What if your health insurance could pay for part of your online therapy? We’ve rounded up the best online therapy platforms that accept insurance, including Talkspace, Talkiatry, and more.

person holding smart phone in hand. background is orange, and there are apps of 8 therapy services that take insuranceShare on Pinterest
Design by Healthline, Photo by Grace Cary/Getty Images

A quick look at the best online therapy platforms that take insurance

For people on a budget (really, who isn’t?), getting your insurance company to share the cost of online therapy can sometimes make the difference between getting the help you need or not.

On platforms where your insurance plan is in-network, your out-of-pocket copay for online therapy — and sometimes psychiatry too — may average just $30 per session. And it sometimes even dips to $0.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more insurance providers cover online therapy, but it can still be a challenge to find the reverse: an online platform that accepts insurance.

We’ve rounded up the best ones that do, but you’ll want to take the time to ask questions and find the best fit for you.

Our picks for the best online therapy platforms that take insurance

Best overall

Talkspace

talkspace logo against orange background
  • Cost with insurance: varies by insurance, health plan, school, or employer; average $30 copay per session
  • Price without insurance: therapy for $276–436 per month; psychiatry is $299 for first appointment, $175 for follow-up appointments
  • Why we chose it: Talkspace accepts a wide range of insurance coverage, and it’s easy to get matched with a therapist. Also, all plans allow 24/7 messaging with your therapist.
  • Accepted insurance: Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Optum, Regence, and others. Medicare, Medicaid, as well as FSA/HSA are also accepted.
  • Therapy formats: live video, live audio, live chat, or ongoing messaging
  • Services offered: therapy for individuals, teens, and couples; psychiatry and medication management; in-app workshops
  • Privacy: HIPAA-compliant platform with banking-grade encryption; interactions with therapists are confidential and private; password required for use; Apple app accommodates Touch ID and Face ID on enabled devices
  • App availability: iOS, Android

Talkspace is one of the longest-operating online therapy subscription services (it’s been at it for 12 years). We especially like its wide range of accepted insurance plans and the large number of therapists across the country. Its appointments are generally for 30 minutes.

Another plus is the Talkspace for Teens program, which allows teens 13 years old and over, with parental permission, to meet with a licensed therapist. Talkspace also offers Talkspace Psychiatry, which focuses on psychiatric treatment and medication management.

Talkspace user reviews are generally positive. Reviewers appreciate the convenience of scheduling mental health care on their own schedules, from anywhere they are. Also, Talkspace is a frequent employer benefit.

Downsides mentioned by reviewers include occasional short and impersonal communication with therapists as well as difficulty understanding Talkspace cancellation and refund policies. You might want to read our full Talkspace review.

Best for choosing your own therapist

Alma

alma logo against orange background
  • Cost with insurance: varies by therapist fees and insurance acceptance
  • Cost without insurance: varies by provider
  • Why we chose it: You get to choose your own therapist, and you can have a consultation with them before committing.
  • Accepted insurance: Aetna, Cigna, Optum, and others
  • Therapy formats: in-person, online, or a mix of both
  • Services offered: therapy for individuals, couples, family, children, and adolescents, plus medication management
  • Privacy: HIPAA-compliant, but certain information is shared with third parties for business purposes
  • App availability: no

Alma is a directory type of online service. This means it connects you with its network of available licensed mental health care professionals for either in-person or online therapy — for free! It’s the therapists who pay to be listed in the directory.

It’s important to distinguish between Alma’s services and those of your therapist: Alma connects you for free with its network of clinicians, but the therapy itself is not free. Therapists at Alma set their own policies around payment, including their rates and the insurance plans they accept.

If you don’t have insurance, you can usually pay out of pocket, depending on your chosen therapist’s policies.

We like that you get to select your own therapist through Alma’s directory and get a free 15-minute consultation with them to make sure it’s a good fit for both of you.

Downsides include a lack of network therapists in some areas. Also, the amount you owe can be a bit uncertain due to different pricing structures by different therapists.

