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The Top Online Therapy Services Accepting Insurance in 2023
Top Online Therapy Services Accepting Insurance in 2023: A Comprehensive Guide
In recent years, online therapy has gained popularity as an effective means to address mental health concerns. The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated this trend, with many individuals turning to virtual therapy services to manage their mental health needs. However, access to affordable therapy is a major concern for many individuals. Thankfully, several online therapy platforms offer services that are covered by insurance plans. Here is a comprehensive guide to the top online therapy services that accept insurance:
Brightside offers online therapy and medication management services that are covered by several insurance plans, including Aetna, Cigna, Allegiance, Optum/United Healthcare, and Anthem CA. Their live video therapy sessions cost between $299 to $349 per month, depending on the plan, while medication-only sessions are priced at $95.
Talkspace is a popular online therapy platform that offers text, audio, and video messaging, live video sessions, and live workshops. Their services are covered by several insurance plans, including Optum, Blue Cross, Cigna, GatorCare, and many employer-based plans. The cost of their services ranges between $260 to $436 per month, depending on the plan.
MDLive offers online therapy and psychiatric services that are covered by insurance plans such as Cigna, Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Aetna. The cost of their live video and phone therapy sessions is $284 for the first psychiatrist visit and $108 for follow-up visits. They also offer online counseling sessions priced at $108.
LiveHealth Online offers online therapy services for children and adults that are covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield. Their live video sessions with a psychiatrist cost $175 for the first visit and $75 for follow-up visits. They also offer online therapy sessions with a licensed therapist priced at $80 and online psychology sessions priced at $95.
In conclusion, finding the right online therapy service that is covered by your insurance plan can be challenging. However, with this comprehensive guide to the top online therapy services that accept insurance, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs.
Best Online Therapy and Medication Management That Takes Insurance: Brightside at a Glance
Brightside is an online therapy platform that offers therapy and medication management to individuals with mental health concerns. Here’s what you need to know about this platform:
- In-network for Aetna, Allegiance, Cigna, Optum/United Healthcare, and Anthem CA insurance in select states
- Therapy and medication management is available in every state
- Uses a unique technology called PrecisionRX that recommends the most effective medication for your symptoms
- All plans include unlimited messaging with your provider
- Therapy sessions are 45 minutes long
- Has an app for iOS phones
- Ability to switch therapists is not guaranteed
- Only offers video therapy
- Does not have an app for Android phones
- Psychiatry sessions are only 30 minutes long
In-depth Look at Brightside
Brightside offers cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication management in all 50 states and is in-network nationwide for several major insurance carriers like Aetna and Cigna. It’s currently rolling out nationwide in-network coverage for Optum/United Healthcare.
Brightside only offers video therapy. If you choose a plan that includes it, you will have 45-minute sessions every week. Every Brightside therapist uses a CBT approach to therapy, which has been demonstrated as an effective treatment for issues like depression, anxiety, substance use, and eating disorders according to the American Psychological Association.
Unlimited Messaging Feature
In addition to weekly therapy sessions, Brightside offers unlimited messaging with your provider. You can contact your therapist at any time between appointments to share your thoughts and concerns. The platform also uses PrecisionRX, a unique technology that recommends the most effective medication for your symptoms.
Brightside has an app for iOS phones, but not for Android phones. This may be inconvenient for some users who prefer to access therapy sessions and messaging on their Android devices.
Brightside does not guarantee the ability to switch therapists. If you’re not satisfied with your current therapist, you may need to request a change and wait for a new therapist to become available.
Overall, Brightside is a great option for those who prefer video therapy and are in-network with major insurance carriers. The platform’s unique technology and unlimited messaging feature are also noteworthy benefits. However, those who prefer therapy on Android devices or need longer psychiatry sessions may want to consider other options.
Cost and Payment Options for Brightside Therapy and Medication Management
If you plan to use insurance to pay for your Brightside membership, the exact cost will vary depending on your individual insurance plan. To get a clear understanding of your expected costs, it’s best to contact your insurance provider directly to confirm your benefits.
