6 top reasons to try virtual therapy right now
The new video-based teletherapy service brings anxiety and depression treatment to the privacy of your home.
Last year, as the pandemic bore down, Americans began looking for mental health care in record numbers. Unfortunately, many of those people were unable to find the help they needed.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly half of the 60 million people living with mental health conditions in the U.S. go without treatment. There simply aren’t enough therapists, psychologists or psychiatrists to meet the demand.
To help people access convenient, affordable care, Optum is now offering online mental health treatment through Care on the Optum Store. This new virtual health platform offers both therapy and medication services. What does that mean for you? Keep reading to learn how we can help support your wellness journey.
1. Care on the Optum Store makes anxiety and depression treatment accessible
Right now, Care on the Optum Store is focused on the areas where help is needed most. Specifically, it provides medication and virtual therapy for anxiety and depression. An online screening form will help determine if you’re a good fit for the treatment our providers offer. (For people who suffer from bipolar disorder, we have information on treatment here.)
The benefit of virtual care is that you can make it work with your schedule, no matter where you are. It removes barriers such as transportation and finding parking, and it’s easier to slot in alongside work or childcare. All you need is an internet connection.
2. Care on the Optum Store offers real-time, face-to-face therapy
The new service conducts therapy sessions over live video calls. Experts generally agree that this results in better outcomes than less personal forms of virtual therapy, such as those that rely on texting. By using video, patients and therapists can read body language and hear voice inflections in real time.
3. The treatment follows you when you travel or move
Care on the Optum Store is available in every state. That means you can find a therapist or doctor to meet with you no matter where you’re located. Better yet, you can continue with therapy uninterrupted while you travel.
4. You can try out therapists until you find one you love
All of the professionals in the Care on the Optum Store network go through a lengthy training process and are continually evaluated to make sure they’re providing patients with top-notch care. That said, we recognize that treatment is personal. And it’s most effective when you find a therapist you’re comfortable with.
Upon signing up for care, you can read therapist profiles to find a professional you like. You’ll see information such as license status and areas of specialization. And after you make a choice, you’re free to change your mind. If you don’t click with the therapist you’ve chosen, you can try someone else.
Once you find a provider you love, you’ll be able to meet weekly to establish consistency.
5. Simplified billing eliminates additional stress
Care on the Optum Store does not work with insurers, which allows us to keep costs low and billing simple. Each plan (listed below) operates on a flat monthly fee — and that’s exactly what your care will cost you. You’ll never receive a surprise bill after your appointment.
6. Care on the Optum Store allows you to buy only what you need
You have 3 subscription models to choose from, and you can change your plan at any time.
Medication and Support
$9 for the first month; $59 per month after
What you get:
- Consultation with a doctor or nurse practitioner who is licensed to write prescriptions in your state
- Virtual follow-up visits as needed
- Prescription renewals and refills
- Prescription costs as low as $9 per month
- Free medication delivery
$259 for the first month; $309 per month after
What you get:
- A weekly 50-minute therapy session with a licensed provider
- Option to switch therapists until you find the right fit
Therapy, Medication and Support
$309 for the first month; $359 per month after
What you get:
- The full Medication and Support plan, plus the full Therapy plan
All plans include unlimited messaging with the Mental Health Care Team, which is there to support your subscription. The team is composed of medical assistants who can help you resolve various problems, such as trouble finding a therapist you love.
And don’t forget, you can always access discounted medication with Optum Perks. Just download our mobile app, type in your prescription and see what kind of coupon pops up.