8 Picks for Family-Friendly Online Psychiatry That Takes Insurance

See which companies we recommend to families looking to use their insurance benefits.

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Mental health professional taking notes during a counseling session

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When choosing an online therapy provider, we recommend that you read the company’s privacy guidelines before you sign up to better understand whether it is HIPAA-compliant and whether it shares any private information with third parties. There have been some concerns raised by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and several government officials about what user health information online therapy providers collect and what they do with any information they collect.

If you or your child have been struggling with a mental health condition, like depression, anxiety, OCD, or ADHD, and talk therapy hasn't been doing the trick, it might be time to consult a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are medical doctors that can prescribe medication—if they deem you're a candidate—to help treat whatever mental health condition you or your child is dealing with.

Unfortunately, it can sometimes be tricky to find a psychiatrist near you that treats families—and it can be even trickier to find one that accepts insurance so you don't have to pay hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket each session. In the US, only about 55% of psychiatrists accept insurance. But the good news is, there are online psychiatry companies that treat the whole family. So to help you find the best ones, we evaluated over 80 online services, surveyed 10,000 users, and tested some of the services ourselves. Here are the ones we recommend. 

Our Top Picks

Most Comprehensive: Talkiatry



Key Specs 

  • Price: Based on insurance coverage
  • Insurance Types Accepted: Accepts most insurance providers
  • Types of Psychiatry: Child (ages 5 and up), teen, adult

Why We Chose It 

Not only can Talkiatry treat parents and guardians, but it’s also one of the few online psychiatry providers that can also treat kids as young as age 5. What’s more, the service can refer you or your child for talk therapy through the company if your psychiatrist deems it helpful. All services are covered by insurance.  

Pros & Cons 

  • Provides psychiatry and talk therapy

  • Treats anyone age 5 and older

  • Follow-up visits are 30 minutes, longer than most

  • May be able to prescribe controlled substances

  • No cash-pay option; you must use insurance

  • Not available in every state


If you’re looking for an online psychiatry provider that will cater to your whole family (kids included), Talkiatry is our pick because it is the most comprehensive psychiatry service of any of the companies we evaluated. In fact, unlike the other online therapy services we researched and tested, it is the only platform that focuses almost entirely on providing online psychiatry to kids, teens, and adults—and all its services are covered by almost every major insurance provider, including Medicare and Medicaid. (You cannot pay out-of-pocket.)

What made Talkiatry stand out the most to us, though, is that its sessions are longer than at other providers: an initial visit lasts for 60 minutes, and follow-up visits last for 30 minutes. This ensures your provider can get all of the information they need to give you or your child an appropriate diagnosis and carefully evaluate any and all medication options that might be a good fit. It also allows Talkiatry to treat more conditions—such as ADHD—with the care and ethical prescribing practices you’d get at an in-person provider.

While Talkiatry focuses on psychiatry, if you or your child need talk therapy as part of your treatment, your Talkiatry provider will refer you to a therapist at the company. The service is available in every state except Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Talkiatry is one of the few online psychiatry companies that prescribes mental health medications that are considered controlled substances.

User Satisfaction 

In general, people are very happy with Talkiatry. Our survey found that 96% of users reported having a good overall experience and 97% reported that Talkiatry’s value was good, very good, or excellent. Eighty-seven percent of people said that they would recommend Talkiatry to a friend looking for similar services.

One of our testers, who was a dad, noted: “I felt like someone was actually taking the time to hear my concerns and listen to my needs.”

Best for Parents: Amwell



Key Specs  

  • Price: Self-pay $279 initial psychiatry visit, $109 per follow-up; talk therapy appointments $109 for a therapist with a master’s degree, $129 for a therapist with a doctoral degree
  • Insurance Types Accepted: 126 insurance plans including Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and UnitedHealthcare
  • Types of Psychiatry: Adult psychiatry; couples, family, and individual therapy for ages 10 and up

Why We Chose It

While it doesn’t offer psychiatry to kids, Amwell still made our list as our pick for parents because it treats many conditions that affect parents (such as postpartum depression), accepts more insurance plans than any other online psychiatry service we assessed, and offers flexible scheduling that’s perfect for parents so you can easily access the treatment you need on your own terms. 

