Does Medicaid Cover Therapy

Does Medicaid Cover Therapy – Overview

Yes, Medicaid pays for mental health and therapy. However, the extent of coverage Medicaid offers you is dependent on your Medicaid provider and the exact program you have enrolled in.

Medicaid is provided on a state-by-state basis, so the extent of coverage for therapy may vary depending on the US state in which you currently reside.

Although some federal laws govern Medicaid processes, US States are not obliged to include optional benefits.

Also, outlining what therapy comprises and the urgency of getting treatment can impact whether treatment will be covered.

Medicaid is required to cover substance use disorder services and mental health services equally to physical health services under the federal parity law.

CHIP coverage for mental health services, including therapy, varies by state, but all states provide some mental health services under CHIP.

Initiatives are underway to expand full therapy coverage for patients over 21 years and people battling substance abuse.

What Is Therapy?

Therapy, also known as counseling or psychotherapy, involves scheduling appointments with a therapist to resolve issues such as difficult relationships, problematic mannerisms, feelings, beliefs, and bodily responses.

Starting therapy can be a massive step towards being the best version of yourself and living a better life regardless of your problems.

Through therapy, you can learn how to resolve painful feelings, change self-destructive mannerisms and improve relationships.

In all kinds of therapy, you will establish objectives and determine your steps to get there. Also, note that the subjects discussed in these sessions are confidential, whether personal, couples, or group therapy.

What Kinds of Therapy Does Medicaid Pay for

Medicaid pays for various kinds of therapy. So long as your physician provides a fact-based and medically appropriate plan suited to the diagnosis, Medicaid will provide coverage. Some of the types of Therapy that Medicaid pays for include:

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a skill-based tactic for conversational therapy. When you begin CBT sessions, you and your therapist work together to determine your fears and problems.

Through CBT, you learn to integrate strategic approaches to your issues. The duration of CBT sessions varies from six to a couple of months. Most of the time, Medicaid pays for once-a-week sessions with a therapist.

2. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT is a skill-based approach to psychotherapy that includes elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness practices. DBT was initially developed to treat people with borderline personality disorder, not specifically limited to women.

However, its utilization has since been extended to include treatment for various patients.

DBT normally comprises individual and group sessions to enhance four main skills: emotional control, stress tolerance, mindfulness, and social effectiveness.

3. Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP)

CPP is a therapeutic intervention model meant for kids between 0 and 5 years who have experienced at least one traumatic event.

The kinds of trauma, in this case, can include sexual abuse, domestic violence, the death of a close relative, a serious accident, and neglect.

The typical course CPP sessions that Medicaid pays for include one-hour and once-a-week sessions with the child and parent present. The sessions can be done at home if the child is uncomfortable leaving the house.

4. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT is a type of psychotherapy that aims to help people be optimistic about life in general. This type of therapy includes learning to deal with unpleasant experiences, thoughts, or emotions without seeing them as limiting factors.

5. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a psychotherapy technique used to alleviate distress associated with traumatic memories, not a meditation-based treatment. EMDR is used to help people cope with trauma and involves informing your therapist about a traumatic experience.

The therapist will then guide you through a sequence of physical eye movements.

Eye movements are believed to be neurologically connected to the brain’s information processing and can help overcome bad memories and heightened emotions.

6. Mindfulness Practices

Mindfulness practices can include various activities and exercises. They are usually meant to help you learn to observe yourself and your immediate surroundings in a nonjudgmental way.

Mindfulness also focuses on calmly controlling your thoughts and emotions.

What Kinds of Therapy Doesn’t Medicaid Pay for

While Medicaid typically does not cover therapies like massage, aromatherapy, and reflexology, some Medicaid programs may cover acupuncture for certain conditions.

Medicaid does not cover treatments like reiki healing or any services individuals provide without the necessary professional credentials recognized by Medicaid.

How Much Do You Pay Out-Of-Pocket for Therapy with A Medicaid Plan?

Co-payment amounts for therapy sessions under Medicaid can vary significantly by state, and some states may not require a co-payment for certain qualifying individuals.

This implies you are liable to pay the amount each time you go for a therapeutic session.

Since every US State offers its version of Medicaid, the out-of-pocket costs under a Medicaid plan can vary.

However, most Medicaid plans simplify seeing a therapist because the government values mental and behavioral therapy.

Note that in some US States, the number of therapy sessions has been capped by Medicaid.

Normally, the limit is up to 30 sessions per year, and after you have exhausted your paid visits, you will be forced to pay for the sessions entirely.

Does Medicaid Pay for Online Therapy

Yes, Medicaid does pay for online therapy. So, if you prefer therapy sessions online, you will still get the same coverage as if you saw the therapist in person. However, the online therapist has to be approved by Medicaid.

Medicaid coverage for online therapy may continue to evolve post-pandemic as states assess the effectiveness and accessibility of telehealth services.

So, if you’re considering having therapy sessions online, check your Medicaid plan before signing up for a session to ensure that online therapy is still covered.

Final Thought

Medicaid has had a massive impact on the direction of public mental health care. Medicaid’s therapy coverage has expanded and created incentives for public-based therapy providers.

It has also changed the economic laws governing public mental health, forcing State governments to change their approach, resulting in many people accessing mental health care.

See Also

Does Medicaid Cover Dental Implants

Does Medicaid Cover Weight Loss Surgery

Medicaid Alternatives

Does Medicaid Cover Dermatology

Does Medicaid Cover Braces

Current Version
August 9, 2023
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.
April 15, 2024
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.

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