5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (2024)

  • We researched over 70 online therapy platforms, including 22 that take insurance, and signed up for and tested 14 of the most popular platforms.
  • We surveyed 1,200 online therapy users, held focus group interviews with users and therapists, and consulted with more than 60 mental health experts.
  • Collectively, we’ve spent more than 7,500 hours researching online therapy.
  • Learn more in our online therapy methodology.

Connecting with the right therapist is one of the most significant steps to improve your mental health. But if you rely on insurance to pay for therapy, finding an in-network mental health care provider can be challenging. It takes time to determine how much coverage your insurance plan offers, set up and attend your initial appointments, and find a trustworthy provider. The national average wait time to receive behavioral health services is 48 days, which means many people wait too long to get the help they need.

Online therapy is becoming increasingly popular for finding affordable, quality mental health care with easy scheduling and shorter wait times. Today, online therapy platforms are partnering with health insurance companies—including large carriers like Aetna, Cigna, and BlueCross BlueShield—to provide talk therapy and psychiatry for the cost of your copayment, or copay, which can be as low as $20 or less.

To help people with insurance find quality in-network providers, the Handbook Team researched 70 online therapy sites and found 22 platforms taking insurance. We evaluated each site according to several criteria—including appointment availability, overall cost, and ease of scheduling—to narrow our list to the top five online therapy platforms that take insurance.

Which online therapy platform that takes insurance is right for you?

Choosing the right online therapy platform will depend on your insurance and the care you need. Our top five online therapy platforms for those using insurance work with several large health insurance carriers, including Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield, Cigna, and Medicare. We know the language of insurance policies can be ambiguous and confusing, so we prioritized platforms that either check coverage for you or make it easy to check coverage on your own.

Here are our top online therapy platforms with large directories and low wait times:

For specialty mental health care, we recommend these online therapy platforms that take insurance:

  • Best for medication management: Talkiatry
  • Best specialty care directory: MDLIVE

In a mental health emergency:

Online therapists may not be the most appropriate resource to help in a mental health crisis. If you or someone you know is a danger to themselves or others around them, it is an emergency, and cannot wait for an online therapist’s response.

Don’t wait. You can find help immediately by:

All the above options will connect you with trained professionals who can provide crisis support. You can find even more resources, including international options, on our helpline directory page.

Handbook’s research into online therapy platforms

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (1)

7,500+ hours

of research

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (2)

70 platforms


5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (3)

14 platforms


5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (4)

1,200 people


5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (5)

20 people


5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (6)

60+ experts


There are many different options out there when it comes to online therapy services. Not every site offers therapist-matching services. Some simply serve as directories, where it’s up to you to search through the listings and connect with professionals. Other online therapy platforms allow you to apply search filters for factors like location, gender, faith, and age. Others have you complete an assessment, then pair you with a suitable therapist.

Collectively, the Handbook Team has put in more than 7,500 hours of research, testing, and evaluation to review different online therapy platforms, down to the fine print. We wrote this review to guide you in finding a provider who can best fit your mental health care needs.

Compare the best online therapy platforms that take insurance in 2024

Platform Mental Health Services Ways to Connect Insurance Accepted Learn More
Individual therapy; Couples therapy; Teen therapy; Psychiatry Messaging; Text, audio, or video sessions Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield, Cigna, Gatorcare, Optum, Premera, and more Visit Site
Individual therapy for adults; Psychiatry Messaging; Video sessions Aetna, Allegiance, Anthem CA, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Cigna/Evernorth, Optum/United Healthcare, PEHP, Medicare, and more Visit Site
Psychiatry; Individual therapy for children, teens, and adults for psychiatry patients Messaging; video sessions Aetna, Bind, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, ComPsych, Humana, Medicare, Oscar, United Healthcare, Oxford, and more. Visit Site
Individual therapy for children, teens, and adults; Couples therapy; Psychiatry Audio or video sessions Aetna, Ambetter, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, Cigna, Humana, Medicare, and more. Visit Site
Individual therapy for adults and children 10 years and older; Psychiatry Video and audio sessions; Live chat for deaf and hard-of-hearing people Aetna, Cigna, BlueCross BlueShield, Humana, Optima, and more. Visit Site

Best online therapy that takes insurance reviews

Best overall

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (12)

9.0 Excellent

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (13)

Prioritizes cost transparency.

Keeps selecting your therapist simple.

