University of Chicago Student Health Insurance for Therapy
The University of Chicago offers its full-time students the opportunity to enroll in its student health insurance plan, called U-SHIP. U-SHIP is services by UnitedHealthcare StudentResources, a larger health insurance plan that creates insurance plans for universities across the country.
Does University of Chicago Student Health Insurance cover therapy?
Yes, U-SHIP covers therapy services. This means that students who have U-SHIP won’t need to pay the full session fee out-of-pocket. Instead, they can use their U-SHIP benefits to save money while still getting access to therapy sessions.
How do I check if my University of Chicago Student Health Insurance plan covers therapy?
To check if U-SHIP covers therapy, read through your Summary of Benefits document. You may be able to find this policy through your student account or on the University of Chicago website. This is the document that lists out the benefits per service type. You’ll learn how much money you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket, if any, for therapy sessions.
The University of Chicago website also provides this information explicitly on the drop down menu on their Student Insurance page.
How much does therapy cost with my University of Chicago Student Health Insurance plan?
You can expect to pay a copay of $10-20 out-of-pocket per therapy session when you meet with a therapist who is in-network with this insurance plan. The University of Chicago provides students with access to the UChicago Student Wellness community, which will cost less than seeing a therapist who isn’t within this community. When you work with a therapist who is not a provider within UChicago Student Wellness, then you’ll also need to pay coinsurance of 10%. This means that you’re responsible for 10% of the session fee, which might be around $250.
Students also have access to free mental health counseling through TimelyCare, a virtual health platform that provides both emergency and scheduled sessions with a mental health professional.
What types of mental health conditions does University of Chicago Student Health Insurance cover?
U-SHIP covers a wide range of diagnosable mental health conditions. To qualify to use your therapy benefits, your therapist may need to assign you a diagnosis as part of the paperwork for your claims.
Some common mental health conditions covered by U-SHIP include:
What types of therapy does University of Chicago Student Health Insurance cover?
U-SHIP will provide coverage for therapy as long as your therapist is professionally credentialed and uses an evidence-based therapy modality that directly relates to your mental health diagnosis. Therapists often offer multiple approaches simultaneously — this is called an integrative or eclectic approach.
Some common rigor-based therapy approaches include:
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Mindfulness practices
- Child-parent psychotherapy
What types of therapy does University of Chicago Student Health Insurance NOT cover?
U-SHIP will not cover mental health services provided by therapists who are not fully licensed. Many therapy approaches that are not backed by scientific evidence of efficacy will also not receive coverage, which includes life coaching, energy work, yoga therapy, or career counseling. This is not to say that these therapy approaches aren’t helpful — but, when provided on their own, they are not eligible for coverage because of their lack of rigor.
Does University of Chicago Student Health Insurance cover online therapy?
Yes, U-SHIP covers online therapy — they want their students to access mental health care without barriers, and online therapy is a great way to work with a therapist without needing to leave campus. You will pay the same amount per session as you would if you saw a therapist in-person.
The University of Chicago also offers students access to TimelyCare, which is a great way to connect remotely with a mental health professional.
Does University of Chicago Student Health Insurance cover couples therapy?
While U-SHIP does not cover couples therapy as an insurance benefit, you can access couples therapy through UChicago Student Wellness. This office offers students the opportunity to work with many professionals who are familiar with the campus and school community. While these sessions are generally seen as short-term and limited to a specific number of sessions, they’re a great way to begin working with your partner in a therapeutic setting.
Do I need to see my primary doctor before starting therapy?
U-SHIP is a PPO insurance plan, which means that you do not need to receive a referral from your primary care doctor before seeing a specialist like a therapist. This not only saves you time but also offers you the opportunity to start therapy when you are ready.