October 1 marks the opening of the Health Care Exchanges. What does this mean for the mental health field?

In technical terms:

The Affordable Health Care Act adds to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, by requiring insurance companies to cover mental health and substance use benefits.

Simply put:

All individual and small group health insurance plans inside the exchanges and outside (private insurance companies) must cover mental health treatment at the same level as other types of care.

Additionally, new health plans are now required to cover preventive services like depression screenings for adults and behavioral assessments for children at no additional cost.

So, What does this mean if you want to see a mental health professional?

For those wanting to see a mental health professional with your health insurance, you can (just make sure the mental health professional accepts your insurance).

At Thriveworks, we accept many insurances. We are constantly at work contacting every insurance company to make sure that we can be in-network with your plan – and thus far, we have succeeded at being on many insurance plans. Additionally, when you call Thriveworks, we check your benefits for you.

There is no guess work. We run your health benefits before you visit. Call us and see how cost-efficient it can be to see a mental health provider. And in 2014, all insurance companies will be required to give you mental health benefits.

If you have been thinking about seeing a counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist, please call us at 1-855-4-THRIVE.

What does this mean for Counselors?

Now is the time to get on insurance panels (provider enrollment).

  • In 2014, More people will have health insurance, and most (if not all) will expect you to accept their health insurance. 
  • One of the biggest changes for the end of 2013 (start of 2014) is that many insurance companies that have been closed (not letting new providers on) will be opening. That’s right; to prepare for the wave of newly insured persons (and to prepare for Mental Health Benefits), insurance companies will start enrolling more providers.
  • As a mental health care provider, you know better than most that “change is hard.” Just because insurance panels will open, don’t expect the process of getting “credentialied” to become easier. The paperwork will always be there. 

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