Is Treatment Covered By Insurance?

Insurance Coverage for Treatment Explained

Counseling is typically an essential aspect of a mental health treatment plan, but insurance coverage for mental health treatments isn't the same for every policy. Although most insurance plans now include medically essential treatment, plans outside the Marketplace don’t have to meet with Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations.

ACA-compliant plans must cover mental and behavioral treatments as part of the essential health benefits. Yet even if your coverage covers these services, there may be certain limits that might prevent you from obtaining as much support as you need.

It might be tough to find out if insurance covers treatment, particularly if you’re already feeling worried or nervous when you’re attempting to check up your coverage possibilities. To assist, here’s additional information about how health insurance may fund treatment.

Important Takeaways
  • The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA)​ expanded the coverage for treatment under insurance.
  • Pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, all ACA-compliant insurance plans must offer mental and behavioral therapy as part of the essential health benefits coverage.
  • Your insurance company only pays for treatments considered medically essential, but additional constraints could apply, such as ordering you to attempt less costly treatment choices first.
  • Other choices, such as assistance programs, may help you afford the mental health therapy you need.

How Much Does Counseling Cost?

Counseling isn't inexpensive, but it may be an economical treatment option for mental health difficulties. Several variables impact the cost of treatment, including:
  • The sort of provider you see and their credentials
  • What sort of treatment you’re seeking
  • Your insurance policy terms
  • Where you reside
  • How long each session lasts
You may normally expect to spend at least $100 for a therapy session, with many therapists charging $200 a session or more. You may also locate therapists who provide a sliding scale, which modifies the amount you pay depending on your household’s income.

Therapy Billing Practices

If your therapist takes insurance, they’ll utilize particular mental health CPT codes to bill your insurance carrier. They contain facts about the sort of treatment you had and how long it lasted, so the insurance company understands what services were given.

A few typical codes include:
Code What It Means
90832 Psychotherapy, 30 minutes
90837 Psychotherapy, 60 minutes 
90845 Psychoanalysis
90846 Family psychotherapy without the patient 
90847 Family psychotherapy with the patient 
90853 Group therapy 

You’ll be responsible for paying any copays, coinsurance, or deductibles before your insurance coverage kicks in.


Not all therapists take insurance. If yours doesn’t, but your insurance company provides mental health coverage, you may be able to make an out-of-network health insurance claim and seek payment. Contact your insurance carrier for specifics.

Treatment Insurance Coverage

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act forbids any insurance business that provides mental health benefits (including ACA plans) from having more restrictive restrictions than its medical and surgical treatments. This means if your insurance provider provides mental health coverage, it cannot put arbitrary cost restrictions on your therapy.

Unfortunately, insurance only pay for therapies that are judged medically essential, and not every therapy qualifies. Without a mental health diagnosis, it’s possible that your insurance provider won’t pay your treatment sessions, even if it provides mental health benefits.

In addition, insurance companies might often force you to attempt less costly treatment choices first, a procedure called as step therapy. This means you may not be authorized for the specific therapy your therapist recommends until you’ve tried alternative choices first.


Mental health diagnosis get into your permanent medical record. And once there, it’s a preexisting condition that might disqualify you from life insurance down the future.

Limits to Insurance Coverage For Treatment

In the past, insurance companies commonly set yearly restrictions on the amount of mental health benefits or severely restricted your coverage in various ways. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act helped alter these constraints, and today, any limits that exist can’t be more stringent than limits put on your physical health.

But, despite ACA-compliant plans, Medicare, and Medicaid offer at least some mental health coverage, non-ACA-compliant plans for sale outside the Marketplace aren’t obligated to do so. Thus, check with your insurance to determine if any limits exist. Your policy's summary plan description is an useful beginning place for studying limitations.

How To Verify on Your Plan’s Coverage

If you want to utilize your insurance benefits to pay for therapy sessions, it’s crucial to determine whether they are covered. Begin by reviewing your plan documentation and seeing what mental health treatments are specified.

Next you may contact your insurance plan to ask clarifying questions to assist you understand what is covered and what isn’t. Here are some questions you might ask:

  • Does my plan provide mental health benefits?
  • How much is my deductible? How much have I met of this amount?
  • How many treatment sessions does my coverage cover per year?
  • Is there a restriction on how long each session may be?
  • Which therapists are in-network?
  • What are my out-of-pocket payments for treatment sessions?
  • Do I need to pay extra for an out-of-network therapist?
  • Can I file a claim for reimbursement from an out-of-network provider?
  • Do I need a recommendation from my primary care provider?
  • Are there specific CPT codes my provider must charge to be approved?

