Insurance

The 10 Best Mental Health Insurance

Since the passage of the 2008 Affordable Care Act, which legislated that insurance providers treat mental and physical illnesses similarly, you can get mental and behavioral healthcare coverage via any health insurance plan. Despite that requirement, insurance plans vary considerably in coverage of mental health treatment, including the kinds of mental health care services offered, how many mental health care providers are in-network, and whether telehealth is covered.

The best mental health insurance has a significant number of in-network providers so you don’t have a long wait for treatment, allows you to get treatment without a referral, and provides additional online or offline resources for your support. This roundup will help you find a mental health insurance provider that best fits your mental and behavioral health needs.

WellCare

Why We Chose It
WellCare, part of Centene Corporation, is the best in affordable mental health insurance plans because it provides government-sponsored health coverage via Medicare and Medicaid contracts. It is therefore a low-cost and affordable option that also offers comprehensive treatments for mental health.

Pros
Provides affordable coverage
Offers a number of different types of inpatient and outpatient treatments
Has a 24/7 crisis line

Cons
Mental health support programs limit the number of sessions you can access.
Focuses on group treatment options
Doesn’t offer coverage through the healthcare marketplace

UnitedHealthcare

Why We Chose It
UnitedHealthcare provides comprehensive mental and behavioral healthcare coverage as part of its insurance plans, which can include Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) and telehealth appointments. It allows you to track mental health daily and get online therapy through the Talkspace website and the Sanvello mobile app.

Pros

Offers easy access to therapy, including 24/7 support hotlines
Has online mental health resources
Helps you find an in-network provider online

Cons

Might be more expensive than other coverage
Mental health services might not be accessible nationwide.
You might have to wait to see an in-person provider.

Cigna

Why We Chose It
Cigna allows you to connect with mental or behavioral care 24/7 through a nurses’ hotline and has a number of options for telehealth appointments.

Pros

Offers individual, employer, Medicare, and Medicaid plans
Has a large provider network
Offers a Healthy Rewards program for wellness

Cons

Individual and family coverage limited to just 10 states
Doesn’t explicitly list conditions covered
24/7 hotline might not provide continuity of care.

Humana

Why We Chose It
Humana has a network of over 65,000 psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurse practitioners, and licensed counselors to choose from, allowing you to find the right fit for your needs.

Pros
A care team helps connect you as quickly as possible with the help you need.
Supports complex and chronic mental health conditions
Provides 30 days of follow-up care post-discharge from inpatient treatment

Cons
Does not have as many online or app-based resources as other insurers
You require a referral from your care team for mental healthcare.

Kaiser Permanente

Why We Chose It
Kaiser Permanente has, at the cornerstone of its mental health care treatment strategy, one-on-one sessions with a psychiatrist, nurse practitioner, or physician assistants who specialize in diagnosing mental health conditions and prescribing medication for your mental and behavioral health concerns.

Pros
Don’t need a referral for mental health care
Covers one-on-one collaborative therapy
Offers group therapy

Cons
Must use in-network facilities
Not offered nationwide
Higher cost than some other plans

Aetna

Why We Chose It
Aetna boasts an impressive complement of online resources to help you stay on top of your mental health including online anxiety, depression, and mood self-assessment tools used to help you determine how to treat your mental health. Aetna is a part of CVS Health.

Pros
Has a search tool to help you find a mental health provider near you
Offers telehealth counseling
Is available nationwide

Cons
Might exclude out-of-network providers, depending on your plan
Does not cover experimental mental health care services
Does not offer individual plans outside Medicare and Medicaid supplements

Final Verdict

The mental health insurance companies that made our “best of” list all offer options that allow you to easily access mental health support through programs that fit your needs.

Options include telehealth appointments, apps, outpatient treatment, and inpatient treatment. Some insurance companies offer 24/7 access to support or have more in-network providers to help decrease wait times, giving you more options.

Overall, we recommend UnitedHealthcare’s mental health insurance because it offers a number of options to get mental health support, treats conditions that aren’t covered by other providers, and allows you to access care 24/7.

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