A guide to understanding and accessing your insurance coverage

Counseling services at the Georgia Tech Counseling Center are free to enrolled students in a degree-seeking program.  However, sometimes a student's needs may be better served by a referral, or some students may prefer a referral.  Many students have insurance that cover counseling, but may be uncertain how to access it.  This is a brief guide for how to investigate your insurance coverage:

Step 1. Obtain your benefits booklet. This document will explain your coverages, the amount of your deductible and co-pay, and the procedures for accessing your services. Often, one can obtain this booklet by going to the insurance company’s website. Typically, you will need to create an online account. If you are unable to access your benefits booklet online or have questions, call the number on your insurance card.

Step 2. Review your benefits booklet to determine whether you have coverage for “behavioral health,” “mental health,” (or if applicable) “substance abuse” services. Note the following variables: How many sessions of outpatient treatment are allowed per year? What is the deductible and co-pay? What is the procedure for accessing services?

Step 3. Identify the “Network(s)” of service providers who have been approved by your company. Some insurance companies will only pay for providers who are in their network; other companies may provide coverage for providers who are “out of network,” but will require the covered individual to make a higher co-pay.

Step 4. Search for an appropriate provider. Typically, insurance company websites have a search function that allows you to search based on provider type and a certain radius around your location. Mental health professionals who provide counseling include psychologists, social workers, professional counselors, and marriage & family therapists. If you are interested in considering medication, you will want to search for psychiatrists. If a website search function is not available, or if you are not finding the information you desire, call your insurance company and tell them what you are looking for.

 

Information about the University System of Georgia Student Health Insurance

 

If you have the student health insurance you may access your benefits coverage by visiting http://studentbluega.com/gatech/, and search for a Behavioral Health/Substance Abuse provider (common specialties to search are: clinical psychologists, counseling, marriage and family therapists, psychiatry, psychology, psychotherapy, social work, and substance abuse).