Pros & Cons 

  • Night and weekend appointments

  • Available in all 50 states

  • Provides online therapy as well

  • Follow-up visits are only 15 minutes

  • Can’t provide psychiatry to people under 18


When a parent is dealing with an untreated mental health condition—including depression or anxiety—it can have an impact on the whole family. In fact, studies have shown that it can even impact your children well into adulthood. That's why we felt it was important to include Amwell on this list for families. As a telehealth provider that offers medical care and talk therapy to anyone 10 and up, as well as psychiatry (but only to adults, at least for now), we felt like it was a valuable resource for parents looking for psychiatric treatment for themselves.

If you're signing up for psychiatry specifically, you can find treatment for anxiety disorders, depression, PTSD, OCD, bipolar disorder, and insomnia, but Amwell providers cannot prescribe controlled substances including benzodiazepines, which are commonly used to treat anxiety, or Adderall, which is used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

It also offers night, weekend, and holiday appointments, making it easy to find time for your care even while balancing kids' busy schedules and/or work. It also accepts 126 insurance plans, which is the most insurance accepted of any other online psychiatry platform we looked at. (Plus the company says it plans to expand into child psychiatry in the future, so we think it is likely to stay a valuable resource to you as parents for a long time.)

User Satisfaction  

Overall, 88% of the users that we surveyed had a good, very good, or excellent experience with Amwell. Of people who chose Amwell for online psychiatry, 27% said that access to morning, evening, and weekend appointments was important to them, suggesting that Amwell is a good choice for parents who need flexible scheduling. Eighty-six percent of people said they found a provider that met all or most of their needs through the platform.

One of our testers called Amwell a great option for new parents thanks to its quick and easy sign-up process and usefulness as a one-stop shop for mental and physical health needs.

Best for Anxiety/Depression: Brightside Health



Key Specs 

  • Price: Plans cost $99-$349 per month when paying out of pocket
  • Insurance Types Accepted: Accepts Cigna, Aetna, Optum/UnitedHealthcare, Anthem CA, and Allegiance
  • Types of Psychiatry: Adult psychiatry and therapy, crisis care

Why We Chose It 

Parents have reported a dramatic increase in anxiety and depression symptoms in recent years. If that's something you're experiencing too, Brightside Health might be able to help because the company specializes in treating just anxiety and depression. 

Pros & Cons 

  • Offers psychiatry and talk therapy

  • Free self-care program included

  • Unlimited messaging between sessions

  • Evening and weekend appointments available

  • Works with limited insurance companies

  • Only treats adults

  • Doesn’t treat all mental health conditions


Unfortunately, depression and anxiety in parents can impact kids if it's left untreated. For example, research has found that depression in mothers can increase the risk of depression in their children, while depression in fathers has been linked to children’s poor school performance.

But treatment can make a big difference and Brightside Health, an online therapy and psychiatry provider, might be a good place to seek that treatment because it is highly specialized. It only treats people with depression and anxiety, which also happen to be some of the most common mental health diagnoses, especially among parents.

Brightside also works well for parents because it offers evening and weekend appointment slots, perfect for busy families. You can choose a medication management (psychiatry) plan, a therapy plan, or a medication and therapy plan. With therapy plans, you’ll have unlimited messaging with your provider, a great tool for parents who need to quickly ask questions or express concerns as they arise between appointments. 

Brightside is also in-network with these insurance providers in certain states:

  • Cigna
  • Aetna 
  • Optum/UnitedHealthcare 
  • Anthem CA
  • Allegiance

If your plan is not accepted, its out-of-pocket rates are relatively reasonable compared to the other providers we evaluated, ranging from $95 a month (for a psychiatry-only plan) to $349 a month (for a psychiatry and talk therapy plan).

User Satisfaction 

People who use Brightside Health really like it: 90% of users we surveyed had a positive experience with the platform overall and 86% had a positive view about the qualifications of providers on the platform. Of the users we surveyed, 51% used Brightside primarily to treat depression. Many of them, 28%, were looking for night and weekend appointments, which Brightside offers, making it a great fit for parents’ schedules.

