Student Psychological Services COVID-19 Update
Due to the campus transition to online course delivery, as well as recommendations from the CDC to promote social distancing, SPS is implementing the following temporary service changes. These changes will be in effect from Monday, March 16 until the end of the semester. SPS will NOT conduct sessions in person at this time as your safety and well-being remains our highest priority and guides our proactive planning and response to the COVID-19.
SPS therapists are licensed in California and can only provide teletherapy for students who are physically in California.
If you have returned to a permanent residence that is out-of-state, please call your therapist (310) 338-2868 to notify them of your status and ask for referral information if needed.
Please visit the LMU Coronavirus website for further updates and information.
Walk-in office appointments for urgent concerns and/or emergencies are temporarily suspended. However, please call SPS and follow the prompt for urgent concerns, or leave a message to speak with a therapist the next day.
After business hours, please call the SPS number and follow the prompt to speak with the after hour therapist. For life-threatening emergencies, please call 911.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call SPS at (310) 338-2868.
Download the Corona Virus - Anxiety Workbook as a tool to help you build resilience during difficult times.
We're here for you.
Accessible online self-care tools to support your emotional wellbeing.
- Interactive educational modules
- Practice tools, daily logs and journals
- Relaxation and meditation guides
- Mindfulness library
- Strategies to help you bounce back from life's disappointments and frustrations
TAO is completely private and confidential.
- Visit the TAO website.
- Sign up for "Self-Help with an Institution" using only your LMU email.
- Sign in and get started!
If you have any questions or need further assistance, please call SPS at (310) 338-2868.
How to Choose and Purchase Student Medical Coverage
- Through school, LMU partners with Aetna. If you have this insurance, there is a $25 fee each time you see a mental health provider who is in the Aetna network.
- Parent Health Plan: By law, you can stay on your parents' insurance plan until you are 26 years old. You do not have to be a student.
- Marketplace Plan and Medicaid: Individuals can purchase health insurance on the marketplace at healthcare.gov. These are income-driven plans and you may be eligible for government assistance to help you pay for your insurance.
Using Your Mental Health Insurance
- Call the 1-800 number on your insurance card, or go to their website:
- Get an Explanation of Mental Health Benefits to understand how to use your insurance:
(Note: mental health benefits are sometimes listed under "behavioral health.")
- How many appointments am I eligible for?
- What mental health services are included?
- Are my prescriptions covered?
- Find out if there is a co-pay (How much is it?).
- If you have to pay out-of-pocket, find out how to submit a claim and the amount they cover.
- Get an Explanation of Mental Health Benefits to understand how to use your insurance:
- Ask the insurance company to help you find a mental health professional who is on their provider panel.
- Call the mental health office directly to confirm that they take your exact plan.
- If it's in-network, confirm the co-pay amount. If it's out-of-network, confirm the amount you pay per service.
- Bring your insurance card and co-pay with you to your visit. If you must pay out-of-pocket, ask your provider for an invoice or "superbill" to send to insurance with your claim.
- If you pay out-of-pocket, submit a claim to insurance. Make copies of your claim and superbill to have for your records. You can call the 1-800 on your insurance card for assistance.
- (877) 409-7356: LMU Aetna
- (866) 477-8208: Beacon Health
- (800) 600-9007: United BH
- (800) 872-3862: Aetna
- (888) 926-4921: Healthnet
- (200) 997-1654: Cigna
- (800) 552-2682: Anthem
- (800) 788-0710: Kaiser
- (800) 873-4575: Optum
- (866) 992-5246: MHNet
- (800) 393-6130: Blue Shield CA
- (855) 213-1275: Good RX
If these steps don't work for you or you do not have mental health benefits, you can reach SPS at (310) 338-2868 for further assistance or community referrals.
HMO (Health Maintenance Organization): A type of insurance plan that covers you only if you see a provider with that HMO's network. It most cases, you need a primary care physician who can provide a referral for mental health services. HMOs tend to be more affordable, but you'll get less coverage and more restrictions.
PPO (Preferred Provider Organization): A type of insurance plan allows for flexibility when picking a doctor or hospital. They provide greater options for coverage but come with a higher price tag.
Premium: This is what you pay, usually monthly, for your insurance plan. This is a bill and is unrelated to other expenses for care, medication and treatment that you are expected to pay.
Deductible: A fixed amount that you are expected to pay out-of-pocket each year. After you meet your deductible, your insurance plan covers all or a percentage (depending on plan type) of your expenses until the end of the year. Keep in mind that your monthly premium and copayments do not count toward the deductible.
Co-pay: This is a fee that patients are required to pