From bipolar disorder and schizophrenia to depression and anxiety, a recent study found that in one form or another, mental illness is likely to affect most of us at some point in our lifetime. For some, the issue may be short-lived, but for others it can be a lifelong struggle.
Because so many people are affected by mental health issues, most health insurance plans are now required to provide coverage comparable to physical health services for mental health services. You can expect to have coverage for any inpatient services for mental/behavioral health, along with psychotherapy and counseling sessions. Additionally, for anyone with Medicare or Medicaid, several mental health services have been made available through these programs.
A significant problem, though, is that not enough providers will accept insurance. This has been particularly true for psychiatrists in certain areas. This issue can lead to long wait times for some patients, while others are forced to pay high out-of-pocket expenses at a provider that’s out-of-network.
Specific coverage will vary depending on your carrier and health plan, so be sure to always compare your options carefully before making your benefit elections each year. To learn more about the mental health services that are offered by your health insurance, you can review your plan information documents, such as your benefits guide, or call your carrier.