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Starting January 1, 2021, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) will begin managing mental health benefits for H-E-B Partners. You now have just one company to call for medical and mental health benefits questions, and one website to search for a medical or mental health provider or to view your claims.
As a covered H-E-B partner, you do not need a referral for any mental health services. To learn if your current mental health care provider will be in-network after January 1, or to find an in-network provider, search the Provider Finder or call the Partner Care Team at 1-866-432-7289.
Partner Guidance is still your Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This means that you are eligible for five free visits per issue per year with an EAP counselor before you use your mental health benefit managed through BCBSTX. You do not have to exhaust your EAP counseling sessions before accessing your BCBSTX mental health benefit. For more information about Partner Guidance call 1-888-327-4432.
If you see a counselor through the EAP and go beyond the five free visits, you can continue to see the same counselor using your BCBSTX mental health benefits with a $15 copay per visit. Specialty referrals and case management services for mental health issues will now be handled by mental health clinicians who are a part of the Partner Care Team. Your coverage includes care for many mental health concerns, including:
You can access mental health care without having to go through a doctor, BCBSTX or Partner Guidance first. Counselors, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists all may offer mental health care, but only psychiatrists or mental health nurse practitioners can prescribe medication. Counselors, therapists and psychologists offer traditional “talk therapy” or psychological testing, but they do not prescribe medication. Due to COVID, many mental health providers offer video or telephone visits—which are still covered under the $15 copay.
If you have questions about your mental health benefits, need help finding a mental health provider in the network, or have questions about a mental health claim, call the Partner Care Team.
The Partner Care team is available at 1-866-432-7289, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Spanish speakers are available.
Psychiatrist – A medical doctor (MD) with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional illnesses. A psychiatrist can prescribe medication, but they often do not offer counseling or therapy.
Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist – A medical doctor (MD) with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of emotional and behavioral problems in children. Child and Adolescent psychiatrists can also prescribe medication; however, they may not provide therapy.
Psychiatric or Mental Health Nurse Practitioner – A registered nurse practitioner with a graduate degree and specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional illness.
Your PCP, Physician’s Assistant or Nurse Practitioner (depending on your state) are often qualified to provide medication. The following mental health professionals can provide psychological assessments and therapy; however, cannot generally prescribe medications (although some states will allow it):
Clinical Psychologist (PhD) – A psychologist with a doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited/designated program in psychology and licensed by the State of Texas. Psychologists are trained to make diagnoses and provide individual and group therapy. They are also licensed to provide psychological testing, if indicated.
The following mental health professionals can provide assessment and counseling with proper training; however, they cannot prescribe medication:
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) – A counselor with a master's degree in social work from an accredited graduate program and licensed by the State of Texas. Trained to make assessments and diagnoses, provide individual and group counseling. They also can provide case management and advocacy, usually in the hospital setting.
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) – A counselor with a master's degree in psychology, counseling or a related field and licensed by the State of Texas. Trained to assess, diagnose and provide individual and group counseling.
Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) – counselor with a master's degree, with special education and training in marital and family therapy and licensed by the State of Texas. Trained to assess, diagnose and provide individual and group counseling.
Virtual Visits offer a convenient option for getting mental health care. With your Virtual Visits benefit, powered by MDLIVE®, the doctor is in 24/7/365. You can see a mental health specialist without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Virtual Visits allows you to consult an independently contracted, board-certified psychiatrist or licensed mental health professional for non-emergency situations by mobile app or online video anytime, anywhere. Schedule an appointment and speak to a provider at a time that works best for you.
To activate your account:
Partner communications and information from the program are not meant to replace the advice of health care professionals. Partners are encouraged to seek the advice of their doctor or mental health specialist to discuss their health care needs. Decisions regarding course and place of treatment remain with the Partner and their health care providers.
*Mental Health America, 2020
**Message and data rates may apply. Visit bcbstx.com/mobile/text-messaging.
Virtual Visits may not be available on all plans. Non-emergency medical service in Montana and New Mexico is limited to interactive online video. Non-emergency medical service in Arkansas and Idaho is limited to interactive online video for initial consultation.
MDLIVE is a separate company that operates and administers Virtual Visits for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. MDLIVE is solely responsible for its operations and for those of its contracted providers. MDLIVE® and the MDLIVE logo are registered trademarks of MDLIVE, Inc., and may not be used without permission.