Digital behavioral health leader Talkspace has announced the launch a new campaign, in partnership with Michael Phelps, to highlight coverage for over 40 million Americans. The goal of this partnership campaign is to promote access to affordable mental health services on a HIPAA-compliant web and mobile platform. Currently, Talkspace is covered by the nation’s largest health insurers, including Cigna, Optum, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Humana. Talkspace also offers coverage plans directly through employers, educational institutions and other large member organizations.
Talkspace connects customers to dedicated licensed therapists who engage daily through a secure app. Customers can also schedule live video sessions based on personal preference. Also, customers who are facing issues related to anxiety, depression, and burnout, and/or who are experiencing substance use or obsessive-compulsive disorders, will also have broader access to virtual treatment services through an expanded network of providers.
I know how challenging it can be to ask for help and I want to encourage others who may be dealing with mental health challenges that access to help is much easier and more affordable now. Eliminating barriers to therapy is an important step and I’m excited to share that Talkspace online therapy now covers 40 million people through their health insurance or employer.Michael Phelps, Talkspace Ambassador
Digital Behavioral Health Outlook
Historically, clinical treatment for mental health conditions has been out of reach for many due to the low number of in-network options. In the recent survey by Talkspace and Qualtrics, respondents cited cost and lack of insurance coverage as two of the top three barriers to starting therapy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in unprecedented levels of anxiety and isolation. In April 2020, one study found that 13.6% of US adults reported symptoms of serious psychological distress, relative to 3.9% in 2018. In Rock Health’s 2020 Midyear Digital Health Market Update, digital behavioral health companies received $588M, roughly the annual funding for this segment in any previous year (total behavioral health funding in prior three years was 2019: $539M, 2018: $658M, 2017: $273M). Given the lack of access to care and mental health professional shortages in many parts of the United States, particularly rural areas, digital behavioral health care will be an increasingly important strategy for managing mental health care needs.
COVID-19 has eliminated the option to engage in in-person therapy for many, and telemedicine has emerged as a safe solution for both patients and providers. To further adoption among healthcare providers and its members, insurers are supporting digital health services that can be accessed from the convenience and safety of one’s home. This is crucial for health care, particularly as the long-lasting mental health effects of the pandemic begin to set in, likely far outlasting the physical symptoms that hundreds of thousands are tragically suffering from.
Talkspace’s growing relationship with insurers comes at a time when COVID-19 has further heightened the need to access behavioral health care services remotely. In May 2020 health insurer Cigna added Talkspace to its behavioral provider network, allowing its 14 million customers enrolled in employer-sponsored plans the ability to private message with licensed therapists, who are available on-demand. Cigna joined many of the nation’s largest health insurers, including Optum, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Humana, that now have in-network agreements with Talkspace.
We are living in the worst mental health crisis of our lifetime, where we experience political, social, and financial stressors daily. People need same-day access to care right now, and our hope with this campaign is to educate the public around the options available to them for more affordable mental health care.Oren Frank, Talkspace founder and CEO
Talkspace is a digital platform that connects thousands of licensed therapists and psychiatrists with people seeking mental healthcare. As a digital healthcare company, all care is delivered through an easy-to-use and HIPAA-compliant web and mobile platform. Today, the need for therapy feels more urgent than ever, and when seeking treatment, whether it’s psychiatric, adolescent, or couples therapy, Talkspace has treatment options for almost every need. With Talkspace, clients can send their dedicated therapists text, video, and voice messages anytime, from anywhere, and engage in live video sessions. To date, over 2 million people have used the service, and over 40 million lives are covered for Talkspace through insurance.