MIT Student and Affiliate Extended Insurance Plan

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) brings together bright, innovative students to learn, research, and discover. Part of the students’ success at these outcomes is staying both physically and mentally healthy. That’s one reason why MIT requires all students to enroll in their MIT Student and Affiliate Extended Insurance Plan. This health insurance plan was created in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield. Blue Cross Blue Shield is a large health insurance company that provides millions of people across the country with medical coverage. Under this plan, students have access to many mental health benefits — including therapy!

Does the MIT student health insurance cover therapy?

Yes, the MIT student health insurance plan provides coverage for therapy services. MIT believes that overall student wellbeing must include a focus on mental health, therefore it makes mental health services accessible for all.

Students enrolled in the MIT student health insurance plan can see an in-network or an out-of-network therapist for mental health services. This plan uses the Blue Cross Blue Shield provider network, as the MIT student health insurance plan is a Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO plan.

How do I check if my MIT student health insurance plan covers therapy?

To check if your MIT student health plan covers therapy services, look at your Summary and Benefits document. Here you’ll find a cost for each type of service, including therapy. This document lists out all of your copayment or coinsurance rates. To learn more about your therapy coverage, find the “mental health” or “substance abuse treatment” section, where you’ll find your coverage for outpatient services.

Example Blue Cross Blue Shield Student Health Insurance Summary of Benefits, with Outpatient Mental Health section highlighted.

If you cannot find this information through your Summary and Benefits document, try calling the phone number on the back of your insurance card where the customer service department will share with you the coverage available to you through your specific university’s plan.

How much does therapy cost with MIT student health insurance?

Therapy with the MIT student health insurance plan costs you nothing out-of-pocket whether you see an in-network or an out-of-network therapist. There is a 52 session limit for this rate, however — every session after that will cost a $5 copayment for in-network therapy or a 20% coinsurance for out-of-network therapy. With coinsurance, you’re responsible for 20% of the therapy costs (if your therapist charges $100, then you’ll pay $20 each session).

This cost may change across school years. To find the most accurate information on therapy costs, refer to your specific plan’s Summary and Benefits document.

What types of mental health conditions does the MIT student health insurance cover?

The MIT student health plan covers many mental health conditions, including those that are common in the student population. Blue Cross Blue Shield requires that each client receives a diagnosis from their therapist for reimbursement purposes. This diagnosis guides treatment and insurance coverage.

Examples of eligible mental health conditions include:

There are many more diagnosable — and reimbursable — mental health conditions, all of which the MIT student health plan covers.

What types of therapy does the MIT student health insurance cover?

The MIT student health insurance covers many different types of therapy provided by credentialed professional therapists. As long as your therapist provides an evidence-based, clinically rigorous therapy modality that is appropriate for the given diagnosis, you’ll receive coverage.

These evidence-based therapy modalities include, but are not limited to:

Often therapists blend their therapy approaches. As long as they meet Blue Cross Blue Shield’s requirements, their services are eligible for reimbursement.

What types of therapy does the MIT student health insurance NOT cover?

The MIT student health insurance only provides coverage for therapy costs associated with services that are evidence-based. This means that all treatment modality needs to have empirical research backing its efficacy.

The MIT student health plan does not cover life coaching and career coaching, as these disciplines are less based on evidence and are more reliant on goal-setting and achievement outcomes. There is also no coverage for holistic approaches to treatment like aromatherapy, massage therapy, reiki healing, or nutritional therapy. They also do not cover ketamine, psychedelic, or hypnosis treatments, even if the purpose of this treatment is for a mental health condition.

Does the MIT student health insurance cover online therapy?

Yes, the MIT student health plan offers coverage for online therapy. This opens the doors for many clients who aren’t able to physically attend therapy sessions each week, whether for a physical limitation or because of the constraints of a busy student schedule.

If you see an in-network therapist, your costs will remain the same whether you see your therapist in-person or online. However, to access teletherapy with an out-of-network therapist, you’ll have a 20% coinsurance each session.

Does the MIT student health insurance cover couples therapy?

No, the MIT student health plan does not provide coverage for couples therapy. Often, health insurance companies do not have mental health benefits for couples because of the lack of a reimbursable diagnosis, so it is not uncommon for this health insurance plan to deem couples therapy ineligible.

However, you can find couples therapy services through MIT’s student mental health and counseling center. There are also ways to access affordable couples therapy that doesn’t require health insurance coverage.

Do I need to see my primary doctor before starting therapy?

No, you do not need to see your primary care physician before starting your search for an excellent therapist. This is because the MIT student health plan is a PPO, meaning you do not need a referral for specialist services.

So when you’re ready to start your mental health journey, you’re all set with therapy coverage!