Treats a wide range of mental health needs.

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (14)


  • Average copay of less than $30.
  • Unlimited messaging is included in all plans.
  • Individual, teen, and couples therapy is available.
  • In-app workshops focus on skills like communication and empathy-building.

Compare ways to pay

  • If you use insurance to pay, the average copay is less than $30 per session:
    • Average Aetna member copay: $40
    • Average Cigna member copay: $30
    • Average Optum member copay: $26
    • Average Carelon member copay: $22
  • If you pay out-of-pocket, plans start at $276 per month:
    • Messaging therapy: $276 per month.
    • Video + messaging therapy: $396 per month.
    • Video + messaging + workshops: $436 per month.
    • Couples therapy: $436 per month.
    • Psychiatry: $299 for initial evaluation and $175 for each follow-up session.

Our testers found that if Talkspace verifies your coverage but its providers aren’t in-network with your insurance plan, they’ll help you reduce costs by offering $120 off your first month.

Insights from our testers

Many Talkspace providers are in-network with major insurance carriers like Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield, and Cigna. We know cost is a barrier for many people searching for mental health care, and a lack of transparency about pricing can make the search more stressful. With Talkspace, you can find out how much you’ll have to pay before you even create an account.

Once you’ve determined coverage and cost, Talkspace will match you with a therapist based on your mental health concerns and gender preferences. If you don’t connect with your initial therapist or their schedule doesn’t sync well with yours, our testers found it relatively easy to switch therapists. Talkspace works to make selecting your therapist simple. Therapist profiles include a video introduction, a short biography, their focus areas, experience level, and availability.

From our tester

“When switching therapists, you can see a graph of their platform activity to get a sense of how active a therapist is by day and hour. This helped me choose my therapists according to when I’d like to engage with therapy.”

Talkspace therapists treat a wide range of mental health needs. According to their website, Talkspace therapists and psychiatrists specialize in more than 150 conditions, including depression, anxiety, anger management, parenting, grief, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), postpartum depression (PPD), and bipolar disorder.

Of our 2023 survey respondents who used Talkspace, 69.7 percent thought live video sessions were the most important form of online therapy, and 36.4 percent chose live chat as their favorite way to communicate with a therapist. If messaging your therapist is a feature that matters to you, as it was with our tester, be aware that you may need to switch therapists to find someone highly responsive to messaging.

We want to highlight that Talkspace also offers free online screening tests to help you determine if you should seek help from a licensed mental health professional for conditions like social anxiety, depression, or insomnia.

Read our in-depth Talkspace Review for additional details.

Our Top Pick

Our final verdict on Talkspace

Talkspace prioritizes cost transparency, making it easy to check your insurance coverage and find out how much you’ll have to pay per session. While Talkspace serves individuals 13 and older, we especially like its focus on teens. Talkspace therapy sessions last 30 minutes, and its services are available in all 50 states, plus Canada. One of the features we find helpful on Talkspace is the ability to text your therapist between sessions, providers typically respond within 24 hours on weekdays.

Best for psychiatry

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (15)

9.3 Excellent

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (16)

Prescribe a variety of medications.

Regular medication check-ins.

Simple to switch providers.

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (17)


  • Message providers at any time through the Brightside app.
  • Individual talk therapy, psychiatry, and medication management are available.
  • The app includes interactive lessons on how to integrate new behavior patterns.
  • Crisis Care is covered by insurance for individuals with elevated suicide risk.

Compare ways to pay

  • If you pay for Brightside sessions with insurance, you’re only responsible for the cost of your copay. If you have a deductible for mental health care, you’ll need to pay out of pocket until that deductible is met. You’ll need to create an account with Brightside before you can check your coverage.
  • If you pay out-of-pocket, plans start at $95 per month:
    • Therapy: $299 per month.
    • Psychiatry: $95 per month + pharmacy copay.
    • Psychiatry + therapy: $349 per month.

Insights from our testers

Like Talkspace, the Brightside platform will match you with a therapist based on your responses to a questionnaire. First, the platform will ask about your mental health concerns. Then, you’ll take a short (about one minute) assessment based on those concerns. Unlike Talkspace, Brightspace requires creating an account before seeing pricing information or determining your coverage. The registration process only takes a few minutes, but we prefer the more transparent approach taken by Talkspace.

