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Online therapy may be a more convenient form of therapy for people who cannot travel to a local professional. Several companies accept insurance, although people will need to check with their insurance provider before using a service.

A quick look at the best online therapy that takes insurance

Online therapy is mental health counseling that takes place over the internet or by telephone and texting. Usually, a person creates an account with a company and the company connects them with a therapist who specializes in the field they are looking for.

Online therapy may be less expensive than traditional therapy. However, it is always important to check whether a company takes insurance and to contact the insurance provider to ensure that it will cover the therapy a person requires.

This article discusses who may find online therapy beneficial, some online therapy companies that accept insurance, and how to choose a service.

Online therapy can be an effective, convenient form of mental health treatment. Recent research suggests that online therapy is almost as effective as in-person therapy at decreasing psychological distress.

According to a 2022 review, online therapy may benefit people who:

  • live in remote or rural areas
  • have limited physical mobility
  • prefer to participate in therapy in the comfort of their home

The authors go on to say that online therapy allows people to choose therapists who specialize in certain fields. People can also choose therapists based on criteria such as language, gender, and sexuality.

Seeking therapy online may help reduce the stigma some people associate with visiting a therapist.

However, online therapy may not suit everyone. People who have severe mental health conditions and those who pose a risk to themselves, such as people who are at risk of self-harm or suicide, should not use online therapy.

People who cannot access the internet through devices such as smartphones, tablets, or computers will not be able to use these services.

Additionally, companies may not offer services to certain people, such as children. People should always check that the company they wish to use can serve their needs.

Suicide prevention

If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:

  • Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
  • Listen to the person without judgment.
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
  • Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.

Click here for more links and local resources.

Medical News Today chooses online therapy from the following criteria:

  • Type of therapy: services that offer talk therapy, psychiatry, and counseling
  • Prescriptions: services that offer medication where necessary
  • Availability: services that offer access to therapists in a timely manner
  • Insurance coverage: services that accept a range of insurance providers
  • Cost: services that fit a range of budgets

The following services take insurance from various providers.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for people who already have a diagnosis: BetterHelp

  • Type of therapy: individual, couples, and teen
  • Specializations: depression, anxiety, relationships, trauma, grief, parenting, and addiction
  • Average cost: $60–90 per week
  • Session length: 30 minutes

BetterHelp offers access to licensed, accredited, and experienced psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and board licensed professional counselors.

The company matches a person with a therapist. The person can talk with their therapist through text, chat, phone, or video.

BetterHelp states that the therapists on this platform cannot make a diagnosis, so the company may be a better option for people who already have a diagnosis or people who need general counseling rather than help with a mental health condition.

While BetterHelp does not submit claims to insurance companies, people may be able to submit bills for reimbursement. However, the platform states that a person’s copay may be higher than the cost of using BetterHelp without insurance.

Learn more about BetterHelp and insurance coverage here.


  • matches people with a therapist within 24 hours
  • offers therapists who specialize in areas such as religion, sexuality, and anger
  • offers group seminars and digital worksheets to complement sessions


  • does not submit claims to insurance companies
  • does not offer therapists who can prescribe medication or make a diagnosis
  • not a suitable option to fulfill a court order

Read our review of BetterHelp here.

Best for prescribing medication: Talkspace

  • Type of therapy: individual, couples, teen, and psychiatry
  • Specializations: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), sleep therapy, depression, anxiety, and addiction
  • Average cost: from $65 per week
  • Session length: 30–50 minutes

Talkspace offers a wide range of services, including psychiatry, which means that the psychiatrists on this platform can prescribe medication. This service may be a good option for people who need medication for their conditions.

The company states that its main focus is on offering therapy through text messaging, which may appeal to those who prefer not to communicate with a therapist verbally.

Once the service connects a person with a therapist, they can communicate by text, audio, or video and receive a response 5 days per week. People can also schedule a live video session for an additional fee.

The website states that Talkspace therapists have an average of 9 years of professional experience and are licensed in all 50 states.

Talkspace accepts insurance from most major providers, including Premera, Optum, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.


  • accepts insurance from most major providers
  • matches people to therapists within 48 hours
  • can prescribe medication


  • not suitable for court-ordered counseling
  • may be more expensive than other options
  • not suitable for children under 13 years of age

Read our review of Talkspace here.

