Best Online Counseling Services That Take Insurance: A Comprehensive Guide

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on July 24, 2023
Our team evaluates mental health products, services and platforms like BetterHelp. If you click a link below and make a purchase, we will receive an affiliate commission. Learn more.

In this evolving digital age, seeking mental health support from home has become more accessible and convenient than ever. As you navigate this journey, it is essential to understand which online therapy provider platforms accept insurance, making mental health care more affordable.

Our Online Mental Health Reviews team is uniquely positioned to provide this guide. Our team comprises professionals who have worked as therapists, counselors, and in residential mental health facilities, providing us with the knowledge and understanding necessary to evaluate online mental health services critically.

We are committed to helping individuals find the right resources for their needs by providing reliable, unbiased, and accurate reviews. TedEd and APNews have recognized us, and we have spent countless hours “secret shopping,” buying, using coupons, and getting refunds to ensure we offer the most accurate information possible. So, rest assured our recommendations are based on thorough research and genuine user experience.

Benefits of Online Counseling

Online therapy offers several benefits, making it an increasingly popular choice for many individuals. Here are some of the advantages I found from various sources:

  1. Accessibility: Online therapy breaks down barriers and provides access to mental health treatment to people in remote areas or those with limited mobility.
  2. Convenience: With online therapy, you do not need to spend time and money traveling. All you need is a reliable internet connection.
  3. Affordability: In many cases, online therapy can be more cost-effective than traditional in-person therapy.
  4. More resources: Online therapy platforms often provide additional resources like worksheets, modules, and videos that you can access anytime.

Why Is It Beneficial to Have Mental Health Care Covered by Insurance?

How to Find a Therapist That You Can Afford

Having mental health care covered by insurance is beneficial for many reasons.

  • Firstly, it helps to offset the cost of online therapy and prescription medications, which can add up quickly. Without therapy that takes insurance, individuals might bear the total cost of these services, which can be a significant financial burden.
  • Furthermore, mental health coverage is mandated by the federal parity law in the U.S., requiring insurance companies to treat mental and behavioral health and substance use disorder coverage equal to or better than medical/surgical coverage. This means that insurers must treat financial requirements equally.
  • Moreover, mental health benefits extend beyond financial aspects. They include reduced anxiety, clearer thinking, increased self-esteem, improved relationships, and greater inner peace or calm.

In conclusion, having mental health care covered by insurance is crucial in providing accessible and affordable mental health services, ultimately contributing to overall well-being.

Our Methodology: How We Reviewed the Best Online Therapy Services That Take Insurance

In reviewing the best online therapy providers’ services that accept insurance, we applied a rigorous methodology to ensure a comprehensive and unbiased analysis.

We began by compiling a list of reputable online therapy platforms based on expert recommendations and user reviews from trustworthy sources such as Everyday Health, Forbes, Medical News Today, and Verywell Mind. We highly suggest you review these resources as well.

Subsequently, we examined each platform in detail, focusing on several key factors:

  • Types of therapy offered
  • Qualifications of the therapists
  • Insurance acceptance
  • Pricing structure
  • User experience
  • Additional services, such as psychiatric assessment or medication management
  • User satisfaction and reviews

We also took into account the unique strengths of each platform. For cover online therapy instance, Talkspace was recognized for its wide range of services, including psychiatry.

Importantly, our review process prioritized platforms that provide easy access to insurance coverage. For example, BetterHelp was noted for its quality and lower out-of-pocket cost but excluded from the list below because BetterHelp does not accept insurance.

Finally, over the years, we’ve already taken therapy sessions at most of the below options and can speak to our experiences using the platforms.

What Factors Should I Consider When Evaluating Online Therapy Platforms That Accept Insurance?

When evaluating online therapy platforms that accept online therapy companies’ insurance, it is essential to consider several factors to ensure you receive the best care possible:

  1. Qualifications and Specialization: Make sure the platform has licensed therapists with expertise in your area of concern.
  2. Insurance Acceptance: Not all platforms accept insurance, so verify that your insurance is accepted.
  3. Cost: Understand your plan’s copay or coinsurance rates, as your out-of-pocket cost will depend on these.
  4. Accessibility and Ease of Use: The platform should be user-friendly and offer flexible scheduling.
  5. Privacy and Security: Ethical considerations like privacy, confidentiality, and security are crucial in online therapy.
  6. Goals: Consider your mental health therapy goals and try to find a platform most aligned with what you value. We suggest writing your top three therapeutic desired outcomes to identify what you want.

