Does My Insurance Cover Couples / Marriage Counseling?

If you call the number on the back of your insurance card, you can ask them. Be careful, however. They typically will say that they cover couples counseling, but what they really mean is that they cover a situation where one of you is designated as “the patient” and that person must have a documented mental health diagnosis (e.g., anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder).

They will then allow the partner to be in the session, but only in support of a therapy that is focused on the “patient” dealing with their mental heath issues. My ethics will not allow me to send bills to the insurance company stating that this is the case, when the reality is that you are there together as equal participants, working together on your relationship.

There are some insurance companies who recently have shown a willingness to reimburse for actual couples/relationship counseling. To find out if yours is one of them, call the number on the back of your card, ask for benefits information and then specifically ask these two questions: “Do you reimburse for procedure code 90847? (This code indicates that there are two of you in the counseling office at the same time) and: “Do you reimburse for diagnosis code Z63.0?” (This code more accurately reflects what is happening and what will be the focus of counseling, i.e., “Relationship Distress with Spouse or Intimate Partner).