The Pros and Cons of Using Health Insurance for Mental Health Care
Mental health care services are an important part of holistic health. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, nearly one in five Americans live with an anxiety disorder and 16 million adults in the United States live with depression. These conditions are associated with more doctor’s office and hospital visits, increased risk of heart attack and a weakened immune system.
The good news is that if you have an ACA-compliant health insurance plan, then your health insurance covers mental health care. This removes a significant roadblock to treatment, which can be pricey. The bad news is that using your health insurance to cover mental health services may be more difficult than you would expect. A health insurance agent can help you review your needs and find a health insurance plan that is right for you.
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The Benefits of Using Your Health Insurance for Mental Health Services
Reduced Medication Costs
Many people living with mental health disorders benefit from prescription drug therapy. Even if you pay for your therapy sessions out of pocket, (of course if you aren’t paying a copay for the visits, you should still only have to pay a “network” rate instead of the full rate), your health insurance policy still covers prescription medications.
Pre-existing Conditions Do Not Affect Coverage
Even if you were diagnosed with a condition like bipolar disorder or generalized anxiety disorder decades ago, your health insurance provider cannot deny you coverage for treatment. Under ACA, pre-existing conditions must be covered. Our recommendation is to make sure you are seeing contracted providers if at all possible, and if you have an HMO, you won’t really have a choice. Doing so will keep your out of pocket costs down.
Drawbacks of Using Health Insurance for Mental Health Services
Lack of Long Term Privacy
Any documented health treatment that you receive that is filed through your health insurance company becomes part of your permanent medical file. If your health insurance company audited your records to prevent fraud, they would have access to all the details about what was discussed in each counseling session. This lack of privacy makes therapists hesitant to accept health insurance, and patients hesitant to file claims.
Difficulty Finding a Therapist
Health insurance companies and therapists have a difficult relationship, and in most cases, working with health insurance companies results in therapists receiving significantly less money and taking on a lot more administrative work. For this reason, many therapists do not accept health insurance. Those that do typically have very long wait times, which may not be practical when dealing with a mental health issue.
The Requirement for a Specific Diagnosis
In most cases, health insurance companies only cover medically necessary services, which requires a specific diagnosis. However, many people seek mental health services for reasons not defined by a specific mental health condition. Unless you are receiving mental health services for a particular disorder like anxiety or depression, you may have a hard time getting your health insurance to cover your sessions.
Finding Mental Health Insurance Coverage with Nevada Insurance Enrollment
Different health insurance plans have different coverage options, so if you need mental health services, there is a plan for you. At Nevada Insurance Enrollment, our health care agents can help you review your needs and find the right coverage options for you.