“The service displays a consistently high level of care, both in the sessions themselves and the additional resources provided through the user portal," said one of our testers. "Its prescription policy is conservative yet appropriate, and its therapy sessions are short yet effective. I felt as though its system is a well-designed, well-oiled machine.”

Best for Alcohol Use Disorder: Monument


Key Specs 

  • Price: Plan starting at $10 a month (self-pay), plus $45 initial fee
  • Insurance Accepted?: Accepts Aetna, Anthem, Optum/UnitedHealthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare, and Cigna
  • Types of Psychiatry: Adult individual psychiatry and therapy, group therapy

Why We Chose It 

If you’re worried your alcohol use is impacting your family or your ability to parent, Monument can help, and you won’t even have to leave your home or kids. Monument treats alcohol use disorder with medications, online therapy, and community support, providing the wraparound care you need. 

Pros & Cons 

  • Provides medication, therapy and community support groups

  • Flexible plans and pricing

  • Accepts Medicare

  • Free, moderated peer support groups for parents and other groups

  • You must put in your insurance coverage to see if you’re covered

  • Somewhat limited insurance coverages


If you are a parent and feel like your drinking has spiraled out of control or is impacting your parenting, there is help available—and not just through AA. Monument can provide comprehensive telehealth support for alcohol use disorder by offering talk therapy, medication, moderated video support groups, and an anonymous forum where you can discuss the ways alcohol use impacts your parenting and other areas of your life. All of this is meant to provide a model of care similar to what you’d get at a residential rehab program, without leaving the house. 

To us, Monument stands out for offering lots of different ways to fight alcohol use disorder. Providers can prescribe two different types of medications: naltrexone, which curbs the urge to drink, and disulfiram, which makes you physically ill if you consume alcohol. Both of these can be prescribed online and shipped right to your house in discreet packaging. While we don’t want to encourage any shame or secrecy around alcohol use disorder, we know this is an important privacy concern.

Plus, of special interest to parents is Monument’s free therapist-moderated peer support group focused on “navigating moderation or sobriety as a parent,” which meets biweekly.

Monument is also in-network with several insurance providers, including Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Medicare, and Optum/UnitedHealthcare. The company offers a free community membership, which gives you access to video support groups and the community forum. If you decide to pay out-of-pocket, plans range from $10 to $249 per month depending on what services you sign up for.

User Satisfaction 

Overall, the Monument users we surveyed were very satisfied: 97% of users who had tried other therapy services in the past said Monument was better than other platforms. We didn’t ask the users we surveyed about substance use disorder, but 27% of users said family issues contributed to their decision to seek therapy. Depression, anxiety, and stress were also big concerns for Monument users. Seventy-three percent of users were able to find a provider that fit all or most of their needs. 

Best for BIPOC Communities: Mindful Care

Mindful Care

Mindful Care

Key Specs 

  • Price: $175 initial visit; $75 follow-up appointments (self-pay)
  • Insurance Types Accepted: Accepts most major insurance plans including Medicare
  • Types of Psychiatry: Individual psychiatry for ages 12 and up; individual and group therapy

Why We Chose It 

Mindful Care provides affordable, accessible psychiatry and therapy services to people 12 and older, with an emphasis on diverse providers and representation. 

Pros & Cons 

  • Same day psychiatric appointments

  • Psychiatric services for kids 12 and older

  • Diverse providers

  • Only available in five states

  • Therapy and substance abuse treatment is only available to adults


It can be tough to find a psychiatrist that looks like you or shares the same cultural background as your family. For example, only 2% of psychiatrists in the U.S. are Black. That's why we recommend Mindful Care: it is more diverse than most of the other 79 services we evaluated, which makes it so much easier for people to find providers that they can truly connect with. In fact, of the users we surveyed, 86% were satisfied with the diversity of providers at Mindful Care. 

That’s also not all Mindful Care has going for it. Parents who need to access care with little notice will appreciate that the company’s mission is to make psychiatric care accessible, with same-day appointments available any day except Saturday. And almost all patients are seen within 48 hours. Plus, the service can also be used to find your children treatment too: its psychiatrists treat anyone 12 or older.

