Does UC SHIP Cover Therapy for Mental Health Issues?
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Mental health issues are rampant in every age range across the United States. If you’re a college student struggling with your mental health, you may put off seeking the therapy that you need due to financial reasons. But there’s a health insurance plan available to more than 200,000 students in the Golden State.

University of California students have access to the UC SHIP insurance plan. UC SHIP insurance covers a number of services, including therapy, for students signed up for the plan. This provides an opportunity for University of California students to improve mental health issues that are interfering with their quality of life. It helps to ensure that every UC student can prioritize their mental health so they can thrive both inside and outside of the classroom.

We’ll talk about the basics of UC SHIP, the benefits that therapy can offer UC students, and how Lightfully U provides an additional therapy option covered by the UC SHIP plan. 

The rundown on UC SHIP services (including therapy)

UC SHIP stands for University of California’s Student Health Insurance Plan. It’s a self-funded student health benefit plan for every undergraduate and graduate student in the UC system. Every student is automatically enrolled into UC SHIP, regardless of the campus that they attend. The fee shows up as a separate charge in your student billing account.

UC SHIP covers nearly every facet of health care, including:

  • Medical treatment
  • Behavioral health
  • Vision
  • Dental
  • Pharmacy

US SHIP is compliant with the requirements outlined by the Affordable Care Act and works alongside the care provided by the Student Health Services available on campus. 

UC SHIP has partnered with Lyra, which is a network of mental health resources, including virtual therapy. It allows students to have 24/7 access to licensed clinical therapists to help alleviate their mental health disorder symptoms and work through issues that are interfering with their overall well-being. UC SHIP covers both inpatient and outpatient services.

The benefits of seeking therapy for mental health issues

If you’ve started to explore the option of therapy through UC SHIP, it’s likely that your mental health has started to impact every aspect of your life. There are many different treatment options that can help to alleviate the symptoms of your mental health issues, but therapy is a staple of nearly all treatment plans.

Therapy can provide UC students with a variety of benefits that can help move you along your mental health journey while working toward your degree. The benefits of talking with a clinical therapist include:

  • Learning about the root issues behind your mental distress 
  • Talking through the daily issues that contribute to your symptoms
  • Developing long-term skills and coping mechanisms
  • Learning how to balance your mental health with schoolwork and other responsibilities

Lightfully U: A Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program covered by UC SHIP 

While it’s wonderful that UC SHIP allows students to have access to a large network of therapists, you might be looking to explore other treatment options. That’s where Lightfully U comes in.

Lightfully U provides mental health care from the comfort of your bedroom or dorm through our Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program, or vIOP. It helps you work through your mental health distress and disorder symptoms through therapy and structured programming.

Both UC SHIP and Lightfully U offer virtual therapy sessions for those struggling with mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. But for many students, the providers available through UC SHIP may not be the right fit for a student’s specific needs.

It’s possible that you need more intensive care than UC SHIP-covered therapists are able to provide, or you think that you would benefit from a more comprehensive program. Lightfully U helps you explore your mental health disorder symptoms in a variety of modalities, including one-on-one, group and family support sessions.

In the case that your own health insurance is a more cost-effective option for you than UC SHIP, Lightfully U is covered by more than a dozen popular health insurance carriers.

Lightfully U can provide therapy for mental health issues outside of UC SHIP coverage

With mandatory enrollment in UC SHIP, students may be limited to the type of therapy that they have access to. If you realize that UC SHIP isn’t the right fit for you, Lightfully U is here to make sure that your mental health doesn’t fall by the wayside. UC students should explore the evidence-based, clinical mental health care provided in our Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program.

Change is possible. When you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.

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