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BetterHelp Cost and FAQ (Continuously Updated)

BetterHelp Cost and FAQ (Continuously Updated)

Updated April 4, 2020

Over the course of the last 3 years, we have had three of our researchers use BetterHelp as clients for at least a month each. We also regularly monitor user-feedback around the internet to keep you in touch with everything you need to know. Here are the answers to the most common questions people have.



OpenCounseling is user-supported. We should note that BetterHelp and Regain are affiliate partners of OpenCounseling and we earn a commission if you subscribe to them after you follow a link from this site. We take objectivity seriously. We never accept gifts and pay for all our subscriptions out of our own pocket. You can learn more about our policies regarding affiliates here.



How Much Does BetterHelp Cost?

BetterHelp's standard plan costs $260 per month. For more complete details see below:

BetterHelp's Pricing April 2020

BetterHelp also offers financial aid for people who qualify. When you sign-up and are choosing your subscription level, you are given the opportunity to apply. The application process is fairly straight-forward and seems to be based on you giving a good-faith representation of your ability to pay.

BetterHelp does not limit the number of live sessions, but rather you and your therapist arrive at a mutually agreed number. In our experience, we were able to get one live session per week. With some therapists these were 30 minute sessions, with others it was 60 minutes. 

When it comes to messaging, we found that most therapists would respond once or twice a day to our messages. Most therapists will tell you up-front when you start counseling with them what level of responses you can expect with them.

To sign up with BetterHelp click here.


Is BetterHelp Really Cheaper?

This depends on your circumstance. If you are seeing an in-network therapist provider with your insurance, your insurance co-pay will typically be cheaper than BetterHelp. However, if you are seeing an out-of-network provider or you are paying out-of-pocket, BetterHelp is typically much cheaper. There are many factors to consider though:

  • You may not be able to use your insurance. Insurance will only cover treatment of a mental illness (such as depression or anxiety). Many people see a therapist to enhance their life and do not have a mental illness that will be covered. 
  • BetterHelp can be a bit of a lottery in terms of how many sessions you will have with your therapist each month. It is hard to compare apples-with-apples.
  • Your treatment may be more effective in-person. A shorter treatment may make up for a more expensive price.

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Is Online Counseling with BetterHelp Effective?

The answer is a qualified probably. There is a lot of research supporting the effectiveness of online therapy. Most of it is positive and most therapist report using phone or video sessions regularly in their practice. This however does not tell the full story.

If you see a therapist by video, it can feel very similar to an in-person session with a therapist. However there is a lot lost when people do not share the same physical space. Therapy has intimacy at its core and this takes a huge hit when people are separated by screens. Image how different your experience will be spending face-to-face time with your significant other verses Skyping with them. 

What explicitly should be warned about is doing therapy by text-message alone. The American Psychological Association issued a strongly worded statement saying that "there is no research suggesting that texting alone is an effective modality for psychotherapy". Text messaging can be comforting, and may form part of therapy, but should never be a substitute for more substantial communication. BetterHelp offers multiple ways of talking to your therapist  including video, voice, live-chat and also text-messaging. We would recommend using video or voice for the majority of your therapy.


What Reviews Exist for BetterHelp?

The most complete review we have ever found has been done by us (ahem) and can be found here.

It is difficult to find objective reviews from clients of BetterHelp. We place the most trust on sources such as reddit.


BetterHelp vs Talkspace: Which is Better?

In our comprehensive review of both services we found BetterHelp to be the better provider. We should note that both companies are affiliate partners of OpenCounseling. Please read our review of both services to learn why.

We were not able to find any other reviews that seemed credible. There are several other reviews that exist on the internet, but they seem to be very surface level at best. The closest we found was the perspective of a therapist who worked with both platforms in this podcast.


Does BetterHelp Accept Insurance?

No, BetterHelp does not accept insurance. Insurance has been slow to catch up with advances in online therapy delivery. Also, BetterHelp clinicians are unable to specifically diagnose disorders, which is a requirement for insurance billing. If you are seeing an in-network therapist provider with your insurance, your insurance co-pay will typically be cheaper than BetterHelp. However, if you are seeing an out-of-network provider or you are paying out-of-pocket, BetterHelp is typically much cheaper.


Can I Choose My Therapist with BetterHelp?

When you sign-up for BetterHelp in the normal way, you will be matched with a therapist based upon a questionnaire you fill in. The questionnaire asks you questions such as your preference of therapist's gender, religious orientation and language. It also asks what issue you are seeking help with. They appear to use this to match you with a therapist who may be a good fit.

There is a "secret" way of choosing your own therapist though. First visit their home page, scroll all the way to the bottom. In the footer there will be a faint link that says "Find a Therapist". From there choose you state. You will be shown a selection of therapist to choose from who are licensed in your state. You can read their profile and then sign-up with the specific therapist that feels right for you. Bonus tip: They only show you 20 therapist on the page, but if you refresh your browser then you can see an updated list.

