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Published on: Therapists

Insurance Coverage for Online Therapy: Understanding Your Options

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the importance placed on mental health resources. With the fast-paced and high-stress nature of modern society, prioritizing our mental well-being has become more crucial than ever. One form of therapy that has gained popularity is online therapy. But what exactly is online therapy?

Online therapy, teletherapy, or e-therapy is where clients receive mental health support via the Internet or telephone. This means that individuals have access to therapy from the comfort of their homes without traveling to an office or meeting with a therapist in person.

Online therapy has proven to be an effective option for those dealing with various mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. It’s convenient and flexible nature allows individuals to seek help without the barriers of time and location. Additionally, online therapy is often more affordable than in-person therapy, making it accessible to a wider range of individuals.

As we continue to prioritize our mental health, it’s important to explore all options available to us. Online therapy is a valuable tool that can help us navigate life’s challenges with the support and guidance we need.

The Changing Landscape of Online Therapy and Insurance

In the last few years, online therapy has increased in popularity because of its convenience. Yet, irregular insurance coverage was the most significant limitation for many potential beneficiaries of online therapy. Medicare was among the first insurers to realize the benefits of providing health services online and started covering telehealth in 2001. Since then, several private insurers have done the same sort, though coverages vary significantly.

When comparing online and traditional in-person therapy coverage, the guidelines are the same. For example, most insurers require that the therapy be medically necessary and that the therapist be licensed in the state where the patient resides. However, some online therapy platforms may not be covered, so it’s important to check with your insurance provider before choosing an online provider.

The extent of insurance coverage for online therapy can depend on several factors:

  • Patient Setting: The location of the patient receiving services can impact coverage. Some states permit teletherapy sessions to be conducted from home or school. In contrast, others necessitate sessions in a professional setting such as an office.
  • Technology Utilized: The sort of technology used for teletherapy can also influence coverage. Telehealth platforms may incorporate real-time audio and video chat, remote patient monitoring, or message recording and sending capabilities. Some insurance providers and states may cover all these options, while others may insist on real-time interactions.
  • Provider Type: Coverage may also be based on a provider’s qualifications. Psychiatrists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, and licensed mental health counselors are the professionals who most often appear in the literature regarding teletherapy services.
  • Specific Insurance Plan: Coverage may vary significantly between insurance companies and even within the same company across plans. Thus, it is necessary to know the details of your plan.

Before deciding on an online therapy provider, verifying the details with your insurance provider is essential to ensure you are fully covered.

Insurance coverage for online therapy

Decoding Your Insurance Policy

The level of language used in most insurance policies is very technical and complicated, something that the ordinary man would sometimes find hard to understand. While insurance coverage can be confusing, it is important to try and understand to maximize its benefits.

  • Deductible: Your policy deductible is the portion that you need to pay before coverage begins. In case you had a deductible of $1,000 and your healthcare services amounted to $1500. Then, you will have to pay the first $1000 while your insurer takes care of the remaining amount. Being aware of your deductible amount and the remaining balance that you are carrying with it is extremely important because these numbers reset at the beginning of each year.
  • Co-pay: Co-pays are fixed costs for a specific service, doctor visit, or prescription drug. It is usually a small amount, like $20, but the sum quickly grows if you need multiple services. There are policies with co-insurance, which implies you pay part of all costs.
  • Out-of-pocket Maximum: Your out-of-pocket maximum amount is the most you must pay for a year. This includes deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance payments. After reaching the limit, your insurance company will pay for all expenses.
  • In-network: Your insurer makes a contract with an in-network provider. The costs of visiting an in-network provider are covered through your insurance based on the benefits awarded under your particular plan.
  • Out-of-network: An out-of-network provider does not have a contract with the insurance service, and you consequently pay more or nothing. Before you seek a particular provider, it is necessary to check with your insurance firm.

