Does Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Cover Mental Health Treatment?


Most Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) health insurance policies cover the cost of mental health treatment. This coverage became fairly standard across BCBS plans beginning in 2014 with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Policies purchased prior to 2014 may not offer as many benefits for mental and behavioral health as post-ACA policies. Notably, evidence-based treatment is covered, such as therapeutic services and psychoanalyses. Services rendered out of a therapeutic setting are typically not covered, such as out-of-office systematic desensitization or exposure treatment led by a therapist to treat certain phobia.

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Providing a Compassionate and Safe Environment for Healing.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Therapy Coverage Services

Most network plans from BCBS cover applied behavior analysis, residential treatment, emergency mental health care, group therapy, and other mental health services. Still, it is important to note that BCBS plans may have stipulations that must be met in order for coverage to be provided. What’s more, employers have the ability to customize the benefits that they offer, and they can also determine what the insured must do in order to access these benefits. For this reason, it is important to check your individual policy to make sure you’re covered.

You will need to choose a mental health provider in the BCBS network in order to be covered. Some services available may also include case management services, consultations and outpatient services.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield Therapy Treatment Deductibles and Copays

With most health insurance plans, including plans from Blue Cross Blue Shield, you must first meet your deductible prior to receiving coverage. For example, if your policy has a $500 deductible, then you are responsible for the first $500 in care. You may also need to pay a copay for each visit or treatment. For instance, your policy may require you to pay a certain percentage of your treatment costs per visit or a set amount per visit or service, such as $40. Check your Blue Cross Blue Shield policy details to determine if you have a deductible and if you must pay a copayment with your mental health services.

How To Check Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Coverage for Mental Health Therapy

Insured policyholders can check on their individual coverage levels by logging into their Blue Cross Blue Shield member accounts. This involves accessing the Blue Cross Blue Shield website or its mobile app. Once logged in, policyholders should select Go to My Coverage, and then tap on Medical, select the What’s Covered option, and then click on Find Behavioral Health Care, Mental Health Care and Substance Use Treatment.

After accessing the services available for behavioral health and substance abuse services, policyholders can find information regarding plan requirements necessary to obtain services, which services their individual plan offers, how much they must pay for services (such as copays and deductibles) and how much their plans pay for covered services.

How Can We Help?

Providing a Compassionate and Safe Environment for Healing.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Coverage Policy

For policyholders who have Medicare coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield, mental health services are covered. There is no need for policy holders to get a referral for mental health care from their primary care providers if they have coverage under a BCN Advantage plan. Visits are typically covered with copayments, and members with original Medicare are assessed a 20 percent copayment with every visit to a mental health care provider. Blue Cross Blue Shield encourages all policyholders to use their Find a Doctor tool to help them find qualified mental health care providers.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield Mental Health and Society

The intertwined relationship between societal perceptions of mental health and insurance coverage is crucial in shaping a supportive environment for individuals. In previous decades, mental health was a topic often swept under the rug, shrouded in misunderstanding and stigma. This resulted in countless individuals suffering in silence, reluctant to seek help or share their struggles.

However, as society progressed, so did the understanding of mental health issues. The increasing dialogue on the importance of mental well-being, celebrities sharing their personal battles, and global campaigns focusing on mental health have paved the way for reduced stigma and increased support. Amid this transformative backdrop, insurance providers like Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) have taken substantial steps to ensure their policies align with this new societal norm. BCBS’s enhanced therapy coverage stands as a testament to the company’s commitment to championing mental health and supporting the broader shift in societal attitudes. It’s not just about financial support; it’s a powerful message that mental health matters and everyone deserves access to quality care.

Additional Support Systems Blue Cross Blue Shield

While Blue Cross Blue Shield therapy coverage is at the forefront of insurance support for mental health, it’s worth noting the broader tapestry of support available to individuals. In today’s connected world, myriad organizations, platforms, and communities are dedicated to mental well-being. BCBS might provide the financial scaffold, but there’s a world of emotional and psychological support that can be accessed beyond this.

For instance, community-driven initiatives often organize workshops, seminars, and therapy sessions for local residents. They act as spaces where individuals can share, learn, and grow together, anchored in mutual understanding. Additionally, online forums have blossomed into safe havens where people from different backgrounds and geographies share their stories, offer advice, or simply lend a listening ear. Moreover, local support groups, often organized by therapists or community leaders, provide a more intimate setting for individuals to discuss their challenges and triumphs.

In essence, while BCBS offers a robust insurance framework to address mental health needs, it’s the wider ecosystem of support groups and platforms that holistically cater to an individual’s journey. Together, insurance and community-driven efforts create a balanced, comprehensive approach to mental health care in California.

Alter Behavior Health Can Help with Mental Health Treatment Coverage

While most Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance policies, including Medicare plans, offer some level of therapeutic coverage for policyholders and their insured spouses and children, not all do. Coverage levels vary from plan to plan, and coverage may be subject to a deductible prior to receiving covered services. In addition, policyholders may have to pay a copay in order to receive services.

Alter Behavioral Health in Orange County offers professional care from licensed providers to deal with primary mental health disorders. Reach out to Alter Behavioral Health for caring, compassionate help for all mental health issues.

How Can We Help?

Providing a Compassionate and Safe Environment for Healing.

FAQs About Blue Cross Blue Shield Mental Health Therapy Coverage

What types of mental health treatments does Blue Cross Blue Shield cover?

Blue Cross Blue Shield typically covers evidence-based treatments such as therapeutic services and psychoanalysis. The specifics may vary based on the individual policy.

Do all BCBS policies provide the same mental health benefits?

No, the benefits can vary based on when the policy was purchased and individual plan specifics. It’s crucial to check your individual policy for detailed coverage.

Are there any prerequisites or deductibles to meet before my therapy is covered by BCBS?

Many BCBS plans require policyholders to meet a deductible before coverage kicks in. For instance, if your policy has a $500 deductible, you’ll be responsible for the first $500 in care costs.

How can I find out the exact coverage details for my BCBS policy?

Insured policyholders can log into their Blue Cross Blue Shield member accounts online to access details about their coverage and understand what’s included in their plan.

Does BCBS Medicare coverage also include mental health services?

Yes, for those who have Medicare coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield, mental health services are generally covered. The specifics, like copayments, might vary based on the plan.

Do I have to choose a therapist or mental health provider within the BCBS network?

To ensure coverage, it’s typically required to choose a mental health provider within the BCBS network. Some plans might allow out-of-network providers but may offer less coverage or higher out-of-pocket costs.

Are there any mental health treatments that BCBS doesn’t cover?

Services rendered outside of a therapeutic setting, like out-of-office systematic desensitization led by a therapist for phobias, are typically not covered. Always refer to your individual policy for specific exclusions.
It’s always a good idea to contact BCBS or your insurance provider directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information related to your policy and coverage.