Skip to main content.

Your Guide to Using Health Insurance to Get Mental Health Care

Fellowship Story Showcase

Your Guide to Using Health Insurance to Get Mental Health Care

Picture of Renee Fabian

This story was produced by Renee Fabian, a reporter for The Mighty, as her 2020 California Fellowship project. 

Her other stories include:

Therapists in California Want to Provide Affordable Mental Health Care. Here's What's Stopping Them.

The Mighty graphic
The Mighty
The Mighty
Thursday, November 5, 2020

In September, we published the results of an investigation into what it’s like for therapists to accept health insurance. In California, in fact, about 40% of therapists don’t work with insurance companies.

It turns out for many therapists who work on their own, they have a hard time making a living because the amount they earn through insurance is too low when they factor in their costs. Insurance companies also don’t make it easy to keep up with paperwork, follow up on unpaid claims or sign up to accept insurance in the first place. You can read the whole article here.

Along the way, we also learned a lot about mental health insurance and wanted to make it easier for patients (and their therapists) to get the most out of their benefits. Do you know how to find out what your mental health insurance benefits are? Did you know your insurance company has to provide the same access to mental health benefits as medical benefits? How do you file a complaint against your insurance company?

To make your mental health journey a little easier, we’ve compiled a guide to using your health insurance for mental health care. This guide is specific to California, but if you live in another state, we’ve included a few resources for you as well. Each section of the guide is downloadable as a PDF so you can save it on your phone or computer, print it out or email it to others. We’ve also translated each page of the guide into Spanish.

From your rights as a patient to resources you can contact for help understanding and using your health insurance for mental health care, here’s what you need to know:

Download in English

Download in Spanish

[This post was originally published by The Mighty.]