Though the thought of it might feel overwhelming, learning how to find a therapist covered by insurance is easy when you know the ins and outs of the process. Taking the time to learn is worth it, too — a little bit of time and effort can save you a bundle by ensuring you’re finding the right therapist or mental health professional while minimizing your out-of-pocket expenses for treatment. 

Even if you don’t have mental health care insurance coverage, there are still ways you can find affordable therapy. Keep reading to learn everything you should know about therapy and your health insurance plan — our step-by-step guide makes your search easy by taking the guesswork out of the process. For tips on how to find a therapist that takes your insurance, read on. 

1. Understand Your Insurance Coverage

When trying to figure out how to find a therapist covered by insurance, you need to understand what your health plan covers. 

This eliminates any surprise costs after you receive mental health care treatment. You can access specific health insurance plan details online or by calling the customer service number on your ID card. You can also find information about your health plan coverage, including copays, printed on your card or through your insurance company’s app. 

Tips for understanding coverage details:

Determine how much your copay is — This is the amount you’re responsible for paying out-of-pocket at every visit for a therapy session.

Know your deductible — This is the annual amount you may be required to pay before benefits kick in.

Understand out-of-network — Providers can be “in” or “out” of network, which means they’ve either partnered with your insurance to offer you discounted “in-network” rates or not. This can significantly impact how much you pay after your insurance coverage is applied. Often, going out of network will be cost-prohibitive.  

Look at your plan’s benefits — Be sure you understand if specific treatment modalities, types of therapy, or medications are not covered. 

2. Find a List of In-Network Providers

Knowing how to find a therapist covered by insurance usually means finding an in-network provider, especially if the cost of therapy is a concern. You can access an online directory of insurance companies or see a list of all the providers in your network on your insurance’s website. You can also call your insurance company to determine if a therapist is in-network. 

It’s important to consider your needs before deciding who you want to work with. Narrow your search by matching provider skills and capabilities with what you want to get out of therapy.

Think about things that might be important to you as you seek care, including:


Specialties like types of therapy or treatments

Language preferences


If you want someone who specializes in a certain group or population, like LGTBQIA+ therapy or teen mental health

3. Research Potential Therapists

You should always research a mental health provider before you work with them. Reference online directories, professional association websites, word of mouth, online reviews, or referrals from other doctors as a starting point. 

Things to consider when you’re looking for potential therapists may include:

Credentials — Do they have a master’s degree or doctorate?

Specialties — Do they focus on anxiety, depression, substance abuse, or family therapy? 

Reviews — What others say about their experience with a provider can be very insightful.

Availability — Sometimes, providers aren’t taking new patients, so before you decide to work with one provider over another, it’s worth asking if they’re accepting new clients at the moment. 

Approach to care — A therapist’s style, approach to care, and treatment preferences might be factors in your comfort level and how much you get out of the process — for example, you might ask if they mostly use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), or another form of therapy.

“Finding a therapist with a similar background or experiences can help during the engagement process. For example, if a mother is struggling with parenting, she can find a connection with a counselor who is also a parent. If the counselor doesn’t have children, the client may feel they’re not being fully understood.”

Talkspace therapist Dr. Karmen Smith LCSW, DD

4. Contact and Verify Therapist Information

Once you have a shortlist of potential therapists you might want to work with, it’s time to reach out to each one. 

Prepare a list of questions to inquire about things such as:



Treatment approach

Cancellation and payment policies

Emergency contact or outside office hours options

If they are in-network with your insurance

Cost per session

Verify in-network status: Even if you think a therapist is in-network, you should verify with your insurance that their status hasn’t changed. Quickly and easily check by contacting the customer service number on your ID card or logging into your insurer’s website. It can help if you know the provider’s Tax ID Number to avoid any surprises or unexpected costs after treatment. 

If you don’t have insurance: Note, if you don’t have insurance, or if you want to work with a specific therapist but they’re not in-network, ask about a sliding scale fee option, which means your cost for treatment will be based on what you can afford. 

What to Do If You Can’t Find an In-Network Therapist

You may still have options even if you can’t find an in-network therapist. Some plans will help you figure out how to find a therapist covered by insurance even if you have to go out-of-network. Ask if you have any benefits that let you visit therapists who aren’t on a preferred provider list — yes, you’ll incur a higher cost, but the option is nice to have.

You can also ask your insurance company if they reimburse any portion of sessions with out-of-network providers. If so, you’ll likely need to ask your therapist for detailed receipts to submit to your insurance.

Finally, some therapists offer sliding scale therapy fees that adjust their rates based on what a client can afford, making therapy more accessible and affordable.

In addition to traditional in-person therapy settings, online therapy platforms like Talkspace provide affordable, convenient, accessible mental health services when insurance isn’t enough. Due to low overhead and technology efficiencies, Talkspace therapy often costs less than in-person treatment, and studies show it’s just as effective for most people. 

Find Online Therapists Covered by Insurance

Knowing how to find a therapist covered by insurance can feel like an uphill battle, but Talkspace has worked hard to simplify and streamline the process. We offer you access to a diverse network of licensed mental healthcare professionals, covered by a variety of insurance providers and accepted by most plans. 

Reach out today to see if you can get online therapy covered by your insurance at Talkspace.


Langarizadeh M, Tabatabaei M, Tavakol K, Naghipour M, Moghbeli F. Telemental health care, an effective alternative to conventional mental care: A systematic review. Acta Informatica Medica. 2017;25(4):240. doi:10.5455/aim.2017.25.240-246. Accessed November 24, 2023. 

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