How to Access Affordable Therapy, No Matter Where You Are

According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2012, there were 48 million people in the U.S. (which accounts for 15.4% of the under-65 population) without health insurance. Then, four years later (thanks in large part to Obamacare), these numbers fell by a whopping 20 million to about 27 million. So while on the surface, a large portion of the U.S. population is in some form covered by health insurance (89.6% in 2014), the United States remains the sole industrialized nation without universal healthcare. (For perspective, there are 32 countries with universal healthcare, yet, interestingly, on a per capita basis, the U.S. spends more than double the $3453 average spent by all developed and developing countries in healthcare.) Even with Obamacare, those who remained uninsured cited high costs as their reason for not being covered—many do not receive it through work or are ineligible for assistance programs like Medicaid. And annual premiums and deductibles for families and single coverage are rising at an alarming rate, forcing a notable percentage into bankruptcy in large part due to the inability to pay medical bills. The system is flawed at best.

Mental health coverage and substance use disorder services have been recognized as a primary need through most individual and small group health insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid (though it varies by state and plan). However, coverage still isn't within arm's reach or is too expensive for many individuals, so many have never had the opportunity to see a therapist or receive treatment, despite the fact one in five adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year. So we thought we'd share some options for cost-effective therapy below, whether you have insurance or not. It's time to beat the stigma of seeking help for mental illness, and beat it affordably.

If you or someone you know is currently facing a mental health emergency, please dial 911 or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1‑800‑273‑TALK.

Next up, read about the important problem with the lack of therapy in minority communities.