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Does Your Health Insurance Cover Marriage Counseling?

Agnus Smith | Published: June 14, 2018

Couple marriage counseling

Contrary to popular belief, divorce rates in the US have been declining for the last 3 years, and we are now seeing the lowest divorce rates in nearly half a century.

There is some debate surrounding the reason for the recent decline, but experts give credit to two factors. The first being that younger generations are waiting longer to get married, and the second being that couples aren’t using marriage as a way to stabilize rocky relationships.

While the latest marriage trends are warming the hearts of the romantics in all of us, divorce rates are still lingering between 40% to 50%. Sorry to ruin this magical moment. However, there is a silver lining.

The stigma surrounding couples counseling is pretty much nonexistent at this point, and more couples are seeking out therapy to salvage their marriage. While saving your marriage may be priceless, we’re still going to help you get a general idea of marriage counseling costs.

Will Your Health Insurance Pay For Marriage Counseling?

No, your health insurance most likely will not cover marriage therapy. The reason being that your health coverage only covers counseling for your mental health, and marriage counseling just doesn’t fall under that category. However, there may be high-end health insurance plans in your area that do cover couples counseling, so it's worth speaking to an agent in your area to find affordable quotes. Enter your zip code here to learn more. 

Family therapy, on the other hand, is likely covered under your plan. Family therapy is different from marriage counseling because it is used to deal with medical problems that interfere with the lives and well-being of the family, such as mental health.

Family therapy has been successful in resolving conflicts parents have within their relationship, along with any child behaviors that may put a strain on marriages. This may be a good first step before seeking out marriage counseling.

If you really want to push the lines, you can seek a therapist who is willing to see you and your partner. Many therapists have experience working with couples, but it’s also worth noting that you may not get the same quality of counseling you would from an experienced marriage therapist.

Is Marriage counseling Covered By Tricare?

No, family therapy is covered under Tricare, but couples counseling is not. Just like with most health insurance plans, Tricare only covers behavioral health. Most likely, your Tricare provider will just point you in the direction of affordable marriage counseling that you would have to pay for out-of-pocket.

Can I Use My Health Savings Account To Pay For Marriage Counseling?

You can use your Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay for marriage counseling, but you will probably have to pay taxes for the money you withdraw.

You can learn more about eligible expenses for your HSA here, but in short, since marriage counseling is not considered a mental health service, it is not considered an eligible HSA expense. Since you put money into your HSA tax-free, the sole purpose of your funds must be for medical expenses. If you take any money out for purposes other than eligible medical expenses, you will have to pay taxes on it.

How Much Does It Cost To See A Marriage Counselor?

Marriage counseling will typically run you anywhere from $50 per session on the low end, to over $200 per session on the higher end. It really depends on the quality of care you are seeking, and the experience of counselor you go with. On average, couples go to 12 counseling sessions, which means you will be spending anywhere from $600 to over $2400 total, so marriage counseling costs can add up.

It’s safe to say that finding affordable couples counseling isn’t so farfetched. While you always want to choose the best option for the sake of your marriage, there are quality options that won’t break the bank.

For example, someone who is just starting out in the industry, like a counseling intern or early career clinician, you may get away with paying around $40 per session. Make sure to shop around and do your research if you truly want to find affordable marriage counseling.

Is Couples Counseling Worth It?

Yes, even if you’re in a happy, healthy, loving relationship, you can benefit from couples counseling. Couples therapy can help resolve bubbling issues before they overflow, and create a safe and open communication channel leading to a long and healthy marriage.

If you’re going through a rough patch with your partner, it’s also a good idea to seek counseling. The mistake you don’t want to make is waiting too long. If you want a real chance at working through your marital problems, the worst thing you can do is wait until your marriage is already deteriorating.

At the end of the day, this question can really only be answered by you. Ask yourself this simple question, “Do I want to work on my marriage?" If you answered yes, then seeing an experienced, unbiased professional is definitely worth it.

What Is The Success Rate Of Marriage Counseling?

Define success. If you look at the numbers, about 25% of couples report they saw their relationship deteriorate after couples counseling, and around 38% of couples end up divorcing within a few years of marriage counseling, but there's more to it.

Is your goal to solve all your marriage problems? Are you looking for the courage to end your marriage? Successful marriage counseling may not save your marriage, but it will give you the results that work best for you.

The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists have done research on success rates and found about 97% of couples got the help they were looking for. However, the help they were looking for may not lead to a successful marriage. If the problems are too big to overcome, like infidelity, for example, therapy can give you and your partner the tools to walk away amicably.