What Does BetterHelp Cost? (2023)
BetterHelp is a subscription service that bills every 4 weeks and costs between $240 and $360. How much you pay depends on where location, preferences, and therapist availability.
BetterHelp’s basic plan includes one live session per week and the cost you’re quoted is based on that. So, you get the most value out of your subscription if you get weekly live sessions. These can be live video, audio, or chat sessions. We think weekly video sessions are the best overall value, though your needs and preferences may vary.
What Discounts Are Available for BetterHelp?
You can get 20 percent off your first month by clicking the link below:
Does BetterHelp Offer Financial Aid?
Yes. BetterHelp offers financial aid. Discounts are based on your income and any other financial burdens you may have.
If you qualify, your fee may be lowered significantly, depending on where you live and other factors.
The initial BetterHelp questionnaire asks if you’re unemployed or having financial difficulty. Depending on how you answer these questions, BetterHelp may offer you a discounted rate.
You also have another opportunity to describe your financial situation at the end of the sign-up process. Completing this optional application may result in an even greater discount.
Pro Tip: How to Apply for Financial Aid
To apply for financial aid, follow this link. When you enter your payment details, look for the “Apply for Financial Aid” link and click it. Next, answer a few questions about your income and ability to pay. Any discount you receive is instant and based on a good-faith representation of your finances.
You need to reapply every three months to continue receiving the lower rate. BetterHelp will send you a reminder email as that date approaches.
Is BetterHelp Cheaper Than In-Person Therapy?
It depends. If your insurance provides mental health coverage, seeing an in-network therapist will typically be cheaper than seeing a therapist on BetterHelp.
However, if you can only see out-of-network providers or are paying out of pocket for therapy, BetterHelp may be cheaper.
Which option costs less will depend on what the standard hourly therapy rates are where you live. We recommend comparing the per-session cost of a BetterHelp subscription (the monthly cost divided by the number of live sessions you get each month) to what you’d pay per session to see a local therapist.
An important note: even if you have insurance with mental health coverage, you may not be able to use it to pay for therapy. Insurance companies generally don’t cover therapy unless you’re getting it specifically for the purpose of treating a mental health condition. Your therapist also has to give you a diagnosis for your sessions to be covered.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Does BetterHelp have a free trial?
BetterHelp doesn’t currently offer a free trial period (except to veterans, who qualify for one free month). In the past, they used to offer a seven-day free trial. Now, they focus on lowering costs through providing ongoing financial aid and discounts on your first month.
You can use this link for an exclusive OpenCounseling discount of 20 percent off your first month.
Is BetterHelp a subscription?
Yes. BetterHelp is a monthly subscription (4 weeks to be precise). In general, the amount you pay is the same each month regardless of how often you message your therapist or whether you get live sessions once a week or less. (According to BetterHelp, getting live sessions more than once per week may add an additional fee of about $20 per session.)
You will continue to be charged for BetterHelp until you cancel or pause your subscription.
How is BetterHelp billed?
BetterHelp is billed every 4 weeks to the form of payment you added when you signed up (either credit card or PayPal). Your second charge will go through automatically about four weeks after your initial payment. You will continue to be charged every four weeks until you cancel or pause your subscription.
When does BetterHelp charge you?
BetterHelp charges every 4 weeks. You get your first charge when your subscription begins. (This isn’t necessarily the same day you sign up—it’s when you’re matched with a therapist. Often, this happens within a few hours of signing up, but sometimes, it can take days.) Your second charge goes through about four weeks after your first charge.
The exact date you’re charged can vary based on whether you ever pause your subscription, get an extension or refund based on therapist availability or technical issues, or other reasons. However, it will generally be monthly starting from the date of your first charge.
You will continue to be charged every four weeks until you pause or cancel your subscription.
Is BetterHelp therapy tax-deductible?
Therapy is only tax deductible under specific conditions. Only therapy that is specifically for the treatment of a mental health condition can be deducted as a medical expense.
(This means therapy for overall well-being, personal growth, or life and relationship issues that aren’t linked with a mental health diagnosis doesn’t qualify.)
Even when therapy qualifies as a medical expense because you’re getting it to treat a diagnosed mental health condition, it can only be deducted if your total expenses for therapy exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income.
BetterHelp doesn’t authorize using their platform to diagnose mental health conditions, so your BetterHelp therapy is not formally associated with a diagnosis. Because of this, it would be an uphill battle to qualify it as a medical expense even if your total cost exceeded 7.5 percent of your income.
However, it may still be possible to deduct BetterHelp therapy if you’re working on mental health symptoms with your BetterHelp therapist (especially if you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health condition before by another therapist).
We recommend consulting with a tax professional (which we at OpenCounseling are not) before trying to deduct BetterHelp as a medical expense.