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How health insurance covers mental health

What you should know

In recent years, more people have started to open up about their mental health struggles and seek the help they need. This is a great step toward fully ending the stigma that surrounds talking about mental health. However, many still worry about the financial impact seeking mental health care will have.

What are mental health services?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness External Link. Even if you haven’t struggled with your mental health in the past, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen in the future. Because of this, health insurance is an important factor many consider when choosing a health plan.

Different health plans offer different levels of coverage for mental health services. There are some services the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates all health plans must cover External Link, with a few exceptions External Link.

These covered services include:

  • Behavioral health treatments, such as psychotherapy and counseling.
  • Inpatient services for mental and behavioral health.
  • Substance use disorder (also known as substance abuse) treatment.

Not all mental health issues that require intervention fall into one of these categories. That’s why Wellmark offers additional features to support your mental health that are available with most health plans.

Know your mental health care benefits with myWellmark®

Costs for mental health services may vary depending on your benefits. Before seeking mental health care, you should log in to myWellmark to estimate your costs prior to scheduling an appointment or filling a prescription.

Virtual therapy and behavioral coaching

woman speaking with mental health specialist online

Doctor On Demand External Link offers access to doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and other medical experts and is available to most Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield members. Appointments are virtual, so you can seek care when and where it’s convenient for you. Plus, if you receive care from a provider you like, you can choose to see them again next time.

You can use Doctor On Demand to address concerns surrounding:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Trauma and loss
  • Postpartum mental health concerns
  • Stress and panic attacks
  • Insomnia and more

Depending on your health insurance benefits, you may also have access to 24/7 chat-based behavioral health coaching through Doctor On Demand to address a wide array of health concerns.

In-person mental health services

If you prefer face-to-face care, you may want to consider booking an appointment with a mental health professional in your service area. Before making an appointment, you’ll want to log in to myWellmark to ensure your chosen provider is in-network Secure Site and offers your preferred type of therapy. You may also want to check how many appointments are covered by your benefits Secure Site. You can use myWellmark to estimate how much you’ll pay for each session before receiving services.

If you receive a new prescription for your mental health, you can log in to myWellmark to view your pharmacy coverage Secure Site, ensure the prescription is covered and see how much it will cost you.

Emergency mental health services

Sometimes the mental health struggles you’re facing can’t wait. If you or someone you know is dealing with suicidal thoughts or experiencing a mental health crisis, text or call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline External Link. This lifeline is available 24/7 and will connect the caller with a trained crisis counselor who can help.

Preventive mental health care

According to the National Institute of Mental Health External Link, long-term stress can lead to serious mental and physical health problems like depression, anxiety, heart disease, high blood pressure and more. Some Wellmark plans include access to meQuilibrium External Link, a tool that teaches you how to avoid patterns that cause stress and helps you manage your response to it. Preventing excess stress can lead to improved mental health outcomes over time.

Your mental health is important, and it shouldn’t be financially overwhelming to seek the care you need. Make sure you are taking advantage of the mental health benefits that come with your insurance plan by logging in to myWellmark Secure Site and checking your benefits.