The major downside to Mindful Care is that it’s currently only available to patients in six states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, and Michigan. Another small wrinkle is that evening appointment slots are limited, with the service closing at 6 p.m. However, Sunday appointments will work well for parents and kids whose weekdays are already full. 

Mindful Care also does take many insurance plans, including Medicare, though which plans are accepted varies by state. Among the plans accepted are Aetna, Beacon Options, Beacon Strategies, Cigna, Empire BCBS, GHI, HealthFirst, Humana, Humana Military, Medicare, Metroplus, Molina Affinity, Optum, Oscar, Railroad Medicare, UnitedHealthcare, UHC Oxford, UHC Student Resources, and UMR UHC. Out-of-pocket, initial psychiatric evaluations cost $175 and follow-ups cost $75.

If you are paying for services out-of-pocket, this is what Mindful Care costs:

  • $175 for a 40-minute initial psychiatric evaluation
  • $75 for a 20-minute psychiatric follow-up
  • $100 for a 40-minute individual therapy session
  • $50 for a 20-minute individual therapy session
  • $35 for a 60-minute group therapy session

User Satisfaction 

Mindful Care has a very high satisfaction rate, with 92% of users we surveyed reporting a positive experience. Diversity was well reflected, with 86% of users saying they were satisfied with the diversity of therapists and 61% saying the number of therapists who spoke a language other than English was good, very good, or excellent. Twenty-one percent of users said that, compared with other online providers, Mindful Care had more therapists from a similar background or culture to them. Our testers agree, with one noting that “Mindful Care is a great service for those who need same-day appointments to discuss particular issues and challenges.”

Best Directory: Alma

Alma Logo

Key Specs 

  • Price: Varies by provider
  • Insurance Types Accepted: Some insurance is accepted, but the specifics are set by each therapist
  • Types of Psychiatry: Child, teen, adult; most forms of therapy

Why We Chose It 

Alma is an online mental health directory, not a service like most of the other companies on our list, but we appreciate that it will handle all the billing through insurance for your once you find a psychiatrist you like for your family. Plus, it makes it super easy for you to find a provider that matches your needs. For example, you can filter providers by specialties such as “Infertility,” “Pregnancy/Postpartum,” “Parenting,” or "Pediatrics."

Pros & Cons 

  • Lots of filters to help you find the right provider

  • Can search for providers who specialize in parenting concerns

  • In-person or virtual appointments

  • Insurance coverage depends on the provider


If you want to do your research and find the best psychiatrist for your child (or yourself) by reading through bios, Alma makes that pretty easy to do. Unlike most other services on our list, Alma is a mental health directory, which means that it is a listing service of providers. When you go to its website, you can search through that list with the help of several filters, such as by degree (psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, psychologist, etc) and by specialty (including several related to parenting and learning/developmental disorders). You can also search for a psychiatrist that specializes in treating kids or teens by selecting “Pediatrics” under the specialty list.

There are other filters too, including insurance providers, therapist identity (such as their gender identity, sexual orientation, race, or ethnicity), languages spoken, and in-person or virtual care. You can also sort by providers with the soonest consultation availability.

What made Alma worthy of our list, though, was that in many ways it is more than just a directory. It also helps you with the most annoying part of seeking treatment: billing. It will help take care of some of the insurance paperwork, estimate your copay for you, and allow you to know exactly what you're going to pay before you even schedule your first session (which can also be done right through the site itself too).

The pricing at Alma is set by individual therapists, so you’ll need to look at the prices listed on the profiles of providers you’re interested in working with.

User Satisfaction 

In our survey, 84% of Alma users rated their experience with the service as good or very good overall, and 81% rated Alma’s therapist diversity as good or very good. In addition, 72% of users said they were able to find a provider who met all their needs on Alma, and 71% said they were still seeing that provider at the time of the survey. Finally, 75% of users surveyed reported they were satisfied or very satisfied with the provider options on Alma.

“Because most psychiatrists in this country do not accept insurance, finding an in-network provider is usually extremely difficult,” explains Hannah Owens, LMSW and subject matter expert. “The fact that Alma provides access to a long list of psychiatrists who accept insurance stands it apart from most online therapy companies and directories, and makes the search for an in-network psychiatrist exponentially easier and more reliable.”