While it’ll take time to obtain this information, this procedure is crucial. It’ll help you know what to anticipate when it comes to your insurance coverage.

Does Medicare Cover Therapy?

Yes, Medicare Part B coverage covers outpatient mental health treatments, including therapy or counseling. Diagnostic testing for mental health issues is also included.


Under Medicare Part B, you’ll be paying for some of the treatment expenses. You’ll pay 20% coinsurance when you satisfy your deductible. You may also incur copays or coinsurance for treatments in a hospital outpatient clinic or department.

Does Medicaid Cover Therapy?

Unlike Medicare, which is nationally regulated, Medicaid coverage varies from state to state. And although Medicaid pays therapy in certain cases, states are not compelled to offer optional benefits such as psychiatric therapies.

This implies treatment may not be funded by Medicaid where you reside. You’ll want to study your policy carefully to discover what your coverage alternatives are.

Do Marketplace Plans Cover Therapy?

Absolutely, all Marketplace plans are required to cover therapy and counseling. Nevertheless, the particular mental health benefits you qualify for differ from plan to plan.

How To Ensure Your Treatment Is Covered

You don’t want any unexpected expenses for your treatment sessions. That’s why it’s crucial to check you’re covered before you begin treatment.

After you know what treatments are covered, you need to locate a provider that takes your insurance. These are some questions to ask:

  • Are you an in-network provider for my insurance company?
  • Do you charge the insurance, or do I need to file a claim?
  • What will my out-of-pocket expenditures be?
  • What happens if the insurance company refuses my treatment?
  • Do you provide any sliding scales or reduced-cost treatment choices if I need to pay out of pocket?

If one therapist doesn’t work with your insurance company, don’t be disheartened. You can frequently identify in-network service providers in your region on your insurer’s website or by phoning customer service.

How Many Sessions of Treatment Does Insurance Cover?

If your insurance plan includes mental health benefits, it must cover medically required therapies. The sort of treatment you get, the duration of each session, and the amount of time your insurance covers sessions are all depending on your medical needs.

How To Bill Insurance for Treatment

If you go to an in-network physician, your therapist’s office normally submits the claims on your behalf.

But, you may need to pay for your treatment sessions out-of-pocket and then be reimbursed by your insurance carrier. In such circumstance, you’ll likely have to submit the claim yourself.

You may be able to fill out the claim form online. If not, you should have the option to mail or fax it to your insurance.

No of how you submit the claim, you’ll likely need the following information:

  • A copy of your treatment bill and receipt
  • Your provider’s name and address
  • The tax ID number of your therapist
  • Your diagnostic code
  • The procedure or CPT code for the kind of treatment you had

Your therapist’s office should be able to assist you discover this information. After you submit everything in, your insurance provider processes the claim and decides on how it is covered.

What To Do When You Need Assistance Paying Treatment Costs

Insurance isn’t the only option to minimize your out-of-pocket payments for treatment. If you need assistance paying for treatment, here are several ways you might try:

  • Search for therapists that give a sliding-scale discount.
  • Consider telehealth, which is frequently less costly and may be done from the comfort of your home.
  • Attend a government sponsored health facility for treatment instead of a private clinic.
  • Try to discover whether a nearby institution provides affordable counselling services by its psychology students.
  • Contact other therapists to check if they provide low-cost sessions or if they can suggest a clinic that does.
  • Check whether group therapy may satisfy your requirements. It typically costs less.

There are many of methods to assist your mental health needs on a budget. Don’t give up until you locate the services you need.

    Locate the nearest federally supported health center via the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) 

    Commonly Asked Questions (FAQs)

    How does couples therapy work with insurance?

    Because it’s not frequently medically essential, couples counseling isn’t covered by most health insurance coverage. But, there are exceptions. For instance, if one member in the marriage has a mental health diagnosis, the insurance company could accept family therapy that’s in support of that diagnosis.

    What type of treatment does therapy come under for insurance companies?

    Therapy is a sort of mental health therapy. All insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid, utilize the same CPT codes for billing for these services.