Which of these techniques you use is up to you. If you are more hands-on, you may like to choose your own therapist. Some people like the ease and simplicity of using the questionnaire to be matched, In either case, rest assured that it is very easy to switch therapist with BetterHelp if you are not satisfied with your first selection.



What Happens if My Therapist is Unavailable or is On Vacation?

One of the complexities of a subscription based therapy service is that you will be charged even if your therapist is unavailable. We encountered this once when we were trying the service. We are happy to say that it just took a quick email to customer service for our subscription to be extended to compensate for the lost time.

Visit BetterHelp

Does BetterHelp Offer a Refund?

We found it depends on the reason you are requesting a refund. In general, we found the customer service to be very accommodating and genuinely want to make you happy (and we assume keep you as a subscriber).

  • Once we signed up for a month, but were unsatisfied and after a week. Customer service was prepared to refund the unused portion of the month.
  • Once we signed up and were matched to a therapist. We liked the therapist, but she was not available to see us during the first week of our subscription. Customer service extended our subscription to compensate for the lost week.
  • In another case our therapist was on vacation and so could not offer therapy for a week. In this case they extended our subscription for a week.
  • In one pleasantly surprising case, we were on BetterHelp's sister site Regain (which concentrates on couples counseling). We were unsatisfied with the first two counselors and were trying to switch to a third. In this case, we were automatically given an extra week added to our subscription without us even contacting customer service.

Like all mental health treatment, there is no guarantee that you will get the results you are hoping for. However our experience suggests that BetterHelp's customer service wants you to be satisfied and will work with you to make things right.


Is BetterHelp Free?

Unfortunately BetterHelp is not free (see the question above for details of their current pricing). The therapists who work with BetterHelp receive part of your subscription cost and BetterHelp takes a portion for providing the platform and infrastructure.


Are There Free Online Therapy Alternatives to BetterHelp?

There are none that we know of. There are some websites that offer "trained listeners", but not actual therapy from licensed therapists.

It is possible that you may find a local in-person provider who will see you for an affordable rate or free. Usually your rate will depend on your ability to pay and severity of symptoms. Please visit our home page to search for providers in your area. You can also consider reviewing our guides for state-funded counseling. With COVID-19 distancing measures in place, it is very possible that these providers will offer to do sessions remotely.


What Sort of Financial Aid Does BetterHelp Offer?

Our users report discounts between 10% and 40% per month. Some reported that they would need to reapply for financial aid on a monthly basis, while others reported that the fee decrease seemed permanent. When you sign-up for BetterHelp it will take you through a series of questions. When you reach the screen where you need to enter your payment details, there will be an option to apply for financial aid. The application process is fairly straight-forward and seems to be based on you giving a good-faith representation of your ability to pay.

To sign up with BetterHelp click here.


Why Should I Choose BetterHelp Over a Independent Therapist Offering Online Therapy?

There are many excellent therapists who offer therapy over the internet. Some of these therapists choose to use BetterHelp as the platform for delivering therapy, while others use different platforms such as Zoom or Skype.


Some reasons to choose a BetterHelp affiliate therapist:

  • It is quick and easy to start therapy.
  • BetterHelp will probably be cheaper. This is because insurance typically does not cover online therapy.
  • BetterHelp offers a secure integrated HIPPA compliant platform where you do all of your communication. Independent therapists are notorious for using insecure means of delivering therapy such as the consumer version of Skype.

Some reasons to use an independent therapist who offers online therapy:

  • There is a far greater range of therapists you can choose from. This can include ones that offer specializations that may be particularly important to you.
  • It is possible that you may be able to claim from you insurance company for sessions. Especially with COVID-19, insurance companies are becoming more open to reimbursing online therapy.
  • BetterHelp's rates are pretty good if you use the service regularly. However some people only want to see a therapist once-or-twice a month. Also, many people want to taper off the frequency of their sessions later in their therapy. This can be difficult with a flat-rate subscription like BetterHelp, and can make you feel "locked-in".


Does BetterHelp Offer Couples Counseling?

BetterHelp has a sister site called ReGain, where both partners in a couple can do counseling together. We have published a review of Regain here.


How Do I Reach BetterHelp Customer Service?

If you are an existing client, the easiest way is through the app or by logging onto their website. You can also call BetterHelp customer service at (888) 688-9296. Their email address is contact@betterhelp.com.



OpenCounseling is user-supported. We should note that BetterHelp and Regain are affiliate partners of OpenCounseling and we earn a commission if you subscribe to them after you follow a link from this site. We take objectivity seriously. We never accept gifts and pay for all our subscriptions out of our own pocket. You can learn more about our policies regarding affiliates here.


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