Best Online Therapy Services That Take Insurance in 2024

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Many insurance providers have started offering coverage for mental health services, but it can be tricky to find out which online therapy platforms take insurance. See which ones made our list.

Telehealth allows you to meet with doctors, therapists, and other healthcare professionals online from the comfort of your home.

Online therapy is an especially popular option. It allows people to have sessions with fully licensed therapists using smartphone apps or their computers instead of going to an office.

Online therapy is available from large platforms that specialize in online services, such as Talkspace or BetterHelp, and from individual therapy practices.

For people who have been considering therapy but are intimidated or overwhelmed by the thought of office visits or in-person care, online therapy might be the best way to get care.

Online therapy isn’t suitable for emergency situations

If you’re having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please reach out for help. There’s help available right now:

Online therapy is also available from several smaller services. You can search for online therapists or ask your insurance company to help you find them. You can also try searching by region or specialty on Good Therapy or Online Therapy.

At Healthline, we make sure to vet every product or service that we include in our content. Our Brand and Content Integrity team has evaluated each online therapy service to ensure they meet our business and medical standards.

Additionally, our team of medical and mental health professionals from the Healthline Medical Network review all our content for accuracy.

When choosing the best online therapy services that take insurance, we considered several crucial factors, including:

  • credentials and qualifications of mental health professionals
  • the sign-up process
  • customer feedback
  • payment options and fees
  • subscription options and services
  • insurance coverage
  • financial assistance

Additionally, we sought platforms with mental health professionals who have a wide range of expertise, such as:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • trauma
  • severe stress

At Healthline, we believe that everyone should have access to quality mental health care. That’s why we strive to provide reliable information so you can make an informed decision when choosing an online therapy platform.

You can start by looking at the website of the mental health professional you want to use. Most online platforms will have a link you can click to see which insurance companies they work with.

There might even be a form you can use that will check your coverage for you. To see whether you’re covered, you’ll just need to provide your:

  • name
  • plan name
  • policy number

It’s always a good idea to call the office of any therapist you’re considering and verify whether they accept your specific insurance plan for online therapy.

Another option is to start by calling your insurance company. The company can let you know whether you have coverage for online therapy and what copayments or coinsurance costs you’ll have. It can also point you in the direction of therapists who are in the network and the specific therapy platforms they work with.

Here’s a top-level glance at what some of the major insurance companies offer, but you’ll still want to call and confirm what’s covered in your exact plan:

  • United Healthcare: United Healthcare covers Talkspace and any other online therapy as long as the therapist is in-network.
  • Aetna: Aetna members can receive online therapy through MDLIVE, Teladoc, Talkspace, and other in-network therapists.
  • Humana: Humana plans cover online therapy from in-network professionals.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield: Blue Cross Blue Shield plans cover online therapy through Amwell and other services, depending on your specific plan. In-network professionals are also covered.
  • Anthem: Anthem members have access to therapy from Anthem’s own telehealth service, LiveHealth Online, and care from in-network professionals.
  • Cigna: Cigna covers Talkspace and any other in-network online therapy services.
  • Kaiser: Kaiser covers online therapy from in-network professionals.

Just like private insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid have increased their coverage for online therapy during the pandemic.

Medicare is now covering online therapy for all Medicare members. Medicare Advantage Plans also cover online therapy.

When it comes to Medicaid, your coverage depends on your state. However, there were large expansions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost all states currently allow Medicaid enrollees to access online therapy.

You can call the number on your Medicaid card for more information or contact your state’s Medicaid office.

Online platforms and mental health professionals will generally state whether they accept Medicare or Medicaid. You can contact the online platform or private practice if you’re not sure.

If you’re looking at using a private therapist or practice, someone at the office should be able to help you. A customer service representative can answer your questions if you’re looking at a larger therapy platform.

There are a few options for free or low cost online therapy. Many services offer:

  • free trials
  • pay-as-you-go services
  • discounts
  • peer counseling

For example, eTherapyPro doesn’t accept insurance, but it does offer a 3-day free trial. You can use the trial to decide if online therapy is right for you. If you decide you want to keep using the service, eTherapyPro costs $40 a week. You can sign up for a membership that will last until you cancel your weekly payments.

By comparison, BetterHelp costs between $60 and $90 a week without insurance, depending on your location and the services and therapist you select.

For free therapy options in your area, you can call the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) hotline at 800-950-NAMI (6264) to be connected with a mental health professional. You can also email them at [email protected].

