Relationship wellness

Is Couples Therapy Covered by Insurance? A Comprehensive Guide

  • Published Apr 2, 2024

    10 mins read
  • Written by:Brandon Grill
Is Couples Therapy Covered by Insurance? A Comprehensive Guide

contents

There’s no doubt that your relationship will have a huge impact on your happiness and overall well-being. But how do you stay together when even the best relationships hit bumps in the road?

Whether you’re married, engaged, or in a long-term partnership, couples therapy can be a key difference maker in staying together. So, if you’re wondering if couples therapy is covered by insurance, you’re in good company.

In this blog, co-authored by Thrizer and Ours, you’ll get answers to this question. You’ll learn how to check your insurance coverage for couples therapy, explore backup options, and walk away with clarity.

First, Why Go to Couples Therapy At All?

At its best, couples therapy can help you iron out any relationship issues you may be experiencing. You can also grow in intimacy, improve communication, and feel more connected. Here’s why many couples, just like you, are turning to therapy:

Improving Communication: Say goodbye to misunderstandings and hello to clear, open conversations. Therapy provides the tools to express your feelings and needs effectively.

Understanding Attachment Styles: Learn how your upbringing affects your relationship. Discovering your and your partner’s attachment styles can transform how you connect.

Resolving Conflicts: Learn strategies to weather disagreements healthily. It’s not about winning an argument but finding solutions that work for both of you.

Discussing Thorny Topics: Therapy offers a safe space to tackle issues you’ve been avoiding. Whether it’s finances, family, or the future, you’ll learn to address each constructively.

Cultivating Curiosity: Reignite interest in each other by exploring new facets of your relationship. Therapy can help you see your partner in a new light.

Challenging Negative Assumptions: Replace doubts and negative beliefs with positive understanding and trust. Therapy helps you give your partner the benefit of the doubt.

Preventing the Worst Case Scenario: Investing in couples therapy can save you from the emotional and financial turmoil of a separation. It’s a proactive step towards a stronger, healthier relationship.

Stigma Around Going to Therapy

Though couples therapy has helped millions of couples strengthen their bond, stigma lingers. Does going to couples therapy mean your relationship has failed?

No, seeking couples therapy doesn’t mean your relationship will fail. It’s a sign of courage and that each of you cares. By attending couples therapy, you’re saying “I care about my relationship!”

Then, there’s also the misconception that a couples therapist will take one partner’s side.

In modern therapy, couples therapists don’t see either client as the pro- or antagonist. Instead, couples therapists are trained to work on the relationship between partners in a couple.

The truth is that the therapist is on the side of keeping your marriage together (or at least lessening the sting of a separation).

Female couple looking watching a sunset by the ocean.

How Much Does Couples Therapy Cost Without Insurance?

There’s no doubt that couples therapy is a commitment—emotionally and financially. If your insurance doesn’t cover therapy, or you’re paying out-of-pocket, here’s what to expect in terms of cost:

Investment in Your Relationship: First, view therapy as an investment in your relationship’s future. It’s not just a cost; it’s putting resources towards a happier, more fulfilling partnership. What’s the price of marital satisfaction?

Session Costs: Typically, couples therapy sessions range in price, depending on the therapist’s expertise, location, and session length. On average, you might see rates from $100 to $250 per session, with some highly experienced therapists charging more.

Frankly, It’s Cheaper Than Divorce: While therapy does have its costs, consider it against the potential emotional and financial toll of a divorce. Investing in therapy is much less expensive and emotionally draining than ending a relationship.

Session Lengths Matter: Standard therapy sessions last about 50 minutes, but for couples therapy, longer sessions of 80-90 minutes are often recommended. These extended sessions are in line with the evidence on good outcomes. They also allow for deeper exploration and more meaningful progress, though they may come at a higher rate.

Location and Pricing: While prices vary, the average cost of couples therapy across the United States typically falls within the $100 to $250 range per session. Remember, this can vary widely based on your therapist’s qualifications and location.

Facing these costs without insurance coverage can be daunting, but luckily we have a few more affordable options for you to consider in a later section.

Couples Therapy from an Insurance Perspective

When you decide to explore couples therapy, one of the first questions to come to mind is, “Will my insurance cover this?” It’s a valid question, given the potential cost of therapy sessions. Here’s what you need to know about insurance coverage for couples therapy if your therapist accepts insurance:

It’s Not Typically Treated Like a Medical Diagnosis: Unlike individual therapy, which often falls under mental health care covered by insurance, couples therapy isn’t always seen in the same light. This is because it’s not usually classified under a specific medical diagnosis, making it a gray area for many insurance plans.

Look for Marriage Counseling Add-Ons: Some insurance plans are more flexible and may offer marriage or couples counseling as an additional benefit. It’s worth viewing your plan details or speaking directly with your insurance provider to understand what’s covered (and what’s not – more on this later).

Mental Health Disorders and Coverage: If one partner is diagnosed with a mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety, the scenario changes. Your sessions may be covered under the premise that the therapy is part of the treatment for the diagnosed individual.