Online therapy provides easier access to therapeutic support, especially for those with difficulties commuting to in-person sessions of insurance coverage. However, potential limitations such as technical difficulties, missing nonverbal communication cues, and varied insurance acceptance should also be considered.

Comparing Online Therapy Platforms That Accept Insurance

Some key players emerge as top picks in 2023 when comparing online therapy platforms that accept insurance. These include Talkspace, Brightside, MDLive, and LiveHealth. Each of these platforms offers unique features designed to cater to different needs.

Talkspace, for instance, provides a wide range of services, including psychiatry, making it a comprehensive choice. On the other hand, Brightside focuses solely on evidence-based treatment for anxiety and depression, making it ideal for individuals dealing with these specific issues.

MDLive offers the convenience of talking with a therapist online or over the phone, giving you flexibility. LifeStance Health is noteworthy for accepting most commercial insurance plans and offering in-person, virtual, and hybrid therapy sessions.

Remember, choosing an online therapy platform is a personal decision based on individual needs and circumstances. Therefore, factors such as cost, areas of specialization, and the types of therapy offered should be considered.

Best for Communication: Talkspace

Talkspace is a leading online therapy platform connecting individuals with licensed virtual counseling therapists. It boasts over one million users and is highly recommended, with 82% of surveyed users saying they were likely or very likely to recommend Talkspace to a friend.

Importantly, Talkspace prominently displays the message “Covered members pay an average copay of $30”. Talkspace on the front page of their website also provides a handy tool to check if you are covered by insurance.

Talkspace provides a convenient and affordable mental health professional way to improve mental health, with or without insurance. The platform covers various mental health needs such as depression, anxiety & stress, parenting, trauma & grief, substance abuse, LGBTQIA+-specific topics, eating disorders & more.

However, it is essential to note that Talkspace does not prescribe stimulants (Adderall et al.), sedatives (Xanax et al.), or controlled substances.

Compared to other online therapy platforms like BetterHelp, Talkspace offers a broader range of services, including psychiatry. However, BetterHelp may be more affordable if you do not have insurance coverage due to its lower costs.

On the Google play store, Talkspace gets a 4.5 out of 5 average rating from 6,596 votes. On the Apple store, 4.8 out of 5 average rating from ‎20,959 reviews.

When we bought and took a therapy session on Talkspace, we appreciated our experience with the platform.

Sources

  1. Talkspace – #1 Rated Online Therapy, 1 Million+ Users
  2. Talkspace Online Therapy Review: Cost, Benefits, And Features (Forbes)

Best for Anxiety and Depression: Brightside

When it comes to treating anxiety and depression, several effective options are available.

Brightside offers a high-quality combination of insurance, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and medication.

In terms of insurance, Brightside Health accepts coverage for more than 50 million Americans. For anxiety and depression, Brightside focuses on CBT which is an evidence-based therapy.

Finally, in terms of medication, our team was impressed with our experience buying and trying the Brightside therapy plus medication combination plan. We went through an extensive FDA-approved questionnaire and were not allowed to be prescribed medication based on our answers to the questionnaire and a live interview with a clinician.

Sources:

  1. Brightside Health Review
  2. Brightside Review: A New Online Psychiatry and Therapy Solution (Healthline)

Best for Alcohol Use Disorder: Monument

Monument is a leading online alcohol treatment platform designed to help individuals modify their drinking habits or quit altogether. The service is available for people with alcohol use disorder and wanting to build healthier drinking habits.

Monument offers therapy and therapist-moderated support groups, along with prescription medications like naltrexone and disulfiram, when deemed medically appropriate. Their treatment approach focuses on the specific challenges that may arise when someone changes their relationship with alcohol.

The platform has been praised for its holistic approach to alcohol use disorder treatment and has raised significant funding to support its mission. Monument’s telehealth services provide access to professionals who can help users change their relationship with alcohol.

However, it is essential to note that many individuals use alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with trauma, making the journey toward sobriety challenging. That’s why services like Monument are crucial, providing support and resources to those in need.

Sources:

  1. Monument: Online Alcohol Counseling & Treatment 
  2. Monument Online Therapy Review 
  3. Monument Alcohol Treatment Review (2023) 

Best for Kids and Teens: Thrive works

Based on my search results, Thriveworks is considered one of the best online therapy platforms for children and teenagers. The platform offers individual, couples, and family therapy services both virtually and in-person1.

Thriveworks provides teen counseling to help adolescents deal with various issues, including challenging emotions, mental health conditions, trauma, and more. The child therapists at Thriveworks are specifically trained to help kids process emotions, social interactions, conquer behavioral issues, and more.

Moreover, the platform offers various resources, articles, and guides on mental health for children, teens, and adolescents. They aim to provide a supportive environment where kids can express themselves without stress.