Our Brightside tester decided to switch therapists after her second appointment and reported switching to a new provider was relatively simple. After contacting customer service, they sent her the profiles of seven therapists. “There were people of color and a male included,” she said, “so I appreciated the diversity of options.” Our tester also liked that the platform shares notes between therapists, so she wasn’t “starting from ground zero” with her new provider.

Brightside offers treatment for a wide range of mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and phobias. They prescribe a variety of medications for treating anxiety and depression, including Abilify, Cymbalta, Prozac, and Zoloft. They do not prescribe controlled substances like Klonopin or Ritalin.

We know many people benefit from a combination of talk therapy and medication. So we appreciate Brightiside’s combined Psychiatry + Therapy plan, which offers four monthly video sessions with a therapist, a personalized medication plan, and regular medication check-ins with a psychiatrist.

While we appreciate that Brightspace offers Crisis Care for anyone at elevated suicide risk, we want to reiterate that anyone currently having suicidal thoughts or considering self-harm should call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.

Our final verdict on Brightside

We love that Brightside, also called Brightside Health, has an integrated talk therapy and psychiatry plan for adults 18 and over. Their unique Crisis Care program, for people at elevated risk for suicide, is also covered by insurance. Brightside therapy sessions last 45 minutes, while psychiatry consultations last 30 minutes. We appreciate that Brightside has online psychiatry and therapy in all 50 states, and you can have medication shipped to you directly. Brightside also offers excellent cost transparency, with all of their fees clearly listed.

Best for medication management

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (18)

8.9 Very Good

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (19)

Treats patients as young as 6 years old

Longer psychiatry appointments than most platforms

Treats a wide range of conditions, including ADHD

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (20)


  • Same day appointments are available.
  • Offers specialized care for children, adolescents, adults, and seniors​.
  • Comprehensive treatment plans, including medication, therapy elements, lifestyle changes, and supportive therapy​.
  • In-network with major insurance providers.

Compare ways to pay

Talkiatry offers several ways to pay for psychiatric care, making it easier for you to access the help you need. Provide your insurance information during the initial registration process, and Talkiatry will verify your coverage. If you do not have insurance or prefer not to use it, Talkiatry offers competitive self-pay rates. During the initial sign-up process, leave the insurance information blank, and you’ll be able to see self-pay pricing details once you proceed. Payment is collected securely online.

Insights from our testers

Talkiatry provides an accessible and convenient way to connect with mental health professionals.The matching process is straightforward, with Talkiatry automatically pairing patients with a provider based on their intake form information. We were matched with psychiatrists specializing in OCD, PTSD, and anxiety. Although changing providers isn’t directly available through the portal, contacting support allows for adjustments.

Appointments are easy to schedule through the portal, typically booked during current sessions or requested separately. While initial appointments last about an hour, follow-ups are generally around 30 minutes. We appreciate that Talkiatry offers extended operating hours Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 8 PM and on Saturdays from 8:30 AM to 5 PM, providing ample flexibility.

From our tester

One of my psychiatrists requested a full lab panel so she could see what my current test results showed regarding my health to help with medication management. That was through Quest Diagnostic and it was a very easy process. I really appreciated that they had the option to do this and it stays in my medical history in the platform. You also have the option to request refills in the platform for any of your medications which is really convenient.

Our final verdict on Talkiatry

Talkiatry provides a comprehensive range of mental health services, with a particular emphasis on medication management, live therapy options, and extensive provider flexibility. Their standout feature is the ability to switch therapists at any time, ensuring clients find the right fit for their needs. However, their lack of live messaging and a mobile app might be limiting for some users seeking these features.

Best for comprehensive care

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (21)

9.0 Excellent

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (22)

One-stop scheduling service.

Easy to find in-person appointments in your area.

Book online or through the phone.

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (23)


  • Same-day appointments are available.
  • Select your provider using 14 filter categories.
  • Individual therapy for all ages, couples therapy, and psychiatry.
  • Therapy, psychiatry, primary care, and specialty medical care on one platform.

Compare ways to pay

  • Zocdoc is a marketplace of providers. Find how much you’ll pay by filling out the three main fields on their homepage: condition, procedure, or doctor; zip code; and insurance provider. If you don’t have insurance, simply leave the insurance field blank.
  • You’ll be directed to a list of providers that meet your needs. Click on the provider’s name to see pricing information and insurance coverage. Here, you’ll see a full profile of the provider, including which insurance carriers they are in-network with. For people paying with insurance, fees will vary according to your network’s copay. Some providers, but not all, list their out-of-pocket fees.