Best subscription service: Cerebral

Cerebral is a subscription service. It offers three plans: medication and care management, medication and therapy, and therapy. With insurance, these plans start at $30 per month.

To use this service, a person must fill out an emotional assessment form and choose the plan they are interested in.

If a person opts for therapy, they select a therapist and have weekly sessions by phone or video. In addition, they can message their therapist at any time. The therapists on this platform can prescribe medication.

Clinicians on Cerebral are board certified and licensed in the relevant states. The company accepts insurance from some providers. Provider coverage varies by state.


  • offers a range of subscriptions for different needs
  • can prescribe medication
  • allows users to cancel their subscriptions at any time


  • does not offer treatment for ADHD, AUD, or bipolar disorder in certain states
  • not suitable for people under 18 years of age

Read our review of Cerebral here.

Best for any time of day: Doctor On Demand

  • Type of therapy: coaching, online therapy, and psychiatry
  • Specializations: anxiety, stress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, postpartum, grief, and loss
  • Average cost: from $129 per session
  • Session length: 15–50 minutes

Doctor On Demand states that it provides access to doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. This may be suitable for people who want the option to contact a mental health professional at any time of day.

A person who is interested in using this service will need to take an online assessment, browse through the company’s providers, and schedule video consultations.

In addition to its mental health services, the company offers urgent care, preventive health, and chronic care services.

Doctor On Demand accepts Medicare Part B and many insurance plans.


  • allows users to contact therapists at any time of day, every day of the week
  • offers urgent care, preventive health, and chronic care services
  • accepts Medicare Part B and most major insurance providers
  • can prescribe medication


  • cannot provide prescriptions for controlled substances
  • more expensive than some other options

Best for appointments: Amwell

  • Type of therapy: psychiatry and therapy
  • Specializations: anxiety, depression, stress, grief, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Average cost: from $109 per session
  • Session length: 15–45 minutes

Amwell offers psychiatry and therapy services for a range of mental health conditions and concerns. Psychiatrists are available by appointment only.

The company states that its mental health professionals are available 24 hours per day via video on a person’s phone, tablet, or computer.

Amwell accepts insurance from providers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Optum, and Aetna.


  • can prescribe medication
  • accepts insurance from most major providers
  • does not record or store sessions


  • limits follow-up sessions to 15 minutes, which may not be long enough to discuss concerns
  • more expensive than some other options

Best for longer sessions: MDLive

  • Type of therapy: talk therapy and psychiatry
  • Specializations: addiction, aging support, caregiver support, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, grief, LGBTQ+ support, OCD, PTSD, phobias, and parenting
  • Average cost: free or from $108 per session, depending on a person’s insurance
  • Session length: 15–60 minutes

MDLive offers access to board certified doctors and licensed therapists by appointment only. Each session can last up to 60 minutes, which may benefit those who need longer sessions.

Once a person creates a free account online, they can choose a therapist and schedule an appointment. A person does not pay until the therapist confirms the appointment.

MDLive accepts insurance from many providers, including Cigna, Humana, and Aetna.


  • can prescribe medication
  • allows users to choose their therapists
  • offers longer appointments than some other services


  • by appointment only
  • wait times of up to 1 week for an appointment
  • not suitable for people with moderate to severe autism

Best for Spanish speakers: LiveHealth Online

  • Type of therapy: talk therapy and psychiatry
  • Specializations: depression, anxiety, parenting, eating disorders, PTSD, OCD, and bipolar disorder
  • Average cost: from $75 per session
  • Session length: 45 minutes

LiveHealth Online offers talk therapy and psychiatry. Talk therapy is available for children aged 10 and older, whereas the service offers psychiatry to adults only.

This service offers a Spanish language app and the ability to connect with Spanish-speaking healthcare professionals. People must ensure that their devices’ settings are in Spanish and then press “Cuidado Médico,”

LiveHealth Online accepts insurance from most major insurance providers, such as Blue Cross and AmeriGroup.


  • offers a Spanish-language app and Spanish-speaking professionals
  • can prescribe medication
  • offers talk therapy for children aged 10 and older


  • offers psychiatry to adults only
  • cannot prescribe controlled substances online
  • wait times of up to 2 weeks to see a psychiatrist

Best for crisis care: Brightside

  • Type of therapy: CBT, psychiatry, and crisis care
  • Specializations: anxiety, depression, PTSD, phobias, and OCD
  • Average cost: from $95 per month
  • Session length: 15–30 minutes

Brightside offers CBT, psychiatry, and crisis care. It states that its Crisis Care Program is the first of its kind and is suitable for people with an elevated risk of suicide. The company states that the methods it uses in this program are backed by 30 years of research.

