Berklee College of Music Student Health Insurance for Therapy

Berklee College understands that part of being a stellar musician is attending to your physical and mental health, which is one reason why they require all students to enroll in their Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP). This health insurance plan was created in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield. Blue Cross Blue Shield is a large health insurance company that provides millions of people across the country with medical coverage. Under this plan, students have access to many mental health benefits — including therapy!

Does the Berklee College student health insurance cover therapy?

Yes, Berklee College student health insurance provides coverage for therapy services. Berklee College believes that overall student wellbeing must include a focus on mental health, therefore it makes mental health services accessible for all.

Students enrolled in Berklee College SHIP can see an in-network or an out-of-network therapist for mental health services. This plan uses the Blue Cross Blue Shield provider network, as SHIP is a Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO plan through Gallagher Student Health & Special Risk.

How do I check if my Berklee College student health insurance plan covers therapy?

To check if your Berklee College student health plan covers therapy services, look at your Summary and Benefits document. Here you’ll find a cost for each type of service, including therapy. This document lists out all of your copayment or coinsurance rates. To learn more about your therapy coverage, find the “mental health” or “substance abuse treatment” section, where you’ll find your coverage for outpatient services.

Example Blue Cross Blue Shield Student Health Insurance Summary of Benefits, with Outpatient Mental Health section highlighted.

If you cannot find this information through your Summary and Benefits document, try calling the phone number on the back of your insurance card where the customer service department will share with you the coverage available to you through your specific university’s plan. You might also visit the Gallagher Student Health & Special Risk website.

How much does therapy cost with Berklee College student health insurance?

Therapy with SHIP will cost around $25 each session with in-network therapists. This is your copay (or copayment) amount. For therapy with out-of-network therapists, you’ll be responsible for a 20% coinsurance each session. This means that if your therapist charges $100 per session, you’ll pay $20. If they charge $250 per session, you’ll pay $50.

Depending on your situation, you may need pre authorization before you have coverage for therapy sessions. When you attain pre authorization, Blue Cross Blue Shield will let you know how many sessions they’ll cover. To learn if you require pre authorization, check with your prospective therapist.

This cost may change across school years. To find the most accurate information on therapy costs, refer to your specific plan’s Summary and Benefits document.

What types of mental health conditions does the Berklee College student health insurance cover?

The Berklee College student health plan covers many mental health conditions, including those that are common in the student population. Blue Cross Blue Shield requires that each client receives a diagnosis from their therapist for reimbursement purposes. This diagnosis guides treatment and insurance coverage.

Examples of eligible mental health conditions include:

There are many more diagnosable — and reimbursable — mental health conditions, all of which the Berklee College student health plan covers.

What types of therapy does the Berklee College student health insurance cover?

The Berklee College student health insurance covers many different types of therapy provided by credentialed professional therapists. As long as your therapist provides an evidence-based, clinically rigorous therapy modality that is appropriate for the given diagnosis, you’ll receive coverage.

These evidence-based therapy modalities include, but are not limited to:

Often therapists blend their therapy approaches. As long as they meet Blue Cross Blue Shield’s requirements, their services are eligible for reimbursement.

What types of therapy does the Berklee College student health insurance NOT cover?

The Berklee College student health insurance only provides coverage for therapy costs associated with services that are evidence-based. This means that all treatment modality needs to have empirical research backing its efficacy.

The Berklee College student health plan does not cover life coaching and career coaching, as these disciplines are less based on evidence and are more reliant on goal-setting and achievement outcomes. There is also no coverage for holistic approaches to treatment like aromatherapy, massage therapy, reiki healing, or nutritional therapy. They also do not cover ketamine, psychedelic, or hypnosis treatments, even if the purpose of this treatment is for a mental health condition.

Does the Berklee College student health insurance cover online therapy?

Yes, the Berklee College student health plan offers coverage for online therapy. This opens the doors for many clients who aren’t able to physically attend therapy sessions each week, whether for a physical limitation or because of the constraints of a busy student schedule.

Your coverage for therapy costs will remain the same, whether you visit your therapy in-person or online. This includes the same copayment and coinsurance rates.

Does the Berklee College student health insurance cover couples therapy?

No, the Berklee College student health plan does not provide coverage for couples therapy. Often, health insurance companies do not have mental health benefits for couples because of the lack of a reimbursable diagnosis, so it is not uncommon for this health insurance plan to deem couples therapy ineligible.

However, you can find couples therapy services through Berklee College’s counseling center. There are also ways to access affordable couples therapy that doesn’t require health insurance coverage.

Do I need to see my primary doctor before starting therapy?

No, you do not need to see your primary care physician before starting your search for an excellent therapist. This is because the Berklee College student health plan is a PPO, meaning you do not need a referral for specialist services.

So when you’re ready to start your mental health journey, you’re all set with therapy coverage!