Best for both in-person and online therapy options

Grow Therapy

  • Cost with insurance: varies by plan and provider, average $24 copay per session
  • Price without insurance: varies by provider
  • Why we chose it: You can pick either online or in-person therapy, and you can select your therapist from the directory.
  • Accepted insurance: accepts 50+ insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealthcare, and more
  • Therapy formats: video or in person
  • Services offered: therapy and medication management
  • Privacy: HIPAA-compliant; secure management of personally identifiable information (PII) and protected healthcare information (PHI)
  • App availability: no

Grow Therapy is a relatively new online therapy facilitator (it started in 2020) that lets you choose your therapist from its network of 8,700 therapists in 47 states. You can use the website search tool to filter for a wide variety of factors, like:

  • location
  • availability
  • type of therapy
  • therapist license
  • gender and ethnicity

You can schedule either virtual or in-person appointments, usually within 2 days. All insurance and billing operations are handled by Grow Therapy. You can use the search filters to browse only the therapists who are in-network with your plan.

We like that Grow Therapy allows you to select either in-person or online therapy. We also like that you can select your own therapist using relevant search filters.

The downsides are a lack of availability in some locations and relatively fewer therapists than other online therapy platforms.

Best for online psychiatry

Talkiatry

  • Cost with insurance: varies by location and insurance coverage; average $30 copay per session
  • Price without insurance: no self-pay
  • Why we chose it: All psychiatrists are board certified in their state and develop individualized care plans to treat both children and adults.
  • Accepted insurance: Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Optum, UnitedHealthcare, and more
  • Therapy formats: live video
  • Services offered: psychiatry and therapy for varied mental health conditions
  • Privacy: HIPAA-compliant
  • App availability: healow app for messaging on iOS, Android

Talkiatry is a national online psychiatry platform that matches you with a licensed psychiatrist in your state for individualized mental health treatment. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who can prescribe medication. Talkiatry’s psychiatrists can also refer you to a Talkiatry therapist.

First appointments are usually available within a week. You and your psychiatrist work to create an individualized treatment plan, including regular virtual visits and medication.

We like Talkiatry for its wide range of mental health conditions treated, as well as its relatively long appointment times of 60 minutes for the first visit and 30-minute follow-ups. We also like that it’s transparent about what conditions it does and does not treat.

The main downside is that you must be covered by one of the Talkiatry in-network insurance plans since there’s no self-pay option. Some users also say customer service can be difficult to reach. Also, some users say switching therapists, while possible, is not easy or quick.

Best for comprehensive services

Teladoc

  • Cost with insurance: varies by insurance plan
  • Price without insurance: therapy is $99 per session; psychiatry is $299 for first visit and $119 for follow-up; $75 for general medicine
  • Why we chose it: Teladoc combines a wide range of medical services and mental health care in one service.
  • Accepted insurance: most major insurance plans accepted (coverage confirmed after registration); sometimes a benefit of health insurance plans
  • Therapy formats: video or phone chat
  • Services offered: therapy, psychiatry and medication management, basic medical care
  • Privacy: secure and confidential online communication, HIPAA-compliant 
  • App availability: iOS, Android

Teladoc lets you manage your mental health and physical health needs in one service. It offers therapy, psychiatry with medication management, and basic nonemergency medical care in areas like primary care, pediatrics, dermatology, nutrition, and sexual health.

To use Teladoc, you register online, fill out billing and insurance forms, and select a clinician chosen from providers matched to your requirements. Mental health appointments must be made 72 hours in advance.

We like that Teladoc provides a wide spectrum of care with licensed clinicians in your state. It accepts most major insurance plans and is also a benefit provided by a number of healthcare plans.

Downsides that reviewers point out include a long registration process, some difficulties with billing and payment, and occasional technical difficulties with the app.

Best for personalized intensive care for young people

Charlie Health

  • Cost with insurance: varies by insurance plan
  • Price without insurance: no self-pay
  • Why we chose it: Charlie Health is one of the few services to offer online crisis care for young people.
  • Accepted insurance: 300+ insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, Optum, Tricare, UnitedHealthcare, and more
  • Therapy formats: live video
  • Services offered: therapy, specializes in IOP care for young people
  • Privacy: HIPAA-compliant
  • App availability: no

Charlie Health is a virtual intensive outpatient program (IOP) for young people 11–34 years old who need more than traditional weekly care but not 24/7 support. The program involves 9–11 hours a week of online individual, group, and family sessions.

