Mental Health Reimbursement

The Truth About Mental Health Reimbursement

Elizabeth Handy

Yesterday’s Washington Post featured a poorly written article on The Parity Act of 2008 that painted an inaccurate and unhelpful view on mental health reimbursement policies.

The truth is, people need to be savvy in knowing how to get reimbursed for their mental health care. They need to know that a large percentage of out-of-network fees they pay to psychotherapists must, by law, be reimbursed by the consumer’s health insurance company. While some states legislate a specific time period health insurance companies have to reimburse the consumer, Maryland and Washington DC do not set a time period for reimbursement.

Health insurance companies often reimburse consumers with what they call the “allowable.” The “allowable” does not apply to out-of-network providers. The health insurance company must reimburse the consumer a percentage of what they have paid out of pocket.