Written by: Jennifer Bennet (Taylor Benefits Insurance)
Photo – Sydney Sims on Unsplash

If you suffer from a mental health illness and have a health insurance plan from work, your athletic team or a business group, chances are that it will cover mental health services as well as physical health services and taking advantage of those services is a critical step towards a healthy lifestyle. According to Mental Health America, there are more than 6 million adults who have been diagnosed with mental illness and have no health insurance coverage and while that number has been slowly improving over the last decade, it still means that more than half of adults who need treatment have not been able to get the help they need within the last year alone.

While being able to schedule an appointment with a doctor for a physical illness can be easily handled, you might find that you will face more requirements for an office visit or at times you may even find it difficult to find a mental health provider who accepts your insurance. Some therapists simply won’t work with insurance companies to help patients pay for services. With the amount of paperwork required for insurance claims as well as a rate that may be considerably lower than what a therapist may be used to earning, you’re going to find quite a few who require cash only for counseling and other mental health services.

Finding a Mental Health Therapist

Federal law states that insurance providers must treat mental health equal to medical and surgical coverage. This means that insurance providers cannot pay one more than the other. This also means that for many mental health counselors, the going insurance rate may not be what they normally charge, and they would lose money if they accepted insurance. There is also often a wealth of paperwork required to justify mental health services. At times, these issues can deter mental health specialists from accepting new patients who need to pay with insurance.

One fact remains through it all and that is that everyone is going through something and being able to face things with a solid treatment program is an essential tool for growth, development and even physical health and wellbeing. If you find that you have few options for mental health care because local therapists will not accept your insurance, you may want to discuss changing plans with your human resource office or contact another insurance provider on your own.

Prescription Coverage

Taylor Benefits Insurance, an insurance company based in California states that there are some valid reasons for using your insurance benefits for mental health treatment. One of the biggest reasons is that you often don’t have to spend as much for prescription medications as a cash customer would. This is especially important for patients who need ongoing care and will need to refill medications for long time periods.

Health insurance can help offset the cost of expensive medications that are extremely important to take regularly. Medications prescribed for mental illness can assist with promoting wellness and easing the symptoms of illnesses including panic attacks, depression and others. Without insurance, many people find it difficult to afford the medications that they need. Whether you use your insurance for seeking professional help or not, taking advantage of the prescription benefits is something to consider saving money and have access to the medicines you need.

Prescription Assistance Programs

On top of insurance helping reduce what must be spent out of pocket, people now have some great choices for prescription assistance programs. Here are three assistance programs that you can use immediately to search for money saving coupons and other assistance information:

GoodRx– This program offers patients a way to compare prescription prices from one pharmacy to the next. They also offer coupons and other ways to save as much as 80% on medications.

RxAssist– The program provides a wealth of information to patients not only on saving money on prescriptions but also on health and wellness news.

PatientAssistance.com– This website offers discount coupons, medication and health information and information for patients to seek out other alternatives to save money on prescription medication.

Thanks to the mental health parity law that was initiated in 2008, many insurers have now dropped requirements that limit office visits annually and they have also lowered co-pays and deductibles when used for mental health services. Steps are still being taken to ensure that therapists can charge accurate rates for services, and although rates have not completely been adjusted by the insurance companies to sure therapists can be paid what they normally charge, your insurance should cover a great deal of the expense, so you are able to receive the best mental health treatment when you are using your health insurance.

If you find that you are having a difficult time trying to find a mental healthcare facility or individual therapist in your area who will accept your insurance, or if you don’t have insurance and cannot afford the fees for services on your own, a great resource to use is the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) which is a national group that educates, advocates and leads the way with mental health news and information and can also offer insight into services and how to pay for them in your area.