Best for Postpartum Issues: Doctor on Demand

doctor on demand

 doctor on demand

Key Specs 

  • Price: $299 initial visit, $129 follow up for psychiatry (self-pay)
  • Insurance Types Accepted: Accepts insurance, including Medicare and commercial plans
  • Types of Psychiatry: Teen and adult psychiatry; child psychiatry available in some states; individual therapy

Why We Chose It 

Doctor on Demand provides treatment specific to postpartum depression and anxiety. It also offers teen psychiatry and therapy, and in some states, child psychiatry. Plus, it's also a general telehealth provider, which means it’s also a great resource for physical health concerns that can pop up after giving birth or while raising an infant.

Pros & Cons 

  • Psychiatry, therapy, and general telehealth services available

  • Specifically treats postpartum depression and anxiety, and stress from pregnancy loss

  • Teen therapy and psychiatry available; child psychiatry available in some areas

  • Has telehealth urgent care available 24/7

  • Must put in insurance info to see if you’re covered

  • Doctor visits are only 15 minutes, and you’re charged if they go over 

  • Only video appointments available


If you think you're struggling with postpartum depression (PPD), anxiety, or another mental health concern, Doctor on Demand is a great virtual resource. Not only are all its services entirely online—which means no dragging yourself and your newborn to an office—but many of its providers also specialize in treating a variety of postpartum conditions, including postpartum depression and pregnancy loss grief.

But Doctor on Demand didn't just make our list because it can help parents cope with postpartum mental health conditions. It's also a great resource for families. It offers psychiatry to teens in most states and, in some states, it offers psychiatry to younger kids as well.

We also love that Doctor on Demand provides physical health assessments. Recovering from birth and raising a newborn both bring up frequent health concerns. Doctor on Demand can help whether you’re dealing with ongoing postpartum mental health, coping with the onset of mastitis, or worrying about your infant’s fever. Once you have created an account with Doctor on Demand, you can access care at any time, thanks to the platform’s 24/7 urgent care system. Having a one-stop shop for health concerns is a lifesaver for tired new parents. 

Doctor on Demand reports it “works with many employers and health insurance plans,” but a list of accepted plans is not provided. You can only find out if your insurance is one of the companies it accepts during the sign-up process. 

Without insurance, Doctor on Demand can get pricey, especially if you’re looking to access psychiatry and therapy appointments; costs range from $79-$299 per session. Psychiatry visits at Doctor on Demand cost $299 for an initial 45-minute consultation and $129 for 15-minute follow-up visits. Therapy sessions cost $179 for 50 minutes or $129 for 25 minutes. Physical health visits cost $79 for a 15-minute visit. 

User Satisfaction 

Users that we surveyed really liked Doctor on Demand, with 94% reporting a positive overall experience and 92% saying that it was better than other telehealth providers they had used in the past. Most people felt the pricing at Doctor on Demand was fair, with 86% saying it provided good, very good, or excellent value for the money.

One of our testers noted: “Overall, I would recommend Doctor on Demand because of the quality of the services I received, its national reach, and the fact that it accepts insurance.”

Best for Kids: LifeStance Health

LifeStance Health

LifeStance Health

Key Specs 

  • Price: $75-$300 per session (self-pay)
  • Insurance Types Accepted: Accepts most commercial insurance
  • Types of Psychiatry: Child, teen, adult psychiatry; individual, group, and family therapy

Why We Chose It 

LifeStance Health provides online psychiatric services for kids, teens, and adults, giving the whole family access to care online. 

Pros & Cons 

  • Serves children (age 2 or older), teens, and adults

  • Offers family therapy

  • Accepts most commercial insurance plans

  • Not available in all states

  • Pricing info isn’t clear


LifeStance Health is one of the only online providers we evaluated that can serve the whole family. It can actually accept patients as young as age 2, although finding providers for younger children is often tricky in some states. This is a service that many other online psychiatry providers don’t offer. 

LifeStance Health also stands out for treating some conditions that other online psychiatry services won’t, including schizophrenia, substance use disorder, and eating disorders. It can be a good fit for people with serious conditions, as long as your mental health (or your child’s) is relatively stable. If you’re in crisis, in-person care is often a better fit. 