However, if you choose to pay out-of-pocket, Brightside offers several plans ranging from $95 to $349 per month, depending on your needs. The company accepts Visa and Mastercard credit cards, as well as FSA or HSA dollars. Your credit card will be charged monthly, starting from the date you activate your plan. Here are the three available Brightside plans:
- Costs $299 per month without insurance
- Includes four 45-minute therapy sessions per month
- Provides unlimited messaging to your therapist
- Offers access to 10 self-care videos
Medication Management Plan
- Costs $95 per month without insurance
- Provides a comprehensive evaluation to determine if medication is the right fit
- Offers unlimited messaging with your psychiatric provider
- Medications can be shipped to your door for $15, or filled at your local pharmacy with your copay
Therapy and Medication Management Plan
- Costs $349 per month without insurance
- Includes all of the benefits of the therapy and medication plans
Accepted Insurance Providers
Brightside accepts insurance nationwide from Aetna and Allegiance, and accepts Cigna in all states except Minnesota. It currently only accepts Anthem in California, but is rolling out nationwide coverage for Optum/United Healthcare. During the Brightside sign-up process, you can input your insurance information to check your coverage.
Overall, Brightside offers convenient and affordable online therapy and medication management for those in need. However, it’s important to check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage options and expected costs. For more information, check out our in-depth Brightside review.
Best Online Therapy That Accepts Insurance Overall: Talkspace
Talkspace offers a flexible and convenient approach to therapy, with various price tiers and provider options to choose from. The platform operates on the principle that access to mental health support should not be limited by time constraints, offering an unlimited messaging plan for users to communicate with their therapists whenever they need to.
- Offers medication management
- Offers various price tiers to choose from
- Provides multiple options for therapy communication methods, including text, audio, and video messaging, as well as live sessions
- Choice of several providers offered
- May take several days to be matched to a therapist
- Therapist bios not available on website
- Live video sessions not available on all tiers
- May be delays in responses to messages
Talkspace offers two types of therapy sessions: messaging therapy and live therapy.
With messaging therapy, users are matched with a therapist and provided with a private chatroom where they can send text, audio, and video messages. The therapist monitors the room and responds according to a set schedule five days a week, but may not respond outside of these scheduled hours. If a user wants real-time interaction with their therapist, they can schedule a live audio, video, or chat session for an additional fee.
Video Plus Messaging Therapy:
This subscription offers the same features as messaging therapy, with the addition of four 30-minute live therapy sessions per month. Users can access live therapy sessions through the platform via video, audio-only, or live chat.
Video Plus Messaging Plus Workshops:
This subscription gives users access to the same features as the Video Plus Messaging Therapy subscription, with the addition of live online workshops. Talkspace workshops are led by licensed therapists during scheduled times on Mondays through Fridays via Zoom, providing additional guidance on a variety of common issues.
The BBB gives Talkspace a B rating, yet customers who reviewed Talkspace on the BBB gave it 1.09 out of 5 stars. It’s important to keep this in mind when considering Talkspace as an option.
Cost and Payment Options
Talkspace offers various pricing tiers depending on the subscription you choose. The prices are based on where you live and the availability of licensed therapists in your state of residence. Below is an overview of the prices without insurance:
This subscription plan provides access to text, video, and audio messaging starting at $69 per week, $276 per month. You can get discounts for paying quarterly (10 percent) and biannually (20 percent).
Video Plus Messaging Therapy
This subscription plan provides access to four 30-minute live therapy sessions per month, starting at $99 per week, $396 per month. You can get discounts for paying quarterly (10 percent) and biannually (20 percent).
Video Plus Messaging Plus Workshops
This subscription plan provides access to text, video, and audio messaging, plus four 30-minute live therapy sessions per month, starting at $109 per week, $436 per month. You can get discounts for paying quarterly (10 percent) and biannually (20 percent).
Teen Therapy (Ages 13 to 17)
This subscription plan provides access to text, audio, and video messaging for $65 per week, $260 per month.
The first consultation costs $249, and follow-up visits cost $125.
Talkspace accepts various insurance providers, employer-based insurance plans, and employee assistance programs. Check the Talkspace partners page and enter the name of your insurance company to see if your insurance is accepted.
Talkspace offers a range of pricing tiers, depending on the type of subscription you choose. These subscriptions offer access to various therapy communication methods, including text, audio, and video messaging, as well as live sessions. Talkspace accepts many insurance providers, which may help offset the cost of therapy for some people.
Top Choice for Specialized Care: MDLive
- Allows users to choose their own therapist
- Offers medication management services
- Provides a wide range of services
- Primarily focused on medication management
- No monthly subscription plans available
- Email and text options are not offered
MDLive is an all-encompassing telehealth platform that connects users to mental health care providers and non-emergency medical care services. The platform provides treatment for a range of health issues such as migraines, pink eye, and sinus infections. MDLive also has a team of psychiatrists available for consultation, allowing users to receive prescriptions as part of their treatment plans. It is the ideal option for individuals who are seeking specialized mental health care and accept insurance. When searching for a therapist on the platform, users can filter their search results by a variety of specialties, including chronic pain, grief or loss, hoarding, internet addiction, pregnancy or infertility, sex therapy, video game addiction, and eating disorders.
