UCSD Employee Health Insurance
Last updated November, 2020
While many people are aware of the mental health crisis facing this generation’s college students, at times university staff also might find themselves looking for a therapist. The University of California San Diego strives to take care of its Triton employees by making benefits available not only for physical health but mental health too.
We’ve collated all behavioral health benefits offered to staff at USCD to make it easier for you to figure out how much coverage you have for therapy treatment. We’ve also made a list of vetted, high quality therapists in San Diego near you!
What is the UCSD employee insurance?
When you start your benefitted role at UCSD, you will have the option of the following health insurance plans:
- Kaiser HMO
- UC Blue & Gold HMO
- UC Care PPO
- UC Health Savings Plan PPO
- CORE PPO
You may change this insurance during the insurance open enrollment period that generally happens in the fall. Each plan has its own rates and coverage, so be sure to read the Summary and Benefits of each to find the one that fits you best!
Does the UCSD employee insurance cover therapy?
Yes, it does, no matter which plan you pick! The good news is that UCSD values mental health care for its employees and therefore ensures accessible therapy services. However, the coverage varies on which insurance you have - read on to learn how much coverage you have based on your insurance plan.
How much does therapy cost with the UCSD student insurance?
Here’s a breakdown of cost based on the UCSD insurance plan you chose:
- Kaiser HMO: Behavioral health services covered by Kaiser or Optum. The first three sessions are free, however each additional session has a $20 copay.
- UC Blue & Gold HMO: Behavioral health services covered by Managed Health Network (MHN). The first three sessions are free, however each additional session has a $20 copay.
- UC Care PPO: Behavioral health covered by Anthem Blue Cross. The first three sessions are free, however each additional session has a $20 copay for in-network therapists. For out-of-network providers, you will be responsible for a 50% coinsurance of the therapy fee.
- UC Health Savings Plan PPO: Behavioral health covered by Anthem Blue Cross. To see an in-network therapist, you will be responsible for the 20% coinsurance. For an out-of-network therapist, you will be responsible for the 40% coinsurance.
- CORE PPO: Behavioral health covered by Anthem Blue Cross. For CORE in-network therapists, there is a 20% coinsurance (that is, the amount you owe per session) after meeting the deductible.
A note that each plan varies and it’s important to verify your coverage before you start sessions (so there won’t be any surprises!). When considering where to find a therapist, don’t be afraid of searching for someone out-of-network! While it sounds like a hassle (and we all know insurance is complicated!), finding a therapist in San Diego can be easy using Zencare. Just know that “out-of-network” doesn’t automatically equal “out-of-pocket” and you still have some coverage so you don’t have to pay the entire therapy fee yourself.
How many providers are there near campus?
We’ve created a sizeable list of therapists in-network with Anthem Blue Cross, Kaiser, and Managed Health Network to make it easier for you. There are also many out-of-network therapists from which to choose, which includes specialists, therapists with diverse identities, styles, personalities, and different locations.
What mental health conditions does the UCSD employee insurance cover?
Each plan offered through UCSD has its own coverage limitations, however all insurances cover the following conditions:
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Eating disorders
- Mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder
- Substance use disorder
During the first few sessions with your therapist, you will receive a diagnosis. This is important because it is necessary for the insurance company to have a diagnosis in order to cover your session.
If you prefer not to use your insurance, feel free to ask your therapist if they accept sliding scale payments.
What types of therapy does the UCSD employee insurance cover?
Most insurances cover various types of therapy, including outpatient and inpatient therapy services, as well as different types of therapy approaches, including:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
The therapies covered must be evidence-based and for the betterment of a mental health diagnosis.
What types of therapy does the UCSD employee insurance NOT cover?
Like all insurances, there must be a medically necessary reason to receive therapy - this is why you will get a diagnosis when you start working with your therapist. Each of the UCSD insurances are different, however none of them will cover non-evidenced based therapies or treatment from a non-credentialed provider.
Does the UCSD employee insurance cover online therapy?
Yes and it’s encouraged! With many therapists only offering online therapy sessions now, most insurances will cover teletherapy services as well as in-person sessions. This makes therapy more accessible for people with packed calendars, since you get to ditch the travel time!
Does UCSD provide any free counseling services for employees?
Yes, UCSD has a Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) that offers limited therapy sessions with licensed therapists. However, there are a few considerations to make before choosing to receive therapy from FSAP over an outside provider:
- Long term therapy: Because of the limit on therapy sessions through FSAP, you might not have the chance to meet all of your therapy goals. Seeking therapy off-campus ensures that you will have the opportunities to work towards all of your therapy goals.
- Waitlist: With a large demand from UCSD employees, there can be a lengthy waitlist to receive therapy through FSAP. If you prefer to begin therapy right away, finding an off-campus therapist might be a faster route.
- Specializations: If you’re looking for a specific type of therapy, you might not find it through FSAP. For example, if you were interested in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy, finding a qualified therapist off-campus ensures that your treatment will include what you’re looking for.
- Preferences: Sometimes, it’s important to separate yourself from school or from your work. Receiving therapy from an unaffiliated provider gives you the chance to escape the UCSD atmosphere. You might also have a preference in therapy personality or identity that is unavailable through FSAP.
Do I need a referral before I start therapy?
No, you do not need a referral no matter which of the UCSD employee insurances you have. While some may require preauthorization, the therapist or counseling office will inform you ahead of time and guide you through which forms you may need to submit.