Insights from our testers

Hundreds of insurance carriers are represented on Zocdoc, including Medicare and Medicaid. Start by entering the condition you need help with or the service you’re seeking (e.g., “therapy”), your zip code, and your type of insurance. You’ll then get a list of in-network providers in your area. From there, you can see all available appointment times, including the type of sessions available (video or in-person). You can also filter your results by gender, language spoken, faith, ethnicity, treatment approaches, and more. Be aware that Zocdoc leaves it to providers to update their information, so some profiles will be more up-to-date than others.

From our focus group

“I prefer talking to females…If I didn’t have that choice, I would not want to use a platform.”

While booking online with Zocdoc is easy, we liked that you can also book through their customer service number (855-962-3621). Our tester’s customer service representative was friendly and knowledgeable, and there was zero on-hold time.

Zocdoc is a great option for people seeking mental health care who also want to streamline their access to other types of providers. This platform is essentially a one-stop scheduling service for mental health care, primary care, and specialty care. Providers offer many types of care online—including therapy sessions, psychiatry and medication consults, certain skin conditions, allergies, and hearing aid consults. Zocdoc makes it easier to find an in-person appointment in your area for visits that can’t be done virtually.

Because of the wide range of providers on Zocdoc, same-day appointments are often available, although confirmation of appointment times depends on the provider’s responsiveness. We found a lag in appointment confirmation, which sometimes meant providers weren’t available for the same-day or next-day appointments listed on the platform.

Our final verdict on Zocdoc

Zocdoc offers an extensive directory with photos and biographies to help you select a provider who takes your insurance. The directory’s filter tool includes gender, languages spoken, and areas of specialty. We like that Zocdoc offers comprehensive care options, from mental health to primary care. With Zocdoc, the length of your therapy session will vary depending on your specific provider. Zocdoc offers ample flexibility, so users can easily cancel appointments and switch providers.

Best specialty care directory

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (24)

8.8 Great

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (25)

Specialty filters on dozens of categories.

Easy to navigate.

Provides primary and specialty medical care access.

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (26)


  • Choose your provider from an extensive online directory.
  • Providers accept insurance from most major insurance carriers.
  • Video and audio sessions are available, plus live chat for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Individual therapy for adults and children over 10, couples therapy, psychiatry and medication management, primary care, and some specialty medical care.

Compare ways to pay

  • If you’re paying with insurance, the amount you pay per session will vary according to your type of insurance and how much you owe towards your deductible.
  • If you’re paying out of pocket, talk therapy sessions start at $108, and psychiatry sessions start at $284.

Insights from our testers

Like Zocdoc, MDLIVE has a large directory of in-network mental health care providers. You will need to register for an account, enter your insurance information, and answer a series of questions about your mental health concerns before you can access their provider directory. Unlike the other online therapy platforms we tested, MDLIVE requires you to provide a short medical history before viewing the directory.

After receiving a list of your in-network providers, the platform allows you to filter by gender, area of specialty, language, and type of session (phone or video). Our testers liked the area of specialty filter’s dozens of categories, including ones we haven’t seen on other platforms. Some of the categories listed included:

  • Level 1 autism spectrum disorder (formerly known as Asperger’s)
  • Chronic illness
  • Men’s issues
  • Pregnancy/infertility
  • Racial identity
  • Video game addiction
  • Weight loss

Though it can be time-consuming to read through dozens of provider profiles, the MDLIVE directory was easy to navigate, and the filters helped narrow our search to providers who met our specific needs.

From our expert

“Using insurance gives you access to a network of providers, making it easier to locate a provider who takes your insurance; however, this doesn’t eliminate the need to do your research and find a provider that’s culturally competent and feels like a good fit for you.” – Erika T. Kendrick, Licensed Professional Counselor at Erika T. Kendrick, LLC in Montclair, NJ

Like Zocdoc, MDLIVE provides primary and specialty medical care access, including urgent care and dermatology. We like that the platform’s website clearly outlines what they treat and also clarifies the conditions for which they do not provide care. For example, MDLIVE providers cannot prescribe ADHD stimulant medications, and they will not treat individuals experiencing active psychosis or active medical detox from substance abuse.

