not there. Pay attention to what it feels like to be with the therapist.

Using your health benefits for weekly psychotherapy is a smart way to make the most of your benefits and progress toward greater health and happiness.

The therapists at Manhattan Mental Health Counseling are caring, compassionate and well-trained in a variety of therapeutic skills and modalities. We are in-network with the following insurance: Aetna, Cigna, United Healthcare and Healthfirst.