Many people deal with mental health issues. For people who access their health insurance through Justworks, there are plenty of ways to utilize our services to get the care you need.
Here, we’re giving a quick rundown of how to find mental health care providers along with some tips on how to pay for that care.
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How to Find Mental Health Care Providers
For many people looking to seek out some extra help from a psychiatrist, therapist, or counselor, one of the first steps is knowing how to find one of these providers. Many mental health providers, including psychologists and psychiatrists, don’t take any form of insurance. It can often be difficult to find a mental health specialist who takes insurance, or is in-network and currently taking on new patients. Here, we’ve outlined a few approaches you can take in your search.
1. Through Your Health Insurance Plan
Benefits-eligible Justworks customers can use Aetna’s “Find a Doctor” tool to search specifically for in-network mental health services, including counseling, Employee Assistance Program, mental health facilities, substance abuse treatment, psychiatrists, and others.
To use Aetna’s tool, follow these steps:
To search for providers and services without creating a login on the site, select “Plan from an employer” under "Guests".
Under "Continue as a guest", enter your zip code, adjust the search radius as needed, and click "Search."
From the drop-down of networks under "Select a plan", you can select the network shown on the top right of your plan details. “Elect Choice EPO (Open Access)” and “Managed Choice POS (Open Access)" are some examples of networks, depending on the medical plan you’re enrolled in.
Once you have selected the applicable network, click "Continue."
From there, you can search for a specific provider, office, or specialty using the search bar, or you can search by a specific category under "Find what you need by category."
Kaiser also has a feature that helps people find services and providers. To access Kaiser’s tool, do the following:
Find and click “Find Doctors & Locations” from the options at the top of the site page.
From this page, select either Doctors or Locations and then choose a region from the “Region” drop-down menu.
Under “Or search all doctors:” choose to search by specific location or zip code and click “Search.”
From there, you can review and narrow your results to find the provider, office, or service that works best for you.
United Health Care has a tool for patients as well. Here’s how to access it:
Find and click “Find a Doctor” from the options at the top of the page.
Click to select “Find a physician, hospital or health care facility” from the options on the page.
Click to select the Mental Health directory.
After entering your location details, you’ll have the ability to search by specific providers, facilities, costs, or conditions.
2. Ask Your Primary Care Doctor for a Referral
Your primary care doctor will generally be able to give you a referral to a psychiatrist or therapist who can help you with any mental health issues you’re dealing with. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, benefits-eligible Justworks customers also have access to One Medical and more than 60 locations they have around the country. While One Medical can provide some mental health services, the doctors can also refer you to specialists.
3. Use an Employee Assistance Program
Benefits-eligible Justworks customers have access to an Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, through Health Advocate. If you’re looking to test out whether therapy is right for you, or you only feel like you need help with something for a short period of time, you can get up to three free therapy/counseling sessions. For more information about the services offered by Health Advocate, visit our Help Center.
4. Get Recommendations from Your Network
Ask friends, family members, or other people you know if they can recommend a therapist or counselor. Most mental health providers cannot ethically treat someone who is a friend, colleague, family member, or close acquaintance of an existing patient. But often, people will know of a good therapist or doctor via a friend of a friend, or are able to ask their doctor for a list of fellow doctors/providers they could recommend who are currently taking new patients.
You can also ask another mental health professional for their recommendation. Therapists or psychologists will often know of other good therapists who are currently taking on new patients. If someone isn’t taking on new patients, ask them if they can recommend someone else who is. Additionally, if you’re currently seeing a psychologist but need or want to also see a psychiatrist, it’s often best to have your psychologist refer you to a psychiatrist they know and trust.
How to Pay for Mental Health Care
If you can’t find an in-network mental health professional who’s currently taking on new patients, there are some workarounds. When doctors don’t take any form of insurance or are out of network, the biggest barrier to seeking care is cost. It can be hard to fathom how you’d be able to afford to see a mental health professional on a regular basis without having some or all of it covered by insurance.
These tips might help make that more manageable:
Use your FSA or HSA to pay for mental health care. If you’re paying out-of-pocket, one smart way to save is to use pre-tax dollars through your FSA or HSA. Be sure to check if the care you’re seeking is an eligible expense with your FSA or HSA provider.
Negotiate the cost up front with the provider. Often, many doctors will offer a “sliding scale” policy for patients who have difficulty paying full price. Sliding scales operate based on a patient’s ability and means to pay.
Submit for reimbursement. For out-of-network doctors, you can pay out of pocket and may be able to submit claims to get reimbursed through your health insurance provider. This will, of course, depend on your specific plan and what services are eligible for reimbursement, so make sure to read your plan details first.
Mental health issues are more common than we sometimes realize. Many of the people around us experience mental health issues, but it’s the stigma around mental health that stops them from talking about their troubles with others. That same stigma can also stop people from asking for help. Seeking care might not be the easiest thing to do, but it’s one of the most important things you can do for your overall health and wellbeing.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.