At intake, clients are matched with a primary licensed therapist and a peer group. Appointments are available in 1–2 days after registration. Clients typically spend between 9 and 12 weeks in the program before getting cleared for less intensive therapy.

A variety of traditional treatments for many mental health conditions are available, along with wellness practices like mindfulness, meditation, and yoga.

We like that young people managing complex mental health conditions, like mood disorders or co-occurring substance use disorders, or those returning from a partial hospitalization or residential treatment, can get the IOP care they need. We also like that Charlie Health accepts a wide range of insurance plans and handles billing and payment.

The downsides are that Charlie Health is currently available in only 25 states and is not available for people who need constant supervision or emergency care.

Best for substance use disorder

iRecovery

  • Cost with insurance: varies by insurance plan
  • Cost without insurance: varying self-pay rates
  • Why we chose it: iRecovery is one of the few online therapy providers that treats substance use disorders as well as mental health disorders.
  • Accepted insurance: Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Optum, Providence, UnitedHealthcare, Medicare, and more
  • Therapy formats: video conferencing
  • Services offered: individual, group, and family therapy specializing in substance use disorders
  • Privacy: HIPAA-compliant, secure televideo portal
  • App availability: no

iRecovery offers online therapy for substance use disorders involving alcohol, opioids (including heroin and fentanyl), and benzodiazepines. It also treats mental health conditions, including mood disorders, depression, anxiety, and trauma.

iRecovery offers therapy with licensed professionals from any location, including job, home, or anywhere with internet connectivity. Clients have 24/7 access to staff, including psychologists and board certified physicians who are experienced in addiction medicine.

We like that iRecovery provides stigma-free mental health care for substance use issues. We also like that it involves family members at every stage of treatment, including aftercare once the client has stabilized.

The downside is that online care for addiction is an emerging field yet to be fully tested. iRecovery has been in business for 5 years and maintains a treatment facility in Boca Raton, Florida.

Comparison of online therapy services that take insurance

Cost with insuranceAccepted insuranceCost without insuranceServices offered
Talkspace• varies by insurance, health plan, school, or employer
• average $30 copay per session
Including but not limited to:
• Aetna
• Anthem
• Blue Cross Blue Shield
• Cigna
• Optum Health
• Regence
• FSA/HSA also accepted
• Therapy: $276–436 per month
• Psychiatry: $299 first appointment, $175 follow-up appointments
• therapy for individuals, teens, and couples
• psychiatry and medication management
• in-app workshops
Almavaries by individual therapist fees and insurance acceptancedepends on providervaries by provider• therapy for individuals, couples, family, children, and adolescents
• medication management
Grow Therapy• varies by plan and provider
• average $24 copay per session
50+ insurance plans, including:
• Aetna
• Blue Cross Blue Shield
• Cigna
• Humana
• UnitedHealthcare
varies by provider• online and in-person talk therapy
• medication management
Talkiatry• varies by location and insurance coverage
• average $30 copay per session
Including but not limited to:
• Aetna
• Blue Cross Blue Shield
• Cigna
• Optum
• UnitedHealthcare
no self-pay• psychiatry and therapy for varied mental health conditions
• available for children and adults
Teladocvaries by insurance plan• most major insurance plans accepted; coverage confirmed after registration
• sometimes a benefit of health insurance plans
• Therapy: $99 per session
• Psychiatry: $299 first visit and $119 follow-up appointments
• General medicine: $75 per visit
• therapy
• psychiatry
• medication management
• basic medical care
Charlie Healthvaries by insurance plan300+ insurance plans, including:
• Aetna
• Blue Cross Blue Shield
• Cigna
• Humana
• Optum
• Tricare
• UnitedHealthcare
no self-pay• therapy
• specializes in intensive outpatient program care for young people
iRecoveryvaries by insurance planIncluding but not limited to:
• Aetna
• Blue Cross Blue Shield
• Medicare
• Optum
• Providence
• UnitedHealthcare
self-pay rates vary by service• therapy
• specializing in substance use disorders and mental health disorders

How we chose the best online therapy platforms that take insurance

To select our picks for the best online therapy platforms that accept insurance coverage, we looked for good marks on:

  • easy registration and intake
  • quick appointments
  • experienced, licensed therapists
  • good reviewer feedback
  • insurance plans accepted
  • affordable cost
  • established business with good online reputation

We considered about 25 online platforms in making our selection. These seven online therapy platforms are the ones we think offer the best quality and variety of service if you’re looking to use your health insurance to cover online therapy.

