TriWest Insurance for Therapy
TriWest Healthcare Alliance is a healthcare insurance company contracted with the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide healthcare benefits to veterans living in the United States’ western region. This differs from TRICARE, which is the healthcare plan granted to active military service members and their families.
Does TriWest Healthcare Alliance cover therapy?
Yes, TriWest Healthcare Alliance plans provide coverage for mental health services including therapy sessions. TriWest Healthcare Alliance understands the impact that active or reserve military service can have on mental health, and they strive to enable veterans to access healthcare services for overall well-being. Using your TriWest Healthcare Alliance plan can help you decrease your out-of-pocket costs when it comes to mental health services.
TriWest Healthcare Alliance coverage provides access to the VA medical and healthcare system. Those who use their TriWest Healthcare Alliance plan to access healthcare services will need to be connected to the VA system.
How do I check if my TriWest Healthcare Alliance plan covers therapy?
It’s best to get in touch with a local TriWest Healthcare Alliance representative to check if your TriWest Healthcare Alliance plan covers therapy services. You may find someone like this at your local VA medical center. They’ll be able to explain to you your benefits through TriWest Healthcare Alliance.
You might also find information about coverage for therapy through the VA’s website, such as their page on copay rates. It’s important to note that TriWest Healthcare Alliance plans often don’t provide coverage for therapy sessions with therapists who are outside of the VA system, meaning that you’ll need to find an in-network provider to access your benefits.
How much does therapy cost with my TriWest Healthcare Alliance plan?
Therapy sessions will cost a copay of around $50 per session, as therapists are considered specialists through the VA system. As many session fees are between $180-250, you’ll save money by going through your TriWest Healthcare Alliance plan rather than paying privately.
Your local VA healthcare system may offer most cost effective mental health services, so be sure to check in with your primary doctor about what’s available to you as a veteran. If you’re in an immediate mental health crisis, you can contact the Veterans Crisis Line by dialing 988 then pressing one. You can also text this line at 838255 for a confidential chat.
To note, some mental health services through the VA system are free of cost to you. This includes if your mental health treatment is in relation to sexual assault that occurred during your service or readjustment counseling.
What types of mental health conditions does TriWest Healthcare Alliance cover?
TriWest Healthcare Alliance recognizes the intense stress experienced by veterans, so they seek to provide coverage for many mental health conditions commonly faced by those who have military experience. This includes but is not limited to:
TriWest Healthcare Alliance also covers bereavement sessions when someone is experiencing overwhelming and prolonged grief.
What types of therapy does TriWest Healthcare Alliance cover?
There are many different types of therapy that TriWest Healthcare Alliance covers through the VA healthcare system. As stated above, these services must be provided by a therapist that is an in-network provider through the VA, who must be a credentialed mental health professional like a psychologist, social worker, or counselor. Your therapist needs to take an evidence-based approach to working with you, meaning that the type of therapy they offer must have clinical research backing its efficacy and be appropriate for your specific mental health diagnosis.
Some evidence-based therapy approaches includes:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy
- Internal Family Systems (IFS)
What types of therapy does TriWest Healthcare Alliance NOT cover?
TriWest Healthcare Alliance will not cover any therapies that are not evidence-based, as all therapy must have clinical rigor. This means that they don’t often cover career counseling, life coaching, aromatherapy, reiki healing, or acupuncture. That’s not to say that these types of therapy aren’t effective, as many people find these types of therapy helpful for their well-being and healing from trauma. However, these approaches lack scientific evidence that they’re effective, making them ineligible for health insurance coverage.
Does TriWest Healthcare Alliance cover online therapy?
Yes, TriWest Healthcare Alliance provides cover online therapy. This means that whether you choose to see your therapist in-person or online, your TriWest Healthcare Alliance benefits remain the same and you’ll pay the same copay.
A referral is still required to access what’s called “care in the community,” which means outside of the VA medical campus. This includes when you see your therapist online.
Does TriWest Healthcare Alliance cover couples therapy?
No, TriWest Healthcare Alliance does not cover couples counseling. There are some family counseling options available through certain VA healthcare systems — and many services available for veterans outside of the VA system — however couples counseling is not eligible for coverage.
Do I need to see my primary doctor before starting therapy?
Yes, you need to see your primary doctor before you start therapy. This is because your primary doctor needs to write you a referral, which then authorizes you to start seeing a specialist and to receive mental health services. Without a referral, you might have to pay the full session fee out-of-pocket, which can be a hefty expense as well as a heavy administrative effort.