In addition to psychiatry services, LifeStance Health offers therapy that can benefit your whole family. The platform has family therapy sessions, as well as parent-child relationship therapy to build a stronger connection with your kids. Couples therapy is available too. 

LifeStance works with most commercial insurers, and there are many insurers listed on its site. The specifics vary by state, but these are some of the plans that Lifestance accepts: Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, Kaiser, Optum, and United Behavioral Health. If you pay out-of-pocket, the prices vary widely by provider, from $75-$300 per session.

One drawback to LifeStance Health is that its pricing is not clearly listed. We’ve found that sessions generally cost between $75 and $300, and LifeStance does not offer any discounted packages or subscriptions. To get more precise pricing information, you have to create an account, which includes inputting payment information. 

User Satisfaction 

Of the users we surveyed, 88% reported they had an overall positive experience with LifeStance Health, and 90% had a positive view of their therapist’s qualifications. LifeStance Health may be a good option for BIPOC folks and other marginalized groups, since 28% of users reported that the diversity of therapists on the platform was excellent. Eighty-eight percent of people said that their experience with LifeStance Health was better than their experiences with other, similar platforms they had tried in the past.

One of our testers concluded that: “There were some initial hiccups with trying to find the right provider and make an appointment, but LifeStance can be a great mental health tool for individuals, adolescents, and couples.” 

Final Verdict

Online psychiatry can make getting medications for mental health conditions easier for your family. The best online psychiatry services accept lots of insurance plans, treat multiple ages, are widely available, and offer night and weekend appointments to fit your schedule. If you’re looking for online psychiatry services for your child, Talkiatry and LifeStance Health are great options. Talkiatry knows what it's doing: it specializes in telepsychiatry, treats people as young as age 5, and only accepts patients via insurance. In addition, its longer appointments, highly qualified providers, and history of ethical prescribing practices allow parents to rest assured that care is reliable and safe. In the case of LifeStance Health, it can treat people as young as age 2, works with many insurance plans, and also offers family therapy online.

Since it accepts 126 insurance plans, Amwell is a good choice for parents looking for psychiatry for themselves and/or therapy for children over age 10. It’s available in all states, has night and weekend openings that are great for busy parents, and can work with your primary care provider to get you controlled medications that require an in-person visit, like benzodiazepines.

Compare the Best Online Psychiatry That Takes Insurance

Company Self-Pay Price  Insurance Accepted?  Types of Psychiatry 
Talkiatry Most Comprehensive Depends on insurance  Yes, most plans  Child (ages 5 and up), teen, adult
Amwell Best for Adults $279 initial psychiatry visit, $109 per follow up; talk therapy appointments $109 for a therapist with a master’s degree, $129 for a therapist with a doctoral degree  Yes, 126 types  Adult psychiatry; couples, family, and individual therapy for ages 10 and up
Brightside Health Best for Anxiety and Depression  Plans cost $99 to $349 per month  Cigna, Aetna, Optum/UnitedHealthcare, Anthem CA and Allegiance  Adult individual psychiatry and therapy, crisis care 
Monument Best for Alcohol Use Disorder  Plans start at $10 a month plus $45 initial fee  Aetna, Anthem, Optum/UnitedHealthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare and Cigna  Adult individual psychiatry and therapy, group therapy 
Mindful Care Best for BIPOC Communities  $175 initial visit; $75 follow up  Yes, most plans including Medicare  Individual psychiatry for ages 12 and up; individual and group therapy 
Alma Best Directory  Depends on the provider  Depends on the provider  Child, teen, adult; most types of therapy 
Doctor on Demand Best for Postpartum  $299 initial visit, $129 follow-up for psychiatry  Yes, many plans including Medicare  Teen, adult psychiatry; child psychiatry available in some states; individual therapy
LifeStance Health Best for Children and Teens  $75-$300 per visit  Yes, accepts most commercial insurance  Child, teen, adult  psychiatry; individual, group, and family therapy 
Talkspace Best Subscription Service  $249 initial psychiatric consultation, $125 follow-ups; therapy starting at $65 a week  Some, including Cigna and Optum  Adult; teen and adult individual therapy

