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Top 10 Online Therapy Services Covered by Insurance

Nicky Lowney
Top 10 Online Therapy Services That Are Covered by Insurance Companies
Online therapy is more convenient than traditional therapy because it allows you to get the benefits of therapy sessions without leaving home. Plus, the process of getting an appointment is faster for online services than it is for office-based practices. Online therapy is also significantly less expensive than traditional therapy.

Although the best online therapy services are cheaper than in-person therapy, it's still worth checking to see if your health insurance will cover the costs. Some of these online therapy services take insurance, while for others, you’ll need to apply for partial reimbursement from your insurance company, provided that your insurance covers it.

Online Therapy: A Godsend During a Crisis

The popularity of online therapy has been on the rise, especially since the outbreak of COVID-19. With pandemic restrictions, people unable to attend in-person sessions sought virtual alternatives. Online therapy was the perfect solution when social distancing and self-isolation were required. Sadly, the pandemic also triggered a wave of mental illness, both mild and severe. The growing prevalence of depression and other issues only added to the demand for convenient therapy options.

This convenient solution looks like it's here to stay, even with most pandemic restrictions behind us. Many people are seeking to find doctors on demand and telehealth services online, especially ones that are covered by insurance.

How to Find Online Therapy That Takes Insurance

The pandemic forced insurance companies to reassess how they cover mental health issues. Many insurance companies began covering alternative therapies, including telehealth and online therapy, making it easier for people to access this viable option for working through mental and emotional health issues.

Ultimately, it is the decision of the insurance company and not the online therapy service whether or not to cover your therapy. But some sites work more closely with the insurance companies than others. If an online therapy service doesn't take insurance, you can apply to get reimbursed by your insurance provider.

BetterHelp, for example, is rated as one of the best online counseling services in the industry. While BetterHelp doesn't accept insurance, they offer affordable prices on therapy, and you may apply for partial reimbusement with your insurance company. With over 10,000 licensed therapists, BetterHelp is available for individuals, couples, and teens via SMS, chat, phone, and video sessions.

There are a lot of online therapists on the market today. It’s important to research your options to find a service you can trust. Here, we provide a list of the best online therapy services that take insurance or support insurance reimbursement.

The Best Places for Online Therapy That Take Insurance:

1. Cerebral

Cerebral offers affordable online therapy, behavioral health services such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and medication management. Cerebral's talk therapy is available through the site or the app, and addresses various mental health issues such as depression, ADHD, anxiety, and other disorders. It has an in-network insurance plan with multiple providers—like Aetna, Cigna, Medicare, and more—so you can receive affordable and accessible treatment from one of Cerebral's more than 800 professional therapists.

Read full Cerebral review

Cerebral Cerebral Visit Site

2. Amwell

Amwell is one of the most reputable places for online therapy that takes insurance. Working with approximately 50 different carriers—like Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medica, UnitedHealthcare, and WebTPA—Amwell brings affordable online therapy to many people across the country. Amwell has more than 350 licensed psychologists  and social workers. Therapy sessions last about 45 minutes. Amwell offers a feature that allows you to turn off your camera so that the therapist can't see your face during the sessions.

Read the full Amwell review

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3. MDLive

MDLive provides online therapy that takes insurance to approximately 40 million members in its network, through both its website and app. The process of finding a therapist is faster than with traditional in-person therapy, and you can usually book an appointment within a day of signing up. MDLive therapists can help you work through a huge range of mental health issues, including addiction, depression, eating disorders, grief, LGBTQ support, trauma, stress, and more. MDLive works with both Medicare and employer-provided insurance plans, as well as private insurance plans that cover virtual doctor’s visits. MDLive is HIPAA-compliant and holds a strict code of ethics to uphold the privacy and safety of its patients.

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4. Doctor on Demand

Doctor on Demand has a team of psychiatrists and therapists that have been rated 4.9 out of 5 by patients. You'll begin the signup process by filling out a questionnaire, and Doctor on Demand will match you with a therapist who specializes in your area of concern. Alternatively, you can browse the network to select a therapist based on their background and qualifications. Doctor on Demand psychiatrists can also prescribe medication as part of the therapy session, so you will not need to seek out a separate prescriber. Doctor on Demand accepts many  insurance plans, including United Healthcare, Cigna, Humana, and Aetna.

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5. Talkspace

Talkspace is another online counseling service that comes highly-rated by millions of users. The site offers ongoing support for issues like depression, anxiety, and addictions. Talkspace creates an open environment where people can feel comfortable opening up, asking questions, venting frustrations, and airing fears that they wouldn’t normally be able to express. And what’s more, Talkspace is another site with online therapy covered by insurance, having partnered with several insurance providers, including Alliant, Cigna, and more.

Read the full Talkspace review

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6. ReGain

ReGain is an online therapy service that is primarily focused on helping people create and regain healthy, respectful, and loving relationships. Ideal for couples and individuals, ReGain guides people toward healthier solutions to relationship challenges and roadblocks. Using an open and discreet forum, ReGain provides a supportive platform where couples can get the help they need to weather the storms of relationship issues successfully. ReGain does not accept insurance, but they will provide you with a detailed receipt for their services, so you can seek partial reimbursement from your insurance provider.

