Have you been considering online therapy but are unsure if your Health Savings Account (HSA) can be used to pay for it?
In this blog post, we will discuss how HSA plans work with Talkspace and the benefits of using online therapy for emotional and mental health.
Please know that our team has bought and tested Talkspace. We’ve tried to answer many frequently asked questions in our video tutorial series, which you can see below:
What is an HSA Plan?
A Health Savings Account (HSA) plan is a type of financial account that allows individuals to save money specifically for medical expenses.
These accounts are often linked to high-deductible health plans such as those offered by employers.
This means that the individual pays out-of-pocket for medical costs until they meet their deductible limit. Any money not used in the current year rolls over and can be used in future years.
Can I Use My HSA with Talkspace?
Yes, you can use your HSA with Talkspace! Talkspace is classified as a Qualified Medical Expense (QME), which makes it eligible to be covered under an HSA plan.
For your HSA funds to be used for Talkspace services, you must have a receipt from your provider or therapist that clearly states mental health issues the amount paid, and what service was provided.
Benefits of Online Therapy
Online therapy has grown in popularity over the last few years due to its convenience and affordability.
With online therapy, and mental illness clients can access treatment from anywhere – no need for long drives or waiting rooms!
Meta-analysis studies have also found that online therapy can be just as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy when it comes to helping clients reduce symptoms associated with mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression1.
Plus, because there is no need to travel or take time off work, many clients find that they can engage in regular weekly sessions more easily than with traditional face-to-face sessions.
Is Talkspace Covered By Insurance?
If you’re wondering whether Talkspace is covered by insurance, the answer is yes.
Talkspace accepts insurance from several providers, including Premera, Cigna, Optum, Gatorcare, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and more.
You can check your eligibility for coverage on their website using this link.
Additionally, Talkspace is working directly with health plans and companies to make therapy more affordable for everyone. However, it’s important to note that Medicare and Medicaid do not currently cover Talkspace services.
You Can Use The HSA Funds Toward Psychiatric Care
If you have an HSA, you can use the funds towards psychiatric care. This includes therapy visits, hospital stays, and other mental health treatments that are deemed medically necessary.
The IRS recognizes mental health therapy and treatment as eligible for reimbursement with an FSA or an HSA if it is deemed medically necessary. You could pay directly with an HSA-qualified medical expense or use your HSA debit card to pay for qualified expenses.
Some forms of online therapy are also eligible for reimbursement with your flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA).
While HSAs offer tax benefits, you can only use the money for qualified medical expenses2; otherwise, you will owe taxes and a 20% penalty on the withdrawal. It’s important to note that these expenses are FSA or HSA-eligible only if they are for medical care. Therapy or counseling used for general improvement is not eligible.
Therefore, you must have a diagnosis in many cases.
Prescriptions For Mental Health Are Covered, too
If you are wondering whether prescriptions for mental health are covered, the answer is yes.
Mental health medications are often covered by insurance plans, including both private and government-funded plans. However, coverage may vary depending on your specific plan and the medication prescribed.
It is important to check with your insurance provider to understand what is covered under your plan.
Some common types of mental health medications include:
- mood stabilizers
- anti-anxiety medications
These medications can be effective in treating a range of mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
It is important to work closely with your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for you. Sources such as the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and Mental Health America provide comprehensive information on mental health medications and their uses.
Your Therapy Bills May Be HSA-Eligible
If you’re wondering whether your therapy bills are HSA-eligible, the answer is generally yes3. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can be used to pay for a wide range of medical expenses, including mental health services like therapy.
According to the IRS, “medical care expenses must be primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental defect or illness.” This includes therapy sessions with licensed professionals.
However, it’s important to note that not all therapy services may be covered by your specific HSA plan. You should check with your HSA provider and review the list of eligible medical expenses to confirm coverage.
Additionally, some HSAs may require a doctor’s prescription for therapy services to be considered eligible expenses4. Overall, using an HSA to pay for therapy can be a helpful way to manage healthcare costs while prioritizing your mental health needs.
Finding Support Through Insurance
If you are looking for support through insurance, there are several options available to you. Health insurance can help you pay for medical services and sometimes prescription drugs.
Here are some things to consider when looking for health insurance:
- Research different health plans and the costs of services.
- Look into employer-sponsored health plans if available.
- Consider Medicaid or Medicare if you qualify.
- Check if your state has a health insurance marketplace.
- Compare premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs.
- Make sure the plan covers the medical services you need.
You Can Pay For Medication With Your HSA Funds
If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), you can use it to pay for your prescriptions and other qualified medical expenses.
However, due to Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations, most over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and medications are not eligible for reimbursement unless accompanied by a prescription. Before the passage of the CARES Act, HSAs only allowed you to use funds for prescription medications and not for OTC drugs, but that has changed as a result of the act.
Thanks to the CARES Act, you can now use your HSA funds to buy several common OTC medications without a prescription. It’s important to note that the government only allows tax advantages if you use your HSA money for qualified medical expenses.
These costs generally include payment to doctors or hospitals for medical services or treatments. If you’re unsure whether an expense is HSA-eligible, it’s always best to check with your HSA administrator or consult IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses.
Can I use HSA for Talkspace?
Yes, you can use your Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay for Talkspace therapy sessions.
According to the rules set by the IRS, medical or mental health therapy is eligible for reimbursement with an HSA. Talkspace is an online therapy platform that offers licensed therapists and psychiatrists who provide counseling services through video chat, messaging, and phone calls.
Using your HSA funds to pay for Talkspace sessions can help you save money since you’re using pre-taxed income.
Additionally, paying for mental health treatments with your HSA can be a tax-savvy way to support your mental health. Other ways to pay for Talkspace therapy include submitting a superbill to your insurance or paying out of pocket.