Guide to Choosing the Best Online Psychiatry That Takes Insurance

There are various factors to consider when choosing which online psychiatry is best for you. These factors include:

  • Insurance coverage: Insurance can make accessing online psychiatry more affordable. In general, it’s best if a platform takes lots of insurance plans, but what matters most is that it accepts your specific plan. If you can’t find your plan listed on the company website and don’t want to create an account just to see whether or not you can even use the service, reach out to the company’s customer service or to your insurance provider. 
  • Price: The best online psychiatry services offer upfront pricing. Consider the price per visit, any discounts, and any fees that aren’t covered by your insurance. 
  • Scheduling: Find an online psychiatry service that fits your schedule, especially if you find that early morning, evening, or weekend appointments are more convenient for you. This can be especially important for working parents or for those seeking care for their child around school hours. 
  • Ages served: Before you sign up for a service, know who you’re seeking care for. Online psychiatry for younger children that also accepts your insurance may be difficult to find. Online teen psychiatry is slightly more common, and adult psychiatry is relatively plentiful. A service that can help everyone in your family is a great find even if you don’t think you all need care right now, but may need it in the future. 
  • Location: Even if psychiatric care is happening remotely, you need a provider who is licensed in your state. Not all platforms have providers in every state, so confirm you can use the service via customer service or the list of available states on the company website. 
  • Method of therapy: Most online psychiatry sessions are done via video visit. You may also be able to find telephone psychiatry visits, but there likely aren’t any online psychiatry by chat appointments. Especially for an initial psychiatric assessment for prescribing purposes, providers will want to see and speak to their patient before prescribing; many states require it
  • Medications available: Most online providers cannot prescribe controlled substances like benzodiazepines because of federal law. Some, like Amwell, will work with your primary care provider to help you access controlled substances that require an in-person visit.  

Who Is Online Psychiatry Right For? 

Online psychiatry is right for most people with mild or moderate mental illness. Parents who are struggling to access in-person care—whether it’s getting time off of work or caregiving, or finding and paying for childcare during appointments—should find getting care online much easier. Owens says online psychiatry can be particularly beneficial for families: “Online psychiatry services can give busy families access to affordable and convenient psychiatric care, without the hassle of wrangling the kids to commute to an office,” Owens says. “Fitting in sessions with a psychiatrist between extracurricular activities is much easier with an online platform that can be used just about anywhere with an internet connection.”

Online psychiatry is not a good fit for people with active suicidal ideation, or certain cases of eating disorders, substance use disorder, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder.

What Conditions Can Online Psychiatrists Treat?

Nearly all online psychiatry providers can address the mental health issues commonly faced by adults and children, such as depression, anxiety, postpartum/prenatal depression and anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, ADHD, and bipolar disorder. Some, like Monument, can help treat substance use issues. You’ll want to find a provider who is easily accessible in case you have questions about medication side effects in yourself or your child, or you want to discuss switching medications.

Most telepsychiatry services do not treat eating disorders, although some, like Amwell, will treat these conditions (often on a case-by-case basis). Most online provides cannot treat schizophrenia, or people who have ongoing suicidal ideation. You may be able to find a provider to treat less-common diagnoses on an online directory. Most online providers cannot prescribe medications labeled as controlled substances. These include Adderall and benzodiazepines, such as Xanax and Klonopin, which are commonly used to treat anxiety.

“Certain medications have limitations and might require in-person appointments in order to prescribe them,” says Amy Marschall, PsyD, a clinical psychologist.

What Are the Requirements for Insurance to Cover Online Psychiatry Services? 

Most insurance plans cover online psychiatry in the same way they would in-person treatment, Marschall says. Still, it’s always best to check the specifics of your plan. In most cases, an official diagnosis is required for insurance to cover mental health treatment, but you should reach out to your insurance provider to find out if other factors may influence your coverage.

“Insurance coverage varies and every plan is different,” she says. “I always recommend that people call their insurance company and ask about coverage. Currently, most plans are covering online psychiatry and therapy, but this can change.”

What Are Signs My Child Could Benefit From Therapy?