If you’re a veteran, you can contact the Veterans Crisis Line by text, chat, or phone.

It’s important to find a therapist you feel comfortable with. That might seem extra challenging when you’re looking at online services. Here are a few tips to help you find a great online therapy service and mental health professional:

  • Consider the initial cost: Some services offer a free trial or free first appointment.
  • Understand how payment works: Services may want your copayment or coinsurance before your sessions start. Others may bill you later. Make sure you know how you’ll be billed to avoid surprises.
  • Review the therapist selection process: Platforms have various ways of helping you select a therapist who could be a good fit.
  • Look for therapists who understand your experiences: It may help to talk with a therapist of a certain ethnicity, gender, or age or one from a similar background to yours. Many platforms display this information up front so you can filter out therapists who don’t match your preferences.
  • Verify the therapist’s credentials: Always make sure you’re talking with degreed and licensed therapists.
  • Check the therapist’s location: Some therapists have licenses to practice in certain states but not in others. This is especially important to keep in mind if you’re looking at online services. Check for local therapists where you can.
  • Ask what types of therapy professionals are available: Not all therapy professionals can provide the same services. Make sure the platform and the therapy professional can give you the support you need.

Your online therapy sessions will work just like a face-to-face therapy session would. You’ll be connected to your mental health professional in a video chat. You can normally do this online or by using an app on your phone.

You’ll be able to talk with your therapist as soon as the session begins. They’ll ask you questions and help you manage your mental health, just like they would in person. Some services also let you talk with your therapist over the phone without a video call. This can be even more convenient in many cases.

If you’re using a service such as Talkspace or BetterHelp, you can also send messages to your mental health professional throughout the day. You’ll get an answer once or twice a day, Monday through Friday. This can be a great way to manage your mental health on the go.

Remember that if a session doesn’t go well or you’re uncomfortable with your therapist, you can switch anytime. Most platforms allow you to switch therapists by simply scheduling an appointment with a different professional.

Not all online therapy services choose to accept insurance due to the complexities involved. Dealing with insurance companies means handling paperwork, adapting to different payment rates, and meeting diverse licensing requirements across states.

Some platforms prioritize affordability or prefer a more straightforward billing process, opting for a self-pay model. In addition, managing insurance billing could cause payment delays, affecting how smoothly the platform operates.

The exact coverage for online therapy available to you depends on:

  • your insurance plan
  • the therapist you choose
  • the regulations of the state you live in

Online therapists typically charge a fee for their services, but there are some free resources you may be able to use. These include:

You may also be able to have your online therapy sessions from some platforms covered 100% by your insurance company, meaning your out-of-pocket cost would be $0.

Before choosing an online therapy service, check to see if the company accepts your insurance plan and if there will be a copay.

On average, in-person therapy costs $75–$150 per session. It can be more expensive depending on the services received and the company providing the service. Insurance may cover some or all these costs, depending on your plan.

It depends on which service you choose. Some online therapy services offer a subscription plan that costs anywhere from $69–$129 per week before insurance.

Others have a per-appointment cost and can range from $75–$299, depending on the service. However, you may be able to get these costs completely or partially covered by insurance.

There are a few ways to access free online therapeutic services, including:

  • Crisis hotlines: Crisis hotlines, like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, primarily provide immediate support and intervention during times of crisis. While not traditional therapy, they offer essential help and can connect individuals to crisis services.
  • Volunteer organizations: Some nonprofit organizations may offer a range of services, including crisis intervention and longer-term support. However, the level of professional therapy they provide can vary.
  • University clinics: University counseling clinics often provide counseling services delivered by psychology or counseling students under the supervision of licensed professionals. These services can be a form of therapy, though the experience may differ from seeing a fully licensed therapist.
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): EAPs generally offer short-term counseling services to employees and their families. This counseling can be considered a form of therapy, but it’s typically focused on resolving specific issues or crises.
  • Online communities: These are not therapy services but rather peer support networks where individuals can share their experiences and offer support to one another. While they can be valuable for emotional support, they don’t substitute for professional therapy.

Online therapy platforms provide access to licensed therapists and mental health professionals through digital communication channels like text, audio, or video. These platforms offer a range of therapeutic services for individuals seeking support for various mental health concerns.

Selecting an online therapy platform that accepts insurance can be a convenient way to access mental health support while reducing out-of-pocket expenses. Using online platforms also gives you a wider range of therapists from which to choose.

You can start by contacting your insurance company to see whether you have coverage for online therapy. A representative can confirm your coverage and point you in the right direction to get the support you need.

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