Mental Health Insurance
Mental health insurance benefits are typically added as a provision to standard health insurance policies. Mental health insurance benefits vary with individual plans, but typically include limited coverage of certain types of mental health care including substance abuse, psychological treatment and counciling. Most mental health care professionals recommend verifying your mental health insurance benefit provision under your policy before seeking treatment, but the following is an overview of possible coverage in many policies.
Though policies vary, it is not uncommon for health insurance to include a mental health care provision. Under the mental health insurance benefits of many policies, mental health treatment can be sought for a number of reasons including drug and alcohol abuse. Typically, there is a limit to the number of sessions or length of programs that the policy will pay for. In some cases, it may be that you are allowed 12 visits per calendar year, some may provide coverage for as many as one per visit with a mental health care professional per week.
A professional councilor can assist with managing depression, substance abuse, destructive behavior patterns, as well as many common psychological conditions and disorders. While many family physicians will manage the care and prescription of certain medications provided for treatment of things like depression, ADD, ADHD, and other associated psychiatric conditions, counciling is not included in this management. Because many people benefit from periodic or frequent visits to a councilor, mental health insurance benefits help provide affordable access to treatment.
You should examine your policy closely prior to scheduling appointments. In most cases, there are preferred providers of mental health care the same as other physicians. You will likely be required to pay a standard co-pay or percentage of the charge for each scheduled visit and you are most likely limited to a maximum number of visits per year. For these reasons, you will want to work with your insurance company and chosen professional to establish a schedule of visits that meets both your mental health care needs and the eligibility requirements for benefits to be paid.
Mental health care is sometimes a very short-term necessity. Often times, children require professional therapy for certain situations and conditions and thus, a mental health insurance provision will provide coverage. If you do not have a mental health insurance provision in your schedule of benefits, but are in need of couniling services for your children, you should check with your children’s school and your local health department. Many non-profit organizations provide limited counciling for children for free or reduce prices for a short time. This is a benefit you might not be aware of that could potentially benefit your situation. These services are typically available to people who do not have mental health insurance provisions, but many will take the insurance if you have it available.
Your coverage limitations for mental health insurance are generally outlined in your schedule of benefits, which is provided to you by your insurance company. If you do not have one, you need to contact your provider before you seek mental health care services. Rehab and other dependency programs are sometimes covered at a percentage or even in full. The only way to verify your coverage is to contact your provider, administrator, or agent directly.
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