How to know if your therapist takes insurance

The best way to find out whether your chosen online therapist takes insurance is the old-fashioned way: call or email the online platform and ask.

Better yet, before you do that, call your own insurance provider and ask how your specific plan covers online therapy.

You want to ensure that both your insurance company and the online therapy provider are on the same page. Most therapy providers who accept insurance also handle insurance billing and payment and will send you an estimated bill before you begin therapy.

You can also use the search filter on some platforms, which allows you to look for professionals who accept your insurance plan.

Also, some online directories, like Alma, let you search for a specific therapist whose bio will tell you whether they accept insurance.

What about Medicare and Medicaid?

In December 2022, Congress extended Medicare B coverage for telehealth visits until the end of 2024. This includes online mental health services. Some Medicare Advantage plans add to this coverage.

Generally, for original Medicare, you pay your deductible plus 20% of the bill. The amount covered varies depending on:

  • other insurance you may have
  • how much the service charges
  • if the service accepts Medicare

To find out whether your chosen online platform accepts Medicare, it’s best to call or email the provider to ask, or use the site’s available search filters. You can also try searching on the Medicare website.

What to do if your online therapy platform doesn’t take insurance

Maybe the online therapy platform you’ve picked doesn’t take your particular insurance plan. Or maybe you’ve settled on another online therapy provider that doesn’t take insurance at all. What to do?

Take a look at our list of low cost, affordable options, plus our roundup of free therapy resources. Also, check out our list of free mental health apps. They won’t replace treatment, but they may be helpful additional resources.

Also, be sure to check your workplace, community, and local government agencies. Many offer low cost or even free resources.

If you need help or referrals for services, there are many free hotlines you can call that can provide immediate support, information, and referrals. They’re not designed to provide therapy or ongoing support, but they can provide a helping hand when you need one.

Tips for finding an online therapist

Finding an online therapist can be daunting. You’re about to choose someone to help you through very personal and difficult issues. Can you really do this with an online search? And how much is online therapy going to help anyway?

The first thing to know is that research has shown online therapy to be effective.

Research from 2017, 2019, and 2021 found that online therapy can be as effective as in-person sessions for various mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How you search for your online therapist depends on whether your chosen platform is a directory service (like Alma) or a subscription-based service (like Talkspace).

In a directory platform, you can search for specific therapists, and then read their bios to help you choose one. With a subscription-based service, you’re likely given several matched therapists to choose from.

Either way, you can use search filters and read therapist bios for a start, but you won’t really know for sure until you meet the therapist online, talk with them, and then either choose them or move on.

It’s best to take time making your choice. Don’t be shy about asking for a different therapist if you need one. It sometimes can take several tries to find the best fit. You may want to read our tips for finding a therapist.

What to expect in your first session

You might be nervous before your first online therapy session. This is to be expected. Perhaps you’ve never experienced therapy online, or any therapy at all.

Your initial appointment is an opportunity for you and your therapist to get to know each other. You can ask yourself if this is the person you want to work with, or if you’d prefer another. All the services we’ve put on our list allow you to switch therapists to find a good fit.

Your therapist will probably ask you questions about what you’re planning to accomplish in therapy and whether you have any mental health diagnoses or medication prescriptions. You can feel free to ask your therapist questions, too.

You want to come out of your first session clear that this is the therapist for you, or that you want to try others offered by the service, or even a different service altogether. You may want to read our summary of what to expect in your first therapy session.

The bottom line

If you have health insurance, your insurance provider may pay for a good part of your online therapy. Some online platforms even accept Medicare or Medicaid. You may have to work out details with both your online provider and your insurance company, but it’s all doable.

If your insurance is an in-network plan for the online therapy platform you’ve selected, chances are you’ll only be responsible for deductibles and copays, but it’s best to clarify all charges upfront.

It’s a good idea to check directly with your insurance plan first to make sure it covers online therapy. Also, make sure your preferred online platform accepts your specific insurance plan since online platforms that accept insurance usually only work with certain providers and plans.

Insurance coverage can help get you on your way toward the mental health support you need — on your schedule, in the place you feel most comfortable, with the therapist you choose.