Step 1. Find Your Insurance Card

If you do not have your card at JMU, ask your parent or guardian to text you a photo of the front and back of the card.

Step 2. Call Your Insurance Company

Call the number on your card for mental health services. The phone number is likely on the back of your card and may be listed under ‘behavioral health services’. 

Step 3. Get Information about Your Benefits

After dialing the mental health services phone number, you will speak with a representative from your insurance company. They will ask you to verify some information to ensure that you are the individual covered by the insurance plan. When they ask why you are calling you can say, “I want to find out what my benefits will cover for outpatient counseling.”

  • Some insurance plans require a payment for each visit you make to a provider. Ask how much you will pay per session; this is called a ‘co-pay’.
  • Some insurance plans have an amount that you have to pay out of your pocket first; this is called a “deductible.” Once you pay that amount your insurance company will cover part or all of your visit depending on your coverage. 
Step 4. Find In-Network Providers

Ask your insurance company for assistance with finding a mental health provider.

  • If you are looking for someone to talk with, ask for a list of in-network clinicians (Counselors and/or Psychologists).
  • If you are looking for someone who can prescribe medication, ask for a list of in-network Psychiatrists or PCPs.
Step 5. Call Providers for an Initial Appointment

Start by calling one or two of the providers on your list. You may need to call more than one, especially if the first provider doesn’t return your call within 24-48 hours. If you need a clinician and a Psychiatrist, you will need to call people from both lists.

Prior to the phone call

  • Find a private, quiet space you can be in for at least 10-15 minutes
  • If applicable, have your insurance card available 
  • Have in mind/Write down your availability and/or have your calendar open
  • Keep a pen and paper in hand to take any notes, directions, instructions

For the initial phone call

  • Introduce yourself: “My name is …. And I’m interested in talking with someone.”
  • Identify general topics you are wanting services for: “I’m seeking counseling for depression/anxiety/stress/family issues/academic problems
  • If you are comfortable doing so, you can mention being referred to their office: “I was provided your contact information from the JMU Counseling Center.”
  • Be prepared to answer the other following questions:
    • Do you have a preference for male/female clinician (if calling a group practice)?
    • Do you have insurance? If so, what kind? (they may take your insurance information at this time)
    • When are you available? (ex., “I’m most available on Mondays and Wednesdays after 11:00am.”)

Leaving a Voicemail- Remember to speak slowly and clearly. Provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Why you’re seeking services (only need to provide general topics)
  • How you intend to pay (insurance or out-of-pocket)
  • Availability
  • Leave your phone number
  • Be sure your voice mailbox is set up and not full
Insurance FAQ's

Visit our Insurance FAQs page to learn more about insurance coverage.

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