In answering whether therapy is suitable for 12-year-olds, many children and teens have problems that affect how they feel, act, or learn. Therapy can be an effective way to help children work out their problems.

It is important to note that each child’s needs are unique, and therapy should be tailored to meet them. Therefore, it is always best to consult a healthcare provider or a mental health professional to determine the best course of action.

Sources:

  1. Thriveworks Review – Parents.com 
  2. Teen Counseling – Thriveworks 

Best Flexible Scheduling: MDLIVE

MDLIVE is recognized as a top telemedicine platform for flexible scheduling, providing virtual medical consultations that you can book in days instead of weeks. It is an ideal choice for those wanting short wait times for treatment and offers appointments during daytime, evening, and weekend hours.

The platform is accessible from almost anywhere via video or phone, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Moreover, staff members are offered full-time scheduling and partial or optional remote flexibility.

However, it is worth noting that MDLIVE psychiatrists cannot prescribe controlled substances such as narcotics, benzodiazepines, or stimulants.

It has received positive user feedback, with a 4.7-star rating from over 71,000 reviews on the Apple App Store and a 4.6-star rating from over 10,300 reviews on Google Play. Deaf and hard-of-hearing patients can use MDLIVE through their secure, HIPAA-compliant live chat feature.

Sources:

  1. MDLIVE Primary Care 
  2. MDLIVE Online Therapy Review (VeryWellMind)

Best for Medication Management: Amwell

Amwell is a top choice for medication management. They offer an integrated approach to care, connecting patients with licensed healthcare professionals who can prescribe medication and manage treatment plans.

Effective medication management involves selecting and managing prescribed drugs for optimal patient outcomes. This includes using the “five rights”: the right patient, the right drug, the correct dose, the right route, and the right time.

There are also several strategies to make medication management more accessible, such as investing in a pillbox or dispenser, setting reminders, using a single pharmacy if possible, and adequately storing medications.

It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new medication regimen. They can provide personalized advice based on your health history and current medications.

Sources:

  1. Amwell: Telehealth & Telemedicine Services 
  2. Amwell review 2022: What to know

Best for Ease of Use: Doctor on Demand

Doctor On Demand is a telehealth service that provides online medical care for urgent care, mental health, and therapy. With over 100 million people accessing their online services, Doctor On Demand is renowned for its easy-to-use website and simple pricing structure, making it accessible to many.

The platform allows patients to connect with healthcare providers without a prior subscription. Services are available for children and adults, and users can choose their preferred healthcare provider.

Doctor On Demand has also developed an app that simplifies operations and improves the efficiency and efficacy of clinics, hospitals, and online healthcare marketplaces. The app facilitates easy consultation for users due to its functionality, navigation, benefits, and ease of use.

  1. Doctor On Demand – What We Treat 
  2. Doctor on Demand Review – Telehealth 

Online Counseling Services That Take Insurance Conclusion

In conclusion, finding the right online counseling service that accepts your insurance can be a significant step towards improving your mental health. The world of virtual therapy offers an array of options, each with unique features and benefits. From flexible schedules to personalized treatment plans, these online platforms are designed to meet individual needs, making mental health care more accessible than ever before.

Our exploration of these services underscores our commitment at Online Mental Health Reviews to guide you through this important decision-making process. Our expertise in the field and our understanding of the complexities involved in choosing the right service ensure that we provide you with reliable, unbiased, and comprehensive information.

Remember, seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness but a testament to your strength and commitment to bettering your mental health. However, like anything else, online therapy has its cons too. These include potential technical difficulties, the inability to pick up on nonverbal cues, and varied acceptance by insurance companies.

Nevertheless, current evidence suggests that online therapy can be as effective as in-person therapy. So it’s important to explore all available resources and choose a service that aligns with your specific needs, preferences, and insurance coverage.

We hope this article has empowered you with the knowledge and confidence to navigate the world of online therapy services. Remember, your mental health matters, and taking this step is a testament to your resilience and determination to seek the support you deserve.

Do you have any questions about online counseling services that accept insurance? Please leave a comment below! We’d love to learn if you have any further questions about the best online therapies or any suggestions on other mental health professional services, apps, or courses for Online Mental Health Reviews to review.

If You Are In Crisis

If you are facing a crisis, immediate help is crucial. Dial 911 if you are in immediate danger or have plans to harm yourself or others. Should you contemplate self-harm, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 is available 24/7. Additionally, the National Helpline of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 800-662-HELP (4357) offers free, confidential assistance round-the-clock, all year round, for those struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues.

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