It’s important to note that Talkspace allows insurance coverage of its therapy plans too, so be sure to check with your insurance provider if they cover online therapy services like Talkspace.
Can I use my HSA for Online Therapy?
Yes, you can use your HSA funds to pay for online therapy as long as it is provided by a licensed professional. Virtual appointments for mental health therapy are considered an HSA-eligible expense.
This means that you can use your account to cover the cost of your online therapy sessions.
Therefore, using your HSA for online therapy is a great way to support your mental health while also utilizing the benefits of your healthcare account.
What Can You Not Pay With HSA?
If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), you can use the funds to pay for qualified medical expenses. However, certain expenses are not eligible for HSA reimbursement.
Here are some examples of what you cannot pay with your HSA:
- Non-medical expenses: You cannot use your HSA funds to pay for non-medical expenses, such as gym memberships, cosmetic surgery, or over-the-counter medications that are not prescribed by a doctor.
- Insurance premiums: You cannot use your HSA funds to pay for health insurance premiums, except in certain circumstances (such as if you are receiving unemployment benefits).
- Medicare premiums: You cannot use your HSA funds to pay for Medicare premiums (except for certain types of Medicare plans).
- Expenses incurred before opening the account: You cannot use your HSA funds to reimburse yourself for medical expenses that were incurred before you opened the account.
It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and there may be other expenses that are not eligible for HSA reimbursement. For more information on what you can and cannot pay with your HSA, consult IRS Publication 969 or speak with a qualified tax professional.
Does HSA Cover Gym Membership?
If you’re wondering whether your Health Savings Account (HSA) covers gym membership, the answer is not straightforward. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
- Generally, gym memberships are not considered eligible expenses for HSA funds.
- However, if your doctor prescribes exercise as part of a treatment plan for a medical condition, you may be able to use your HSA funds to pay for a gym membership.
- The PHIT Act is currently being considered by Congress, which would allow individuals to use their HSA or FSA funds for qualified fitness expenses, including gym memberships. However, this bill has not yet been passed into law6.
- It’s important to note that using HSA funds for non-qualified expenses can result in tax penalties.
- Carlbring, P., Andersson, G., Cuijpers, P., Riper, H., & Hedman-Lagerlöf, E. (2017, December 7). Internet-based vs. face-to-face cognitive behavior therapy for psychiatric and somatic disorders: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 47(1), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1080/16506073.2017.1401115
- It’s Mental Health Awareness Month – Here are 5 ways your HSA can support your mental health. (2021, May 27). It’s Mental Health Awareness Month – Here Are 5 Ways Your HSA Can Support Your Mental Health. https://blog.healthequity.com/its-mental-health-awareness-month-here-are-5-ways-your-hsa-can-support-your-mental-health
- irs qualified medical expenses. (n.d.). IRS Qualified Medical Expenses – HSA Bank. https://www.hsabank.com/hsabank/learning-center/irs-qualified-medical-expenses
- (21 C.E., July 7). Health Savings Account eligible expenses. In https://www.premera.com/. Retrieved March 5, 2023, from https://www.premera.com/documents/022856.pdf
- (23 C.E., January 31). Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans For use in preparing 2022 Return. In https://www.irs.gov/. Retrieved March 5, 2023, from https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p969.pdf
- Your HSA might soon be able to buy you a gym membership. (2022, August 23). Crain’s Chicago Business. https://www.chicagobusiness.com/government/phit-act-would-let-you-buy-gym-membership-hsa-or-fsa
More Talkspace Resources
- We Bought Talkspace (Video) – Here’s Our Complete Review
- Why Michael Phelps Says, “Talkspace Saved My Life”
- Insurances Talkspace Accepts – Covers 40 Million Americans
- Talkspace Cost Breakdown – What We Paid
- The Public and Private Talkspace Discounts We Found
- Talkspace Phone Number (?)
- Talkspace Company Financial Info
- The Salary of Talkspace Therapists
- How To Cancel Your Talkspace Subscription
- The Talkspace App Is Popular!
- Talkspace Versus Calmerry
- Talkspace Versus Brightside
- Talkspace Versus Sesame Care
Final Talkspace Review
Third Party Reviews
Pricing / Insurance
Talkspace is best if you’re new to therapy, have insurance, and looking for online convenience for mild to moderate mental health struggles.
Get $100 off your first month with code SPACE at Talkspace.com.
- No commuting with flexible online sessions from home
- Multiple subscription plans available
- Quick signup with user-friendly platform and app
- Constant access with round-the-clock text messages and live chats available
- You can choose your therapist from three options, allowing you to somewhat customize your experience
- Serves all 50 states
- You can switch therapists whenever you want at no extra cost.
- Has an easy-to-navigate app
- High user satisfaction
- Flexible plans, accepted by most health insurers and contract-free
- The service can connect you with a psychiatrist who can evaluate you and prescribe medication that you can pick up from your local pharmacy
- Provides individual therapy, couples, and teen therapy
- All sessions with well-qualified therapists
- The platform encrypts your conversations and offers a password-secured login system to keep your data private.
- Providers and AI algorithm choose 3 therapists for you
- No group or family counseling sessions
- Exact pricing only revealed upon sign-up
- Most affordable plan is messaging-only
- Text therapy may not be suitable for everyone as it may feel impersonal due to automated messages
- No sliding scale or financial aid options available
- Medicare and Medicaid do not cover services
- Live sessions are only 30 minutes long and must be purchased with higher-priced plans
- Overall best suited for cases of anxiety or depression
- If cancelled within the month, Talkspace will still charge the subscriber for the entire month
- AI analysis may be done on conversations with your therapist
- Chat history cannot be deleted
- Some misleading claims