Insurance is not typically required to cover marriage counseling.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the Mental Health Equity and Addiction Equity Act, and other federal laws, insurers must provide equitable coverage for mental health conditions. this means they must treat mental health conditions like physical health conditions, they must not exclude them from coverage, and they must not charge higher copays for these conditions.
Insurance fairness laws generally do not apply to couples counseling. That’s because mental health parity laws treat mental health conditions as a medical diagnosis. the need for couples counseling is not a medical diagnosis, so it is not analogous to a physical health problem.
In some cases, an insurer may be required to cover couples counseling if the need for counseling arises directly from a mental health condition. For example, some insurers may cover marriage counseling for a person with a sex addiction or other condition that affects their marriage. even then, it can be difficult to get insurance coverage.
Although plans are not required to cover marriage counseling, some offer it as an added benefit. It’s important to read your plan documents to get a clear understanding of what is and isn’t covered. In most cases, you will have to choose from a list of pre-approved providers. you may need to meet a deductible before coverage kicks in. or you may need to request reimbursement instead of paying a copay.
In some cases, employee assistance programs cover a portion of the costs of marriage counseling, especially when marital problems are due to a serious problem, such as depression or addiction.
how much does marriage counseling cost without insurance?
The cost of marriage counseling, like the cost of individual therapy, varies by skill level, geographic location, and physician training. famous and respected therapists usually charge more. people who live in areas with high incomes or a high cost of living should expect to pay higher rates.
couples counseling can be a demanding job and requires a unique skill set. therapists must protect the well-being of both parties, continually check for their own biases, and rely on complex research in numerous fields. for this reason, many therapists charge more for couples therapy than for individual therapy.
Without insurance, most couples pay between $75 and $200 per hour. some therapists offer sliding scale fees based on income or discounts for purchasing multiple sessions.
Most couples see their therapist weekly, so the cost of couples therapy without insurance can add up quickly. the total value, however, is difficult to quantify. therapy can save a marriage by preventing the exorbitant costs of a divorce. Even if a couple decides to separate, therapy can save money by helping them communicate more effectively, which could make it easier to divide assets and discuss child custody.
A person’s marriage can be a source of immense joy. it can also cause unbearable stress. Divorce and marital difficulties consistently top lists of life’s most stressful experiences. By reducing or even eliminating relationship stress, marriage counseling can improve quality of life. this can have far-reaching benefits that extend to a person’s work, relationships with their children, health, and sense of self.
Will insurance cover couples counseling if my partner and I are not married?
Because insurers are not legally required to cover couples therapy in most cases, there is no single rule that applies to unmarried couples. you will need to verify your benefits agreement. In some cases, an insurance policy only specifies under what circumstances it will cover couples counseling, not whether the couple must be married. some policies make it explicit that the couple must be legally married.
If your insurer doesn’t cover therapy for unmarried couples and you must pay out of pocket, the therapist must charge the same rate whether you’re married or not. however, some therapists may charge different rates based on the number of people in therapy, as more people require more skill. a polyamorous triad, for example, might pay a little more than a couple.
what therapists have to say
In therapy, you will talk about your relationship goals, your cultural and religious values, and the conflicts in your relationship. Your therapist can help you understand where these conflicts originate, communicate more effectively, and support and love each other better.
start your search for a couples therapist near you here.
the Mental Health Equity and Addiction Equity Act (mhpaea). (2016, October 27). retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/cciio/programs-and-initiatives/other-insurance-protections/mhpaea_factsheet.html
© copyright 2014 goodtherapy.org. All rights reserved. permission to post granted by therapy FAQ
The above article was written solely by the author mentioned above. goodtherapy.org does not necessarily share the views and opinions expressed. Questions or concerns about the above article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.