How to use insurance

How to use your insurance benefits for mental health services

Rainbow Resource Centre offers free counselling services to 2SLGBTQ+ and questioning individuals. The information provided below is a guide on how to use your insurance benefits to access private counselling.

Many insurance plans cover counselling and mental health services. Check with your insurance provider for details about what your specific plan covers. Sometimes details about what kinds of services or what providers are covered are available through your insurance provider's website or app, and other times you may need to call or email them. Many insurance plans will cover counselling services up to a maximum dollar amount in a calendar year, or will cover a set number of sessions in a year.

Many insurance plans cover services provided by registered psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, clinical counsellors, psychiatric nurses, or occupational therapists. To determine if a specific mental health provider is covered by your plan, check to see what their professional credentials are, and if they are a registered member of a regulatory body; this information should be clearly available on the provider's website, business card, or Psychology Today profile.

For example, a social worker may list their credentials as MSW, RSW, meaning they have a masters degree in social work, and are registered through the Manitoba College of Social Workers. If your insurance plan covers services provided by a registered social worker, this provider would be covered.

Many mental health providers do not directly bill your insurance plan for services. This means you need to pay for the costs of your sessions upfront, and will then submit your receipts to your insurance provider to be reimbursed. You can contact your mental health provider to ask about being provided with a receipt showing the cost of the service, their name and credentials, and the day and time that the service was provided, as this information is usually required by your insurance provider.

You can also contact a counsellor to ask about sliding scales for their fees, even if you have insurance coverage. Your insurance plan may not provide all of the coverage you need, and counselling fees can vary. Many providers can work with you to determine a fee for service that meets your needs. If you have a health spending account through your insurance plan, you may also be able to use this coverage to pay for any additional counselling fees not covered through other parts of your insurance.