Curbing Mental Health Costs
Each year, 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. suffer from a mental health problem. The most
common mental health problems are anxiety, substance abuse, and depression.
Mental healthcare can be costly, even for people with health insurance. Medicines
for these conditions can be costly. Also, therapist charges per counseling session
vary. Costs depend on where you live, the therapist's level of training, and their
What to think about
These tips can help control your costs while you get the help you need:
Check your coverage. Health insurance companies vary in what they pay for mental health treatment. Some
plans cover everything except the copay per session, once a deductible is met. Other
plans place dollar limits on outpatient programs, but leave inpatient programs intact.
Sometimes an insurance company limits the type and extent of mental health treatment it
will pay. They may limit the amount of money paid to providers. Knowing what to expect
ahead of time can help you plan your finances.
Choose a provider who is in your network. Out-of-network providers can cost a lot more. Call your insurance company to confirm
your network providers.
Ask for a price break. Some therapists offer a sliding-scale fee schedule for people, based on income.
Look into your community's mental health centers. Local governments often fund public resources, such as community mental health centers.
Think about group therapy. Group sessions often cost far less than individual therapy.
Try complementary therapies. Yoga, meditation, massage, and other alternative therapies may provide relief for
To reduce the amount you pay for prescription medicines:
Ask your healthcare provider if you can switch to a lower-cost generic or a less costly
Ask your healthcare provider for samples of the medicines you take.
Check out mail order and online pharmacies. Sometimes these pharmacies can fill your
prescription at a large savings. Be sure to check a company's reputation and service
guarantees before using your credit card.
Check with the pharmaceutical company that makes your medicine. The company may offer
Some states and counties offer prescription assistance programs. Contact your National
Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) state organization. They can help you find out if
there’s a local assistance program. For more information, visit the NAMI website, email them at email@example.com, or call 800-950-6264.
Your state’s Medicaid program may have information about prescription assistance programs
or discount programs.
Finally, find out if your company has an employee assistance program (EAP). Mental
health help may be available on-site or through an associated provider at no cost