Finding Affordable Mental Health Insurance

Mental health insurance pays for health care related to mental illness and disabilities. The problem is finding insurance that's affordable, so that you can pay for other forms of insurance as well. You may be able to get some coverage under your existing plan, or add supplemental coverage at a good rate. Here's how you can find a plan for a price that you can afford:

Compare Coverage

You need to understand mental health insurance and what it covers before you shop around. One company might offer a lower premium price, but provide less coverage for it. You may not need everything that insurance plan offers, so it's important to prioritize coverage based on your needs. Here are some pitfalls to look for when comparing insurance plans:

  • Coverage only extends to in-network providers
  • Requires a referral from your primary care doctor
  • Limits on what services the plan will pay for, such as office visits and medications only
  • Requirement to review reports from provider on a periodic basis
  • Excludes pre-existing conditions
  • Some diagnosis are not covered by the plan

Ask any agent that you're dealing with as many questions as you need to get the details about what their company's plan offers. Once you interview agents from different companies, you can make your decision based on the coverage you must have, as well as what it will cost.

Review Your Employer's Plan

Your employee benefits may include health insurance, which may or may not include mental health insurance. If it does, you may be able to take advantage of group rates through your employer. You can keep your research confidential by getting the phone number of the company and asking them the details yourself, instead of asking human resources those questions. Ask the plan administrator details about the coverage, the same way you would an insurance agent. You can then compare the cost of a comprehensive insurance plan that includes mental health care coverage and a standalone policy. The former might be more affordable because it's offered at a group rate.

Check Other Group Rate Options

Your employer is not the only one who may offer a health insurance plan at a group rate. Check with some of the other organizations that you belong to about membership benefits, and find out about mental health insurance with the plans that they offer. This may be one of your best options if you're self-employed and don't have access to an employee benefit package. You can also join a group that offers mental health insurance as part of their health insurance in order to take advantage of a group rate.

The key to finding affordable mental health insurance is to take advantage of group rates when possible or to supplement an existing health insurance if the plan doesn't already include coverage for it. Compare policies to make sure that you are getting the most affordable rate possible.


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