Mental health problems should never be ignored. Whether you experience depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, or any type of mental illness, you should contact a health practitioner immediately. Unfortunately, most insurance companies don't cover mental health just like any other medical condition. Although it is not a reason to put off treatment, there are many insurance issues you should consider when seeking mental health treatment.
Mental Health Covered Like Medical
Although it is very unusual, some health insurance will cover your mental illness just like any other visit to the doctor. This means, you would get a co-pay for psychology visits if you have a physician co-pay, etc. One thing to remember on this type of insurance plan is that any time you are admitted to a hospital for a mental health condition, be sure to contact your insurance company in case you need precertification.
Completely Separate Mental Health Carrier
Come companies opt to have a separate insurance carrier cover mental health conditions. This means you could have two separate insurance cards. Be sure you keep these cards separate from one another. Mental health providers will not know the difference if you hand them the wrong card. This could result in a delay in insurance payment since the incorrect card was given.
Limited Mental Health Coverage
Most companies will have mental health coverage under the medical insurance carrier. However, usually this coverage is quite different from physical medical conditions. For instance, you might have a larger coinsurance rate, or you may have a yearly maximum. Either way, be sure you know your limits so you are financially prepared for the bill at the end of your care.
There are many insurance companies that do not cover alcohol/drug rehabilitation centers. Although it may be necessary for you to go to one of these centers, know that you insurance may not pay. To be properly prepared, call your insurance company and ask if they cover the specific mental health center you plan on visiting.
Mental health issues are no less important than physical medical conditions. However, some insurance companies and employers don't see it the same way. Unfortunately, there are some people who abuse the system and spend too much money on unnecessary mental health treatment. For those that truly need this type of treatment, they are left with the raw end of the deal. Be sure you are mentally and financially prepared before you have your first mental health visit.