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BetterHelp doesn’t take insurance, but they do offer financial aid. You can also use FSA or HSA dollars to pay for therapy.
BetterHelp is a subscription service that provides users with access to online counseling. Also called teletherapy, online counseling can help you put your mental health first from the comfort and privacy of your home.
You can talk with a psychologist, clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, or licensed professional counselor. You can schedule online counseling sessions around your workday, family obligations, and social life.
BetterHelp counselors have experience treating a range of issues, including anxiety, depression, and relationship challenges, among others.
BetterHelp is not covered by insurance and does not charge per session. This online counseling service offers a flexible monthly package that covers several sessions and ways to talk with your counselor (chat, video, phone). This is important because multiple counseling sessions are needed to help improve mental health.
Keep reading to learn more about BetterHelp and how you can access counseling and other mental health services with or without insurance.
BetterHelp operates on a subscription model. This means your fee covers multiple sessions and other communication with your counselor.
The fee ranges from $60 to $90 per week and is billed monthly. You’ll be charged between $240 and $320 per month, payable via a credit card or PayPal. You can also use a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) card.
BetterHelp offers the option of changing counselors for any reason or canceling your subscription at any time.
The subscription includes:
- unlimited text messaging with your counselor
- one live weekly video or phone call session with your counselor
BetterHelp financial aid
BetterHelp offers flexible pricing plans that are comparable with the copays of many insurance plans, but they may not be affordable for everyone.
Financial aid is available. BetterHelp will ask you to fill out a short survey about your employment status and monthly income to check your eligibility. You may have to submit your income tax return or other documentation to show your financial status.
To find out more information, it’s best to directly call billing and customer service.
If you have health insurance, there’s a good chance your policy covers at least some mental health services. If you want to use your insurance rather than pay out of pocket for a service like BetterHelp, here’s what you can do.
Check your insurance plan for mental health coverage
To find out what your plan covers, you can:
- Ask the mental health professional you want to work with to find out if your insurance is in their network.
- If applicable, check with your company’s human resources department.
- Log in to your online account and look to see what your insurance covers.
- Call your insurance provider and ask what they cover.
In some cases, you’ll need to obtain preauthorization to obtain coverage. Other insurers require you to pay a deductible before they pay any claims. Deductibles can be quite high, so be sure to ask your insurance company.
Determine your deductible and copays
A deductible is how much you have to spend for health services that are covered by your insurance before your insurance company pays for anything.
With some types of plans, you might have a low monthly health insurance cost, or premium, each month but a high deductible. This means you must spend more on healthcare that qualifies for insurance payments before being covered by your plan.
In other cases, your monthly insurance premium may be higher but your deductible is lower. This means you have to spend less on healthcare per year before your insurance coverage kicks in.
Your plan likely also has copays, which is the amount you pay for each visit to a healthcare professional. These are often around $20–$40 but can vary.
Find a counselor covered by your insurance
Once you know what your plan covers, it’s time to find a therapist. To find a therapist, check out one or more of the following resources:
- your insurance plan’s list of mental health professionals
- referrals from healthcare professionals, family, and friends
- trustworthy online databases, such as the American Psychological Association’s Psychologist Locator or the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy’s Therapist Locator
- local options, including community mental health or behavioral health clinics, and other organizations such as colleges, advocacy groups, religious groups, and nonprofits
- Healthline’s FindCare resource
What’s covered by FSAs and HSAs?
FSAs and HSAs can help you save money on health expenses, including some online counseling services.
An FSA is a savings account established by your employer with a portion of your monthly pay. It allows you to save money by not paying income taxes on the portion in your FSA. You can use this account to pay for out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, such as online therapy.
You can typically contribute up to only a certain amount to your FSA. Depending on your employer, you may have access to the funds immediately when you enroll or after you have contributed a significant amount.
An HSA works similarly to an FSA. To contribute to an HSA, you must qualify and meet certain requirements, such as:
- You’re not enrolled in Medicare.
