Mental health and physical health go hand in hand, so UC’s medical coverage includes behavioral health benefits for mental health services and substance abuse treatment. Members can use their behavioral health benefits for sessions with counselors, psychologists or psychiatrists to address issues such as:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Medication management
  • Autism and pervasive developmental disorders

Behavioral health and substance abuse coverage are provided by Optum for employees and retirees enrolled in:

Behavioral health and substance abuse coverage are provided by Anthem Blue Cross for employees and retirees enrolled in:

How behavioral health benefits work in HMO plans

  • Health Net Blue & Gold and WHA members may access care from Optum in-network providers. To ensure timely access to the right care, every member who calls Optum’s master’s-level intake team will be offered a thorough consultation, including a clear explanation of available benefits, referrals to appropriate providers and proactive support finding an available appointment.
  • Kaiser members may access care from Kaiser behavioral health providers or from Optum in-network providers. However, Kaiser and Optum do not coordinate care or costs of behavioral health services and each plan has specific requirements. Therefore, it is important to select behavioral health services carefully and follow all of the plan guidelines and authorization requirements for the behavioral health services plan you select.
  • You do not need a referral from your primary care provider to see a behavioral health provider, but some services require preauthorization. For information about your benefits and help finding a provider:
    • Optum — Call 888-440-8225
    • Kaiser (Southern California) — Call your local clinic or 800-900-3277 after hours
    • Kaiser (Northern California) — Call your local clinic or 925-229-7713 after hours

Plan costs for HMO members

Benefits are included in your medical plan premium. There is no charge for your first three routine office or telemental health visits; you will be charged a $20 copayment for each of your following visits.

How behavioral health benefits work in PPO plans

  • UC Health Savings Plan (HSP) and UC Care members have access to Anthem in-network providers.
  • Core, UC Care and UC HSP members also have access to out-of-network providers. If you choose to see an out-of-network provider, your costs will be higher and you may need to pay your provider directly for services and submit a claim for reimbursement.
  • Some services require preauthorization. For information about your benefits and help finding an in-network provider, call Anthem at 844-437-0486.

Plan costs for PPO members

Benefits are included in your medical plan premium. Charges for routine office or telemental health visits vary by plan and provider type:

  • Core
    • In-network — 20 percent coinsurance
    • Out-of-network — 20 percent coinsurance
  • UC Care
    • In-network — no charge for your first three visits, then $20 copayment
    • Out-of-network — 50 percent coinsurance
  • UC Health Savings Plan
    • In-network — 20 percent coinsurance
    • Out-of-network — 40 percent coinsurance

Medicare plans

Behavioral health benefits for Medicare plans are provided by Medicare and the plan.

Faculty and staff assistance programs

The faculty and staff assistance program (sometimes called an Employee Assistance Program) offered by your campus, medical center or lab offers free, confidential resources for emotional health — often available right on campus.