MDLive is set apart from other online therapy platforms that accept insurance due to its high consumer ratings. According to consumer review site Trustpilot, MDLive has a TrustScore of 4.2, which is considered excellent. TrustScore is a measurement of reviewer satisfaction based on all the service and location reviews a business receives on Trustpilot, rated on a scale of 1 to 5. The convenience of the therapy is highly appreciated by MDLive users, with one Trustpilot review stating, “I’ve always wanted to try therapy but found it difficult to fit into my schedule. I have high hopes for success moving forward because MDLive makes it easy.”
Additionally, we looked at BBB ratings, which are based on information obtained by the BBB about a business, including public complaints. MDLive has an A+ rating from the BBB, but it averages 1.05 out of 5 stars from 39 customer reviews. In contrast, Talkspace has a B rating and averages 1.09 out of 5 stars from customer reviews. LiveHealth Online is not rated by BBB.
MDLive provides phone and live video chat sessions for both counseling and medication management services.
Cost and Payment Options
MDLive charges $108 for a counseling session and $284 for the first medication management visit with a psychiatrist, followed by $108 for follow-up appointments. The cost of therapy is reduced when paid for by insurance, but the specific pricing varies depending on the insurance.
What Insurance Does MDLive Accept?
MDLive accepts most insurance plans, including Cigna, Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Aetna. To find out whether MDLive accepts your insurance, you can create a free account and input your insurance information.
Best Online Therapy for Children That Accepts Insurance: LiveHealth Online
- Therapy for children as young as 10 years old is offered.
- Medication management is available.
- Sessions are conducted via live video with licensed therapists or psychiatrists.
- Medication management is offered for adults only.
- No monthly subscription plans are available.
- Email and text options are not available.
As most online therapy services are geared towards adults, it can be challenging to find the right care for children. However, LiveHealth Online offers online therapy for children as young as 10. This makes it an ideal option for parents looking for specialized care for their child’s mental health needs.
Considerations for Children’s Online Therapy
While online therapy can be a great solution for children struggling with mental health issues, it’s not for everyone. Engaging children in therapy can be more challenging online, so parents should consider their child’s ability to stay engaged and comfortable with virtual therapy.
LiveHealth Online provides video sessions with licensed therapists and psychiatrists, making it easy for parents to find the right mental health professional for their child’s specific needs. Parents can sign up for the service on their smartphone, tablet, or computer and browse the list of licensed therapists and psychiatrists who are available in their state.
Cost and Payment Options
LiveHealth Online offers affordable options for parents seeking online therapy for their children. Without insurance, an initial video session with a LiveHealth Online psychiatrist costs $175, with follow-up visits costing $75 each. Video sessions with online therapists are $80 each, and video sessions with online psychologists are $95 each. However, insurance can lower the cost of therapy. The specific pricing depends on the insurance plan.
What Insurance Does LiveHealth Online Accept?
LiveHealth Online’s video sessions are covered by several insurance plans, including Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross, and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield health plans. Other plans may cover some of the cost but are not considered in-network by LiveHealth Online.
Overall, LiveHealth Online is an excellent option for parents looking for online therapy that accepts insurance and provides specialized care for children.
How to Determine If Your Insurance Is Accepted by an Online Therapy Service
If you’re considering online therapy, it’s important to know whether your insurance will cover it. Here’s how to find out:
Check the Website of Your Insurance Provider
Most online therapy providers list the forms of insurance they accept on their website. If you don’t see your insurance provider listed, contact them by calling the number on the back of your insurance card or checking their website.
Does Medicare or Medicaid Cover Online Therapy?
Under the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, Medicare plans must include online therapy coverage. Medicare Part B covers online therapy at the same cost as in-person therapy. However, each state has different rules regarding online therapy under Medicaid. To determine if your Medicaid plan covers online therapy, check with your state’s Medicaid plan. Online therapy providers typically indicate whether they accept Medicaid or Medicare on their website.
Other Options for Saving Money on Online Therapy
If your insurance doesn’t cover online therapy, don’t worry! Here are some ways to save money:
- Check with your employer to see if they offer an employee assistance program that covers visits with an online therapy provider.
- Many online therapy platforms offer free trials or monthly subscription plans that can save you money.
