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

All UC health plans also offer phone and/or video options for getting behavioral health advice and care. 

Behavioral health and substance abuse coverage are provided by Managed Health Network (MHN — a Health Net company) for employees and retirees enrolled in UC Blue & Gold HMO.

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

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

  • UC Blue & Gold HMO members may access care from MHN in-network providers.
  • 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:
    • MHN — Call 800-663-9355
    • 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 800-464-4000 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 for CORE, UC Health Savings Plan and UC Care

  • CORE, UC Care and UC Health Savings Plan (HSP) members have access to Anthem in-network providers.
  • 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

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 only; 20 percent coinsurance after meeting deductible
  • 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 and substance abuse coverage are provided by Kaiser for those enrolled in Kaiser Permanente Senior Advantage.

Behavioral health benefits for those enrolled in UC High Option Supplement to Medicare, UC Medicare PPO or UC Medicare PPO without prescription drugs are provided by Medicare and by Anthem Blue Cross. Members are covered for outpatient services not covered by Medicare from all in- and out-of-network licensed behavioral health providers, including psychiatrists, psychologists, MFTs and MFCCs. Please check with your provider to be sure they are available under this plan.

The UC Medicare Choice plan provides coverage for mental health services provided by a state-licensed psychiatrist or doctor, clinical psychologist, clinical social worker, clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, state-licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) and Marriage, Family, and Child Counselors (MFCCs) and other Medicare-qualified mental health care professional as allowed under applicable state laws. Both individual and group therapy sessions are covered for a $20 copayment per session.

The UC Medicare Choice plan also provides coverage for services obtained from licensed behavioral health providers who do not participate with Original Medicare. If you receive covered services from non-Medicare participating providers, you will pay upfront for the services received, and then submit a reimbursement request to UnitedHealthcare®. UnitedHealthcare will reimburse the total amount you paid minus the $20 copayment. UnitedHealthcare network or Medicare-participating providers will submit claims directly to UnitedHealthcare and you will pay your copayment to the provider directly.

Inpatient services are also covered.

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.