To start using this service, a person must first fill out a free assessment. The company will then direct a person to the care plan that best suits their needs. The Crisis Care Program is available only to those with insurance.

People can connect with therapists through video sessions, messaging, interactive lessons, and weekly check-ins.

Brightside accepts the following insurers:

  • Cigna
  • Aetna
  • Optum
  • Anthem CA
  • Allegiance


  • suitable for people who are at a higher risk of suicide
  • can prescribe medication


  • does not offer treatment or medication for ADHD
  • offers its Crisis Care Package only to people who have insurance

The following table compares the services in this article by price, type of therapy, session length, and more.

Type of therapySpecializationsAverage costSession length
BetterHelp• individual
• couples
• teen
• depression
• anxiety
• relationships
• trauma
• grief
• parenting
• addiction
$60–90 per week30 minutes
Talkspace• individual
• couples
• teen
• psychiatry
• sleep therapy
• depression
• anxiety
• addiction
from $65 per week30–50 minutes
Cerebral• therapy
• medication management
• anxiety
• depression
• insomnia
• bipolar disorder
from $30 per month45 minutes
Doctor On
• coaching
• therapy
• psychiatry
• anxiety
• stress
• depression
• postpartum
• grief
• loss
from $129 per session15–50 minutes
Amwell• psychiatry
• therapy
• anxiety
• depression
• stress
• grief
from $109 per session15–45 minutes
MDLive• talk therapy
• psychiatry
• addiction
• aging support
• caregiver support
• anxiety
• bipolar disorder
• depression
• grief
• LGBTQ+ support
• phobias
• parenting
from $0 per session15–60 minutes
• talk therapy
• psychiatry
• depression
• anxiety
• parenting
• eating disorders
• bipolar disorder
from $75 per session45 minutes
Brightside• CBT
• psychiatry
• crisis care
• anxiety
• depression
• phobias
from $95 per month15–30 minutes

People may wish to consider the following when choosing an online therapist:

  • Qualifications: People should ensure that the therapists they choose are licensed in their state.
  • Ethical concerns: People may wish to read the company’s privacy policy to find out how the company stores their data and how long it stores the data.
  • Area of expertise: People should ensure that the therapist they choose is knowledgeable in the area they require, such as anxiety, depression, or LGBTQIA+ concerns.
  • Refund policy: People may wish to contact the company to discuss refund policies if, for example, either the person’s or the therapist’s internet connection is too unstable to continue a session.
  • Session length: People may wish to check the average session length to ensure that they can fit therapy around their daily life.
  • Cost: People should factor in the per-session or per-month cost of a service to ensure that it fits their budget.

Here we answer some common questions about these services.

Why do some online therapy companies not accept insurance?

Companies have various policies on accepting insurance. Some may claim that they manage to keep prices lower by not accepting insurance.

Some therapists may not accept insurance or may accept it for only a certain number of their clients.

How much does online therapy cost with insurance?

Fees for online therapy vary depending on a person’s insurance and location.

Some people will receive therapy for free with qualifying insurance, whereas others may need to pay more than $100 per session.

Is there such a thing as online free therapy?

Yes, some organizations offer free online therapy.

However, some companies offer only a few sessions for free, so people will need to check what each company offers on its website.

Learn how to get free online therapy here.

Can online therapists prescribe medication?

Online therapists may be able to prescribe medication, depending on the type of therapist they are and which states they are licensed in.

Psychiatrists and psychiatric or mental health nurse practitioners can prescribe medication in all states.

In Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, and New Mexico, trained psychologists can prescribe medication. Each state has different criteria for psychologists who can prescribe medication, but all require that these mental health professionals hold a doctorate, participate in up to 6,000 hours of supervised clinical practice, and pass a national examination.

Online therapy can be an effective way to provide mental health care. It offers people greater convenience, lower costs, and a sense of anonymity. It is not a complete substitute for in-person treatment and is not suitable for all people or all mental health conditions. Online therapy companies that take insurance offer a variety of treatment options.