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers a range of resources for those who need help affording therapy, including a list of prescription assistance programs for psychiatric medications.
- Local NAMI affiliates can connect you with housing resources and support.
In conclusion, finding out whether your insurance is accepted by an online therapy service is an important step in accessing mental health care. If your insurance doesn’t cover online therapy, there are still plenty of options for getting the help you need.
The Pros and Cons of Online Therapy: Is it Right for You?
- Convenient scheduling: Online therapy is easier to fit into your schedule than in-person appointments. You don’t have to worry about taking time off work or finding childcare.
- Ability to communicate more frequently: With some providers, you can write to your therapist about problems as they come up, rather than waiting until your next session.
- No need to travel: You can access therapy from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.
- Delayed responses: You may not receive instant responses from a provider, unless sessions are live.
- Age restrictions: Most online therapy providers only serve individuals age 18 and older.
- Insurance coverage: Online therapy is not always covered by insurance.
- Digital or video format: It requires individuals to be comfortable talking in a digital or video format.
Who is Online Therapy For?
Online therapy is best for those who are comfortable using technology to communicate, who don’t mind waiting for a response to whatever issues they bring up in therapy, and who are potentially willing to pay out of pocket. However, if you prefer discussing issues in person, don’t have a strong internet connection, and aren’t willing to wait for a response, online therapy might not be right for you.
It’s important to note that online therapy is not suitable for individuals who have thoughts of hurting themselves or others, as they need immediate professional care. Individuals with severe mental health issues such as mania, psychosis, and traumatic stress response may also want to consider consulting with a professional before engaging in online therapy, as telehealth for people in distress can be challenging.
What Conditions Can Online Therapy Help With?
Online therapy can help with a wide variety of conditions and concerns, including:
- Eating disorders
- Sleeping disorders
Before choosing an online therapist, it’s important to consider the fit between your personality and their approach to treatment. According to Aaron Weiner, PhD, a licensed, board-certified psychologist and master addiction counselor in Chicago, the biggest difference between online therapy and in-person therapy is that it’s easier to be distracted or disengaged online. All the normal distractions in your environment are still there.
What to Consider When Choosing and Preparing for Online Therapy
If you’re considering purchasing an online therapy subscription or paying per visit, there are several things to keep in mind to ensure you get the most out of your therapy sessions.
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing an Online Therapy Subscription
Before purchasing an online therapy subscription or paying per visit, it’s important to research the providers and plans that are available to you. Some factors to consider include:
- Price: Take notice of the prices for various providers on the online therapy platform. Generally, psychiatrists are more expensive than other providers.
- Provider experience: If you’re allowed to choose a provider from a group of them, make sure they have experience treating your specific concerns, such as depression, anxiety, or certain phobias.
- Private space: Ensure that you have a private space at home to participate in your appointments without distractions.
Tips for Preparing for Your First Online Therapy Appointment
Preparing for your first online therapy appointment can make the experience more comfortable for both you and your therapist. Consider the following tips:
- Share your medical history: Be ready to share your mental health history and past treatment.
- Check your equipment: Check any equipment you’re going to use for your visit beforehand, so you know it’s working properly.
- Find a private space: Find a private space in your home where you can talk to someone without others overhearing.
- Make a list: Make a list of the topics you want to cover and refer to it when speaking to your therapist.
- Ask questions: Make a list of things you might want to ask your therapist, like how long they’ve been in practice and how much experience they have in dealing with issues like yours.
There are several online therapy providers that accept insurance, and the right one for you will depend on your specific needs. Consider the following options:
- For medication management: MDLive or Talkspace may be the best fit for you.
- For a combination of medication and therapy, especially with Aetna, Cigna, or Optum/UnitedHealthcare insurance: Brightside is a great option.
- For therapy for a child under 18: LiveHealth Online may be a good choice.
When choosing an online therapy provider, it’s important to research and compare your options to find the best fit for you and your needs. Keep in mind that not all providers may accept your insurance, so it’s important to verify coverage before making a decision.
What to Do in Emergency Situations
In case of an emergency, it’s important to know what resources are available to you. Waiting for an online therapy appointment may not be safe in crisis situations. Here are some options to consider:
- Call 911: If you are experiencing a mental health crisis or have plans to harm yourself or others, call 911 immediately.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: If you are having suicidal thoughts, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 for free and confidential support.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline: The SAMHSA National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357) is a free and confidential 24/7 treatment referral and information service for individuals facing mental or substance abuse disorders.