Read the full ReGain review

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7. Faithful Counseling

Faithful Counseling caters specifically to Christians in need of therapy, aiming to provide them with a holistic treatment that other services may not give them. Faithful Counseling therapists are professionals with specific training and experience to treat Christians with issues like anxiety, addiction, eating disorders, and more. While they don't accept insurance as a form of payment, you can apply for partial reimbursement with your insurance provider.

Read the full Faithful Counseling review

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8. Teen Counseling

Teenagers often have different needs than adults when it comes to online therapy. The specialists at Teen Counseling are trained in providing teens with the best care for their unique issues. Parents may also sign up to receive counseling to help their children. Teen Counseling's online therapy can be done through their app, on the phone, over video chat, or even through text messaging, offering both convenience and privacy to teens seeking help. Teen Counseling doesn't accept insurance as payment, but your insurance company may partially reimburse you for its services.

Read the full Teen Counseling review

Teen Counseling Teen Counseling Visit Site

9. Onlinetherapy.com

Online-Therapy.com uses cognitive behavioral therapy to help empower and motivate people to live happier, more productive lives. Online-Therapy.com was developed to help people first identify challenging and dysfunctional thoughts, behaviors, patterns, and emotions. Then—together with licensed professionals—patients work through and overcome even the longest-standing issues. If your insurance covers online therapy, you'll be able to request partial reimbursement or direct payment for sessions with Online-Therapy.com.

Read the full Onlinetherapy.com review

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Using Your Insurance to Cover the Costs of Online Therapy

If your insurance provider does cover telehealth services, it will generally be in one of two ways:

Total coverage

The most preferable option for patients with insurance is an online therapy company that accepts insurance. In these cases, the online therapy company bills the insurance company, and the health plan pays the service directly for counseling services, medication, and support.

Reimbursements

Some insurance companies will cover part or all of the cost of online therapy through reimbursements. This means you will have to pay out of pocket for the sessions, but the insurance company will pay you back. In this case, you'll need to make a claim to your insurance company. You should note two important things about reimbursements:

  1. Make sure that you have all of the proper documentation needed to make an insurance claim. Different insurance providers will require different documents. So, check with your policy to see what you need beforehand and then make sure you have those documents when submitting your claim. Required documents can include receipts and copies of the online therapy license, among other items.
  2. Some insurance companies are still figuring out their own policies. So, it is possible that your claim for reimbursement may be denied even though your policy states that online therapy is covered. If this happens to you, you will need to file an appeal with your insurance company.

If you find that your insurance plan will not help with online therapy costs, there are other ways to get more affordable online mental health care. While there are no free licensed therapists online, many therapists offer a sliding scale pricing structure. This can help you if you don’t have insurance coverage and you can’t afford the full price for your sessions. Many therapists offer discounts, reduced rates on bundled sessions, and payment plans. Bottom line: money concerns shouldn’t stop you from getting the help you deserve and need.

Choosing the Right Service for Your Insurance Needs

To get the most out of your insurance coverage for online therapy, be sure to follow a few simple guidelines, including:

Read the details

The first step in finding the right service is checking to see if they accept your insurance coverage. Several companies provide online therapy that is covered by insurance, while others may advocate for you with the insurance company to help you get some form of compensation.

Consider low out-of-pocket costs

On the other hand, you may not want to limit yourself to the services that take your insurance policy. Online therapy costs significantly less than traditional therapy. If you are willing to pay out of pocket for your sessions, you'll have a lot more options and an easier process of selecting a therapist to help you with your concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions
Will my insurance cover online therapy?
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When COVID-19 began, most insurance providers established new procedures for covering online therapy for both existing and new patients. Many of these companies still have these procedures in effect. However, coverage for telehealth services and doctors on demand may vary, depending on your carrier and where you live.
Does Medicaid pay for online therapy?
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Yes, Medicaid insurance does cover online therapy. You’ll receive the same coverage whether you’re seeing a therapist online or in person. However, since this policy was created specifically for the pandemic, Medicaid may revisit it in the future. So, if you’re thinking about getting online therapy, it’s best to check directly with Medicaid first.
What kind of online therapy services accept insurance?
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Not all telehealth services take insurance, but most of them do. Most insurance providers require a diagnosis for covering online therapy costs. So, marriage counseling, for example, would usually only be covered if one of the partners has been diagnosed with a mental health disorder. The specific coverage for online therapy sessions depends on factors such as your insurance plan, which therapist you choose, and where you live.
Nicky Lowney
Nicky Lowney has been writing about health and medicine for more than 15 years. With a master’s degree in health communication, she specializes in translating complex medical information into readable, engaging content. Nicky has written for top10.com, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Decision Resources Group, and EBSCO Information Services, among other clients. In her free time, Nicky enjoys cycling, hiking, and performing with her local community theater.

The author of this article has been paid by Natural Intelligence to write this article. Neither the author nor Natural Intelligence provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or your local emergency number immediately.