By Amanda F Jennings. LMFT

Did you know that all health insurance now includes benefits for behavioral health?  You can get psychotherapy paid by you health insurance at the same rate as physical illnesses.  So why not try this option?  Depending on your coverage you could be looking at paying a small weekly copay and your insurance pays the rest. 

In 2013 when the Affordable Care Act was fully enacted, Mental Health coverage was mandated for all health insurance policies.  You can look at the back of your card and find out if your coverage is with your health insurer or if it is covered by a different company.  When you determine what company covers the Behavioral Health end of your coverage, look for a provider who is in your network of providers.  You can easily do this by looking at the company’s website.  You look for “Behavioral Health Providers” and then put in your zip code.  You should then get a list of providers in your area. 

If you have a certain therapist in mind who is not in your insurance network or who doesn’t bill insurance, you can ask her/or him to provide you with a monthly SuperBill.  This is a piece of paper that lists the sessions for the month, and what you have paid.  You can mail this into your insurance company with the company’s claim form and potentially get partial reimbursement for sessions you have already had.  Some providers will do the insurance billing for you even if they are not in your company’s network.  Always inquire about this service before you begin therapy.  It’s important to know about how much you will be paying and how much your insurance will cover. 

Because Eating Disorders can be serious and progressive illnesses it is important to get help for yourself even if you are not sure if you have an eating disorder or are just having some issues with food, weight and body size.  You know, a good therapist can help you with these issues as well. 

Sometimes this can sound a little confusing.  But remember, your insurance is there to help you get well from whatever illness you have, whether it is a physical or a mental health concern.  If you are still confused, check the back of you insurance card and call the customer service line.  There will be someone on hand to tell you how to access coverage for your particular plan.  Go forth and take care of yourself, you deserve the best in life.  

Amanda F Jennings, LMFT is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice in Westlake Village CA.  I specialize in treating eating disorders as well as helping clients through anxiety, depression and body image issues.   I am In-Network with Cigna Insurance.  I will also bill your insurance for you if you have a PPO Plan.