Our final verdict on MDLIVE

MDLIVE has a directory of more than 2,400 board-certified and licensed therapists, with appointments in one to two days for therapy and two to three days for psychiatry. We like the platform’s highly specific filter, which helps you find a provider with an area of focus that matches your needs. Therapy sessions through MDLIVE typically last 45–60 minutes. The platform allows you to choose your own provider, and verify your insurance. MDLIVE is available in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Handbook Tip 1

Many of the online platforms we recommend take on the task of checking your coverage and determining how much you’ll have to pay for therapy. Still, we recommend understanding the following insurance terms:

  • Copay: Short for copayment, a copay is the fixed amount you pay for a covered health care service, usually at the time of service.
  • Coinsurance: Your share of costs for a covered health care visit, calculated as a percentage (for example, you might pay 20 percent, and your plan pays 80 percent).
  • Deductible: The amount you must pay towards covered health care services before your health insurance plan begins to cover payments.

If possible, call your insurance provider and ask them to define these terms for your specific policy. Here are some questions to help guide your conversation:

  • What are my copayment and coinsurance amounts for mental health care?
  • What is my copay for talk therapy sessions?
  • What is my copay for psychiatry sessions?
  • What is my deductible for in-network mental health care? How much of my deductible has already been met?

Other brands to consider

We tested several platforms to find the best online therapy that takes insurance. These platforms didn’t make our top five, but they may work well for your needs.

Charlie Health

Charlie Health provides personalized mental health care for teens and young adults. Their primary offering is intensive outpatient care, intended for those who need more than weekly support from a therapist.

Clinical mental health providers at Charlie Health use art and music therapy, drama therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and other evidence-based approaches. We like that Charlie Health accepts many large insurance carriers, including Medicaid.


Like Zocdoc and MDLIVE, Headway is an online service connecting therapy seekers with mental health care providers who accept their insurance. Their therapists provide talk therapy, psychiatry, and medication management for adults and children ages six and older. All providers on this platform accept insurance.

While our testers had success finding providers on Headway, they found it challenging to contact the platform’s customer support.


Monument is an online therapy platform specifically for people who want to quit or cut back on drinking. Their medication-assisted therapy program includes talk therapy, management of medications used to treat alcohol use disorder, and moderated support groups. They also offer a community support forum.

Monument accepts Aetna, Cigna, Medicare, and other insurance plans. Their insurance verification specialists will help you determine your coverage.


Thriveworks provides mental health care for the entire family through individual or family sessions. Unlike many online therapy platforms, Thriveworks offers counseling to children of all ages. We love that Thriveworks offers longer sessions, lasting 50–60 minutes.

Like Zocdoc, Thriveworks is a directory of providers. We found it was easy to find in-network providers by clicking “Find a Provider” in the homepage navigation. From there, enter your location, the specialty you want help for (e.g., “trauma”), and your type of insurance. If you don’t have insurance, select “Self-pay/out-of-pocket.”

How to know if your insurance covers online therapy

Many online platforms have tools to help you check whether your insurance plan is in-network and offer guidance to understand your plan’s mental health benefits. You can also contact your insurance company directly by calling the number on your insurance card. A representative will be able to answer questions about your benefits and whether online therapy might be covered.

Other ways to save money on online therapy

In addition to accepting insurance, some platforms offer services on a sliding scale, financial aid for qualified candidates, and first-time discounts. You may be able to use a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) to pay for your online therapy sessions, and some companies offer employee assistance plans (EAP), which could mean discounts with some online therapy providers. Community-based resources may also be an option.

What you need to know about our online therapy research and testing

Here are the five things you need to know about online therapy that takes insurance:

  • Talkspace is our top pick for the best online therapy platform that takes insurance.
  • Other best online therapy platforms: Brightside, Zocdoc, Talkiatry, and MDLIVE.
  • Online therapy platforms that take insurance can provide therapy for the cost of your copay, which can be as low as $0.
  • Online therapy platforms typically offer 30-60 minute video sessions. Some platforms offer audio sessions and unlimited messaging.
  • There are ways to safeguard your privacy and data while receiving online therapy.

Our testing experience

The Handbook team researched over 70 online therapy platforms, directories, and networks. We identified the 22 platforms that take insurance from major insurance carriers and tested several for ourselves. Here’s what we did with each online therapy platform we tested:

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (27)Our Online Therapy Testing Process

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (28)Fill out the intake assessment.

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (29)Subscribe as a new user.

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (30)Get matched with a therapist.

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (31)Schedule and attend sessions on the platform for one month.