Any sudden changes in your child may be a sign that they could benefit from therapy or psychiatric care. These are some signs to look out for that may indicate your child needs professional assistance with their mental health: 

  • Constantly seeking information and/or reassurance
  • Changes in sleep patterns, hygiene, and/or eating habits
  • Disinterest in typically beloved activities
  • Keeping to themselves at home and/or school
  • Clinginess
  • Increased irritability or anger

It's also important to take note if your child's teacher or childcare provider mentions concerns about behavior, developmental progress, or academic performance. Sometimes, kids behave differently at school or feel more comfortable confiding in trusted adults who aren't their parents. Issues like anxiety, depression, and ADHD can have a big impact on school performance. Even if your child isn't ultimately diagnosed with a mental health condition, undergoing an assessment can be reassuring.

“If a child expresses that they need help, the adults in their life should listen and connect them with support,” Marschall says. “If you notice any extreme change in behavior, withdrawal, grades dropping, et cetera, they may benefit from meeting with a therapist to see what is going on.”

What If I'm Having Thoughts of Harming Myself?

If you are in crisis, having suicidal thoughts, or feel you may harm yourself, call 988, the national suicide and crisis lifeline. This is not the time to seek help through a therapy or psychiatry website. The trained staff at the suicide and crisis lifeline can help you address and deal with immediate mental health issues. This number is preferred over 911, where the person who picks up may have little training in mental health. You can also chat with the Lifeline online. If you are considering calling 988, please know that your local police department may be notified of the emergency and will often be the first to respond.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Is Online Psychiatry as Effective as In-Person Psychiatry?

    Yes. Online treatment can be effective for both adults and children. “For most people, online psychiatry services have comparable outcomes to in-person services,” says Marschall. Just like with in-person psychiatry, it’s important to find a provider that is a good fit for you. In addition, online psychiatry often works best when paired with therapy. 

  • Can an Online Psychiatrist Diagnose You and Prescribe Medication?

    Yes. Psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and physician assistants can offer a diagnosis and prescribe medication in person and via video appointment, though there are some restrictions around the types of medications providers can prescribe via telehealth. In the case of kids, you’ll want to look for an online provider who is specialized in treating children or adolescents. This may mean they have a subspecialty in pediatrics.

    “Providers such as psychiatrists (and, in some states, clinical psychologists) can provide diagnoses whether they are in-person or online,” says Owens. “It is not necessarily required to have a diagnosis already when seeking online psychiatric care.” However, some medications, including controlled substances used to treat anxiety, cannot be prescribed online in most cases.

  • When Should You See a Psychiatrist?

    You or your child should see a psychiatrist if you are living with a mental health condition that can be improved with prescription medication, such as depression, ADHD, or anxiety. Psychiatric care providers offer intake assessments, prescribing services, and medication management, while licensed therapists use research-backed therapeutic techniques, such as talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to manage your condition. When it comes to your child, watch out for signs of anxiety and depression such as trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, fatigue, uncharacteristically moody outbursts, and frequent headaches or stomachaches. Signs of ADHD include being easily distracted, forgetful, impulsive, or fidgety; constantly interrupting; and being unable to stick to tedious tasks, wait their turn, or follow multi-step instructions.

  • Who Will Treat Me at Online Psychiatry Services?

    Many online psychiatry services employ other health professionals who are also licensed to diagnose mental health conditions, prescribe medication, and help when you need to adjust medication. These include psychiatric nurse practitioners and physician assistants in addition to psychiatrists.

  • Does Insurance Cover Medication Prescribed During Online Psychiatry?

    This will depend on your plan, but in most cases, the coverage will be the same as it is for in-person psychiatry visits. Always check with your provider and your plan to have an understanding of the costs. 


To select the best online psychiatry that takes insurance, we surveyed 105 users at 55 of the most popular online therapy platforms and 180 users at 25 directories. We also tested many of these platforms ourselves, consulted three industry experts, and sent questionnaires to the companies themselves. We considered user experience, the availability of night and weekend appointments, and the overall costs when determining which services were best. We favored platforms that accepted a wide variety of insurance plans, were available across most of the country, addressed concerns relevant to parents, and accepted child or teen patients. We also assessed provider qualifications, appointment availability, and history of ethical prescribing practices. 

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