Virtual visits for mental health

Virtual visits for mental health

January 9, 2019

mental health word cloudIf you are enrolled in HealthSelectSM of Texas, HealthSelect Out-of-State, HealthSelect Secondary, or Consumer Directed HealthSelect, you can see a licensed mental health professional by scheduling an in-office visit. If an office visit is not convenient, you also can meet with a provider from the comfort of your home or office by scheduling a mental health virtual visit. With this option, you have broader access to a network of mental health professionals online. And, you have access any day and any time of the week, including on the weekends and in the evenings.

Mental health virtual visits are offered through Doctor On Demand® and MDLIVE® and are covered at the same benefit level as an in-office mental health visit. You must make appointments in advance. Appointments are typically available within five to seven days, on average, but could take up to two weeks. You get to choose the duration of the appointment.

Only psychiatrists can prescribe medication, if deemed necessary and appropriate, but will not prescribe controlled substances.

What is the cost to you?

It depends on your plan:
  • HealthSelectâ„  of Texas and HealthSelect Out-of-State participants have a $25 copay; the rest of your virtual visit is 100% covered.
  • HealthSelect Secondary participants pay 30% coinsurance after meeting the annual deductible.
  • Consumer Directed HealthSelect participants pay 20% coinsurance after meeting the annual deductible.
Nearly one in five U.S. adults lives with a mental illness (44.7 million in 2016), according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Not all those with mental illnesses get treatment, however. The NIMH finds that about a half of people with mental health issues try to cope with the disease on their own―and that can lead to other problems, such as substance abuse.
Fortunately, if you or someone you know has a mental illness, there are ways to get help. Treating mental illness is important to improving your physical health.

What can be treated

Licensed mental health professionals can provide treatment for:
  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • stress,
  • anger management,
  • insomnia,
  • substance abuse,
  • trauma and loss and
  • addiction. 
If you need assistance signing up for virtual visits or making an appointment, go to the virtual visits page on the HealthSelect website or call a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) Personal Health Assistant toll-free at (800) 252-8039, Monday–Friday, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. CT.


Community First Health Plans
If you or a covered family member needs mental or behavioral health assistance, or have a problem because of drugs or chemical dependency disorders, call (210) 358-6100 or toll-free at (877) 698-7032.
Community First has a broad network of mental health and substance abuse professionals who can see you right away and help you get treatment. Some substance abuse or mental health problems, such as severe depression, may also require urgent care. You can access a participating behavioral health provider without a referral from your PCP. See pages 10 and 18 of your member handbook for more information.
Scott and White Health Plan (SWHP)
Prior authorization may be required for you to get mental health, behavioral health or substance abuse services. Outpatient mental health therapy is covered as any other illness. For more information, see the Benefits Fact Sheet for PY2019.