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (32)Go through the steps to switch therapists.

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (33)Contact customer support with questions.

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (34)Explore platform features such as journals, worksheets, and group sessions.

5 Best Online Therapy Platforms that Take Insurance in 2024 (35)Cancel subscription.

Our testers signed up for platforms to test the onboarding process, including investigating insurance coverage options. They then attended online therapy sessions for at least four weeks. Each tester logged their experience in a diary and participated in a testing summit to collectively share their findings.

We learned our testers appreciated the ability to choose providers from a directory. Most of the testers who were matched to their providers by the platform switched providers at least once due to scheduling conflicts, a lack of responsiveness from the therapist, or a lack of connection with the therapist. Testers were most enthusiastic about choosing a provider when they could filter for diverse needs, such as finding a provider with a similar gender or racial identity.

Our testers also liked having opportunities to utilize the platform beyond their typical therapy sessions of 30–60 minutes. They tried journaling, workshops, and classes provided by the platforms. Messaging was a popular feature among our testers, though they found that responsiveness varied quite a bit from provider to provider.

From our tester

“The ability to message the therapist through the app offers a convenient way to maintain ongoing communication, although the delay in the therapist’s response time can be frustrating.”

We rated each online therapy platform we tested and chose our top five platforms that take insurance to share with you in this review.

Data privacy on mental health platforms

We know how important it is for conversations between you and your therapist to remain private. In our 2023 survey of online therapy users, 77 percent of respondents said digital privacy on teletherapy platforms was extremely or very important. Here are two ways online therapy providers are required to protect user data:

Despite policies in place, some major online therapy platforms have faced data privacy concerns. You may still have questions about what’s covered by HIPPA on your teletherapy platforms. Here are links to read the privacy policies of the platforms we recommend:

Our final verdict

With some mental health copays as low as $20 or less per visit, using insurance can greatly reduce the cost of therapy. But, setting up and scheduling a session with an in-network therapist can take weeks or even months. We know not everyone can wait that long for mental health care. Online therapy platforms that take insurance can help expand your search for in-network providers, thus reducing wait times. Most of our testers could find an online therapy appointment in less than a week.

We recommend five online therapy platforms that take insurance: Talkspace, Brightside, Zocdoc, Talkiatry, and MDLIVE. Each platform offers therapy seekers the chance to find in-network talk therapy, psychiatry, and medication management.

Our testers appreciated the opportunity to select their provider. If selecting a provider is important to you, consider starting with an online directory service like Zocdoc, MDLIVE, or Talkiatry. Alternatively, Talkspace or Brightside will match you with a therapist and allow you to switch to a new one if the first match isn’t a great fit.

Frequently asked questions

Online therapy platforms that take insurance, like Talkspace and Brightside, will match you with an in-network therapist. Many online therapy platforms will help you check your coverage if you need help understanding your mental health benefits. You can also call the number on your insurance card for details about your plan and what it covers.

Yes, Medicaid typically covers mental health services, including medication management, inpatient therapy, and some outpatient therapy. Because Medicaid is mandated at the state level, Medicaid mental health care coverage will vary by state. Some online therapy platforms, including Zocdoc and Charlie Health, accept Medicaid.

Medicare Part B covers visits with most mental health care providers, including clinical social workers and psychiatrists. Several online therapy platforms accept Medicare patients, including Brightside and Zocdoc.

For many people, yes. In the Handbook team’s 2023 survey of 600 online therapy users, 55 percent said that online therapy was more effective in achieving their mental health goals than in-person therapy, and 44.5 percent said they noticed a benefit of online therapy within two to four weeks of their first session.

  1. Hilty, D. M., Ferrer, D. C., Parish, M. B., Johnston, B., Callahan, E. J., & Yellowlees, P. M. (2013). The Effectiveness of Telemental Health: A 2013 review. Telemedicine Journal and E-health, 19(6), 444–454. Link
  2. CMS.gov. (n.d.). Glossary of Health Coverage and Medical Terms. [PDF]. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Link
  3. GovInfo. (1996, August 21). Public Law 104 – 191 – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Link
  4. Office for Civil Rights. (2021, June 28). HITECH Act Enforcement Interim Final Rule. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Link
  5. National Council for Mental Wellbeing. (2022b, January 21). Certified community Behavioral health clinics providing expanded access to mental health, substance use care during COVID-19 pandemic – National Council for Mental Wellbeing. Link
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