Verifying Your Insurance Coverage for Online Therapy

Now that you understand some of the key terms and considerations regarding insurance coverage for online therapy, it’s time to take the next steps toward finding a provider. Here are some tips to help guide you:

  • Contact your insurance provider: Before starting any therapy sessions, contact your insurance provider to discuss your plan’s coverage for online therapy. They can provide you with a list of in-network providers and any requirements for coverage.
  • Research online therapy platforms: Numerous online therapy platforms are available, each with specialties and payment options. Do your research to find a platform that aligns with your needs and budget.
  • Check therapist qualifications: Ensure that the therapist you choose is licensed in your state and meets the qualifications required by your insurance provider.
  • Verify coverage: Even if a platform is listed as an in-network provider, it’s important to confirm that they are covered by your specific plan. You can do this by contacting your insurance company or checking their online portal.
  • Understand your financial responsibility: Even with coverage, you may still have out-of-pocket costs for online therapy. Understand your co-pay or co-insurance amounts and set a budget accordingly.

Your Insurance Coverage

Navigating Your Options if Online Therapy Isn’t Covered

In some cases, your insurance may not cover online therapy. This can be due to various reasons, such as the platform needing to meet their requirements or being considered an out-of-network provider. If this is the case, you still have options:

  • Employee Assistance Programs: Some employers offer these programs and provide a set number of counseling sessions at no cost to the employee.
  • Seek a Sliding Scale Therapist: Suppose your insurance provider does not cover online therapy because the sessions are more expensive. Consider a sliding scale therapist who will charge you a fee based on your income and other factors. Sliding scale therapy options can enable you to receive online therapy, notwithstanding the limitations on your insurance coverage.
  • Try Mental Health Apps: Several apps offer affordable mental health support on your phone or tablet. These apps provide access to licensed therapists and mental health professionals, and sessions are usually in text messaging, phone calls, or video chats.
  • Lean on Free Online Resources: There are a number of free online tools that provide mental healthcare. When you are on a tight budget, consider using sites that provide a space where you can talk to volunteer listeners for free. Additionally, platforms like the National Alliance of Mental Health have educational materials and helplines for support service provision.
  • Negotiate Coverage with Your Insurance Provider: It would be better to consider alternative options before negotiating with your insurance provider. In the event that there is a need to negotiate, ensure you carry along beneficial information on why online therapy has an edge over traditional methods. To support the claim that online therapy is a feasible option, mention credible sources. In case everything else fails, request if it is possible to co-operate with a specialist referred by your insurance company at lower costs.
  • Utilize Community Resources: Many community resources offer support for mental health concerns. Some local organizations or non-profits provide free or low-cost services like support groups and therapy sessions. It’s worth checking with your local community center, library, or religious organization to see if they offer these services.
  • Out-of-pocket Payment: Lastly, you can decide to pay for online therapy privately. Although this is not the most cost-effective option, through it, you get to have a lot of control over your therapy sessions and find someone who meets your needs.


Getting mental help, especially online therapy, has become essential in our digital world. Insurance coverage is vital, reducing the financial burden and opening doorways for access to these essential services. Yet, the insurance landscape can be confusing sometimes, and it is vital to learn all the details related to your plan coverage and how it relates to online therapy.

If your insurance company policy does not include online therapy, that shouldn’t discourage you. Other viable options include employee assistance programs, sliding scale therapists, and mental health apps. Persistence is key. There is likely a solution that meets your needs and fits your budget.

At Total Life, we provide you with guidance and support on mental health. By providing Medicare coverage for online therapy, we remain dedicated to ensuring quality mental health care is available and convenient. Let’s campaign for change and ensure everyone can access mental health care. So, share your story, educate others about the benefits of online therapy, and let’s collectively contribute to a world where mental health care is universally accessible and affordable.

Visit them today at Total or call 1 800 567 5433 and let the magic of Total Life redefine your holiday season. Because your well-being deserves a spotlight.