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Mental Health | Does Health Insurance Cover Therapy?

Mental Health | Does Health Insurance Cover Therapy?
When it comes to our well-being, emotional health is just as important as physical health because it's a very crucial part of personal well-being.
While therapists are are helping to curb the level of depression and other mental illnesses, insurers haven't always seen it that way.
Does health insurance cover therapy? This is one of the first things people take into consideration when it comes to seeing a therapist. They'll want to know how much it'll cost with or without a health insurance and how they'll pay for it.
This is wholly because of the high costs of meeting the therapists. According to the National Network of Depression Centers, less than 50 percent of the 16 million American adults who experience major depression receive treatment. Cutting it further lower, you'll also be shocked to hear that 20 percent of the 44 million people with mental health conditions are not getting professional care.

Each year, less than half of the 16 million American adults who experience major depression receive treatment, according to the National Network of Depression Centers. Overall, one in five of the 44 million people with mental health conditions are not getting professional care, according to Mental Health America.

Is therapy covered by insurance?

The answer to question like "is therapy covered by insurance" is often left to the discretion of small health insurance plans. One good news you might like to hear is that with the availability of online therapy which are as effective as in-person treatment, mental health care is becoming just as affordable as home insurance, car insurance and even life insurance.

The mental health parity law or federal parity law passed in 2008 requires that coverage of services for mental health, behavioral health and substance-use disorders to be comparable to physical health coverage. 

A good number of people are still ignorant of the existence of this law and how it affects them. In fact, a 2014 APA survey revealed that over 90 percent of Americans were still unfamiliar with the mental health parity law.

What does the mental health parity law do?

The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (also called mental health parity law or federal parity law) requires insurance companies to treat mental and behavioural health and substance use disorder coverage equal to (or better than) medical/surgical coverage.

For instance, an insurance company can't charge a client $50 copay for office visits to a mental health professional like a psychologist if it only charges a $25 copay for most medical/surgical office visits.

The mental health parity law also covers non-financial treatment limits. For example, limits on the number of mental health visits allowed in a year were once common. The law has essentially eliminated such annual limits. It however, does not prevent the insurance company from implementing limits related to “medical necessity.”

What health plans do the mental health parity law affect?

The federal parity law applies to:
• Employer-sponsored health plans for companies with 50 or more employees
• Individual health plans purchased through the health insurance exchanges created under the • Affordable Care Act
• Children’s Health Insurance Program
NOTE: To know if your health insurance plan provides mental health coverage, check the description of the plan benefits. It should be available in the official website, or in a case where it's not written in a plain language, you might consider contacting your insurance company or human resources representative directly.
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