- You’re not claimed as a dependent on your partner’s or anyone else’s tax return.
- You have a high deductible health plan, meaning you pay more for health costs covered by insurance.
A key difference between an FSA and an HSA is that an FSA stays with an employer, and you may lose access if you change employment.
On the other hand, an HSA is portable. You can take it with you from employer to employer.
Ask your employer whether they offer an FSA or HSA. Not all employers offer these tax-saving tools for health expenses.
If you don’t have health insurance (or even if you do), here’s what you can do to access affordable mental health care.
Try online counseling
While online therapy isn’t for everyone, it does have some advantages. For one, it tends to be less expensive than paying for counseling out of pocket.
Some people also find it more convenient than visiting a counselor in person.
Look for sliding-scale healthcare professionals
Some mental health professionals offer what’s known as a sliding-scale payment for their services.
This means the fee will be based on your income, usually between $75 and $175 per session. The lower your income, the less you pay.
Be aware that you’ll likely have to show documentation to prove your annual income.
In most cases, sliding scale therapy is no different from regular therapy. But you might have fewer options in terms of therapists and specialties available.
You can search for a sliding scale therapist using one of the following search tools:
- Find a Health Center
- Therapy Aid Coalition (currently only serving certain communities)
Additionally, if you’ve found a counselor you want to work with but can’t pay their fee, it doesn’t hurt to ask — respectfully — about a sliding-scale payment option.
Join a local support group
Support groups are a more affordable in-person therapy option. Many support groups are free to attend.
They’re often structured around a particular issue, like substance use disorders, depression, or chronic health conditions. One added benefit is that joining a support group will allow you to connect with others who are managing similar concerns and challenges.
Look for a support group run by a licensed mental health professional or a peer advocate. It’s important to join a group with a moderator.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers peer-led support groups in cities across the country.
Try an educational institution or training center
Most therapists have to undergo a substantial amount of training before they obtain certification. As a result, many training institutions offer free or reduced-cost therapy services provided by counselors or clinicians in training before they obtain their licenses and other certifications.
These services are often available in universities and colleges that offer advanced degrees in psychology, social work, or counseling. Students are supervised by a licensed mental health professional with experience in a particular area of mental health treatment.
Check out community mental health centers
You might be able to find a free or low-cost therapy option provided at a local mental health center. These services are often covered by Medicaid.
To find one, contact your
To talk with someone right now, try calling one of the following 24/7 crisis lines:
- 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline: Call 800-662-4357.
- Samaritans Crisis Hotline: Call 212-673-3000.
- YouthLine: Call 877-968-8491.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: Call 800-799-7233.
Text-based options are also available. These include:
- 988 Lifeline Chat and Text
- Crisis Text Line (from the United States and Canada, text “HOME” to 741741)
It takes courage to reach out for help. If you want to seek help but you’re not sure where to start, you can also contact your doctor or another healthcare professional if you have one.
If you’re having thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself or someone else, call 911 or local emergency services or go directly to your nearest emergency room.
Can I use FSA for BetterHelp?
Yes. You can use FSA funds to cover therapy costs with BetterHelp.
Which is more affordable: Talkspace or BetterHelp?
However, Talkspace does take some insurance plans, which may make it the more affordable option for people using insurance.
Does BetterHelp take Medicaid?
No, BetterHelp does not take Medicaid.
How much is BetterHelp without insurance?
BetterHelp ranges from $60–$90 a week without insurance.
BetterHelp is an online, subscription-based therapy service. It’s one of many therapy options you can access online. BetterHelp is not covered by health insurance. It does offer financial assistance, or you may be able to get reimbursed by your health insurance provider.
Be sure to check with your insurance company on coverage first, so you’ll be aware of the costs. Also consider other options, such as group therapy, finding a therapist locally, or one of the other online counseling services available.
There are lots of ways to get support that are affordable and available.