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I consult with an overseas psychologist via Skype. My current BCBS health insurance pays 80% when I visit my US psychologist. I don't know how to make the international health insurance since this is non emergency. How can I get reimbursed, even though in part, for my international psychologist sessions?

  • Isn't this for you to work out with your insurance? Some don't cover mental wellness at all. – JoeTaxpayer Mar 23 '18 at 21:05
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    Yes, you wrote that. The minutia, the Ts and Cs of your particular plan need to be discussed with the insurance company. This isn’t a PF question, in my opinion. – JoeTaxpayer Mar 23 '18 at 21:19
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    @bissi does your plan have an out of network benefit? Does the foreign doctor have a US NPI number? Typically if you have an out of network benefit there are still specific billing data to submit, physician details, diagnosis codes (IDC10) and covered treatment indications. That data will probably be your disconnect. The fact that these "visits" will be conducted remotely adds another layer of complexity as your insurer may not cover anything that occurs over skype even from an in network physician. – quid Mar 23 '18 at 21:32
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    Unfortunately you would simply have to phone your insurer and ask about this. "My question is how to make a case" unfortunately you 9or anyone) probably has very little / no chance of "making any case" with an insurance company. – Fattie Mar 24 '18 at 13:38
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    You're wanting to use US insurance for an out-of-country Psychologist. It's important to note that in the US, a Psychologist must be licensed by one or more state licensing boards in order to practice. Without this license, they are not considered a medical professional and I have little doubt that your insurance would allow you to bill for their services, even via an out-of-network coverage. They won't care about foreign licensure - to them, you're asking them to send money to some person you're skyping with online. – Brian R Apr 24 '18 at 17:04
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Base on your comments that your insurance does cover these types of visits, and they do have an out-of-network coverage you might have a chance of getting them covered.

Keep in mind that out-of-network coverage doesn't work the same way as in-network coverage. They will have separate deductibles, they will only credit you for the maximum benefit they would have paid for the session if you had gone in-network. Many out-of-network doctors will not submit paperwork to your insurance company, meaning that you will have to handle all the paperwork.

You will need to call the insurance company. You should do this before the first session. They will need to prove to their auditors that the bill you submit is legitimate. Of course you could just risk it, and provide all the paperwork you have after the first session, and then use the time before the second session to appeal their decision if they reject it.

Regarding language. Is it possible to find a US based doctor with the same language skills? Since you are going out-of-network anyway, and you are willing to do it via Skype, isn't it possible that there is some doctor in the US that speaks your language.

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