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Primary Insurance To Cover Telemental Health For Teens in FL

Written by: Melissa Lyon Edited by: Nicole LaNeve

teen receiving therapy online

This is perhaps one of the most challenging times most people have experienced. The COVID-19 pandemic has completely turned many of our lives upside down. There are fears about our personal health and the health of our loved ones. There’s also the isolation that comes from social distancing.

Teens may be especially impacted right now. Many teens are learning remotely and are cut off from their friends and typical activities. According to a recent survey, 66% of school-age kids were anxious about going back to school after COVID-19. Rates of teen depression and other mental health issues will likely continue going up during this time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many teens feel grief because they are missing significant life events. There are also impacts of job and wage loss that teens feel for themselves or the downstream effects from their parents.

Teens must have access to mental health services, even while social distancing. Telehealth mental health services can help teens stay connected and prevent symptoms of anxiety or depression from spiraling right now.

What is Telemental Health?

Telemental health is the delivery of therapy or psychiatric services through a virtual system. This could include the use of video chatting or app-based delivery of mental health care. It can also include things like live chat, phone calls, or emails. For teens, this is beneficial not just because it keeps them connected to mental health services during these challenging times; it’s also a format they’re comfortable with.

How Telehealth Benefits Teens

Teens are the most tech-savvy and technologically advanced generation, so telehealth and virtual mental health services are a natural fit. Benefits of telemental health include convenience and accessibility. Teens may also be able to connect with a provider faster, and scheduling tends to be more flexible.

Many teens receive mental health services through their schools. With schools doing virtual learning in much of the country, telehealth delivered virtually can fill these gaps. In terms of effectiveness, online therapy is also thought to have similar efficacy rates to in-person, face-to-face psychotherapy.

Insurance Reimbursement for Teletherapy

Florida has taken steps in recent years to expand insurance coverage for telehealth services. As of 2019, it became required in Florida that health insurers and telehealth providers create mutually acceptable payment rates or specific payment methods for telehealth services. If your insurance covers mental health care, which most do because of parity laws, you should ask your provider if they also cover mental health services delivered virtually. Due to COVID-19, many insurance companies have significantly expanded their coverage for telehealth.

Some insurance policies will cover teletherapy sessions, some will cover those sessions deemed medically necessary, and other policies may not cover them at all. Your insurer will be your best source of information to find out what your specific policy covers.

When checking with your insurance carrier, you should also ask for the documentation needed for reimbursement. Your claim can be denied after a review, even if your carrier initially said it would be covered. If you have to appeal for reimbursement, you’ll need records.

Finding Teen Mental Health Telehealth Treatment

At Next Generation Village, as part of our ongoing COVID-19 response, we have expanded telehealth services for mental health, drug and alcohol rehab support and addiction. We encourage you to register for our telehealth and telepsychiatry services or help your teen do so. As part of these programs, you’re matched with a licensed professional.

Teleservices are available on-the-go and on any device. Our therapists used evidence-based treatment for the best possible outcomes. Teletherapy from Next Generation Village is available in group and one-on-one settings.

Teens need to stay connected to the help they need right now more than ever. Contact us today to learn more about program options, including teletherapy for mental health concerns. We can also work with you to help verify your insurance coverage.

Sources:

Health IT. “What is telehealth? How is telehealth different from telemedicine?” October 7, 2019. Accessed November 9, 2020.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Covid-19 Parental Resources Kit—Adolescence.” August 20, 2020. Accessed November 9, 2020.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America. “Telemental Health.” Accessed November 9, 2020. 


Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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