UnitedHealthcare launches new virtual behavioral benefits through Optum

More than 5 million UnitedHealthcare commercial fully insured members can now access new virtual behavioral offerings at no additional cost.

Self-insured employers can also purchase the new benefit for employees as of Jan. 1, the company said Jan. 19.

The virtual behavioral coaching program is administered by Optum and provides support to adults with symptoms of mild depression, stress and anxiety through 30-minute weekly digital, video or telephone communications with a trained coach. If needed, the coach can refer the individual to a licensed mental health professional.

After eight weeks, individuals will be assessed for the best treatment going forward and have a coach assigned. Members will also have 24/7 access to content and resiliency tools upon program completion.

UnitedHealth Group has invested heavily in behavioral health in recent years, saying in late 2022 that its behavioral network has grown 25 percent since 2020, with 375,000 providers now in network

Its offerings include self-help tools, in-person and virtual visits, coaching, a family support program and employee assistance programs.

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