What if Your Couples Therapist Doesn’t Accept Insurance? Try Out-of-Network Benefits.

If your therapist has decided to go the out-of-network (OON) route, here’s what you need to know. Out-of-network benefits is shorthand to say this: “Your therapist doesn’t accept insurance, but your insurance might still help you cover part of the cost of seeing him/her.”

If you have insurance, it’s worth asking your insurance company if your plan has out-of-network benefits. They could save you thousands and enable you to work with the therapist with whom you have a great fit.

Fast forward to your first session with an OON therapist. They can give you what’s known as a “superbill,” a document that details the sessions you’ve had with your therapist and the cost you’ve paid out-of-pocket. You can submit this superbill to your insurance, after which they will reimburse you a portion of your cost in a few weeks. Millions of therapy goers save 50% or more of their therapist’s session fee just by tapping into their OON benefits. 

The positive news is that insurance coverage is a little more lenient when it comes to OON benefits. While insurances may not cover couples therapy in the in-network setting, couples have successfully recovered reimbursements when tapping into their out-of-network benefits for sessions.

Don’t want to deal with insurance? Thrizer offers a superbill upload service for therapy goers like you. Thrizer will help instantly verify if you have out-of-network benefits, so you don’t have to call your insurance. From there, just upload your superbills onto Thrizer, and they will haggle with insurance so that you get reimbursed quickly directly to your bank account. They manage claims end-to-end, so you never have to get on calls with insurance again. All you have to do is request a superbill from your therapist, and let Thrizer take care of the rest.

A husband and wife smiling while looking out the window while traveling on a bus together.

More Insurance Nuances for Couples Therapy

Here are a few common inquiries we receive about using insurance for couples therapy.

Is Online Couples Therapy Covered by Insurance?

Online therapy has been a godsend in terms of accessing mental health care. But is couples therapy covered when it’s online? In general, if your insurance plan covers couples therapy in person, it will have no problem covering the same online. Just make sure to call and check with your insurance company beforehand. If you are going the out-of-network route, online therapy is reimbursed without any issue. 

Is Therapy Covered for Unmarried Couples?

Insurance coverage for therapy often hinges on the treatment’s classification rather than the couple’s marital status. While some insurers may have specific guidelines regarding who qualifies for couples therapy, many plans are primarily concerned with the therapy’s therapeutic goals and outcomes. For unmarried couples, it’s advisable to discuss with your therapist how the sessions will be coded for insurance purposes and to verify directly with your insurer whether these sessions are covered. More on this below.

Does Insurance Cover Couples Therapy and Individual Therapy at the Same Time?

This question touches on the broader topic of how comprehensive an insurance plan is when it comes to mental health services. Some plans do allow for the simultaneous coverage of individual and couples therapy, recognizing the interconnected benefits of addressing personal and relational health concurrently. However, limitations may apply, such as caps on the number of covered sessions per year. To avoid surprises, check your policy’s details or speak with a representative from your insurance company to understand your coverage fully.

Options if Insurance Doesn’t Cover Therapy

Should you find yourself in a situation where insurance doesn’t cover couples therapy, or if you’re facing high out-of-pocket costs, there are several alternative options to check out:

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

Many employers offer EAPs as part of their benefits package. These programs often provide a limited number of free counseling sessions, which can include couples therapy. EAPs help employees deal with personal problems that might affect their work performance, health, and well-being. Ask your HR department or manager about your EAP.

University Clinics or Public Health Clinics

These clinics often offer low-cost therapy options, including couples therapy, provided by graduate students under the supervision of licensed therapists. While you may be working with therapists-in-training, these services can provide high-quality care at a fraction of the cost. Additionally, these clinics are often at the forefront of innovation, meaning you may get the best care out there.

Sex Therapy

For couples facing issues specifically related to intimacy and sexual health, sex therapy may be a viable option. Many insurance plans cover therapy that addresses sexual dysfunction or other health-related concerns, making it easier to receive specialized care in this area.

Insurance can be overwhelming at times, but with the right information and resources, you can find a path that works for you and your partner. Whether through insurance coverage, EAPs, or low-cost clinics, the goal is to support your relationship’s growth and well-being.

Conclusion: Is Couples Therapy Worth the Investment?

Deciding to pursue couples therapy is an investment in your shared happiness and well-being. It allows you to address the challenges you face today and equips you with tools and insights for a healthier, more resilient partnership in the future.

When it comes to insurance coverage, the landscape can be complex and frustrating. However, you’re now armed with the info you need to gain coverage – through your insurance or a community resource.

As we close this discussion, we encourage you to take the first step. Initiate a conversation with your partner about therapy. Contact your insurance provider for coverage details. Exploring alternative funding options. Because every action you take is a step towards a more fulfilling relationship. And remember, platforms like Thrizer and Ours are here to support you in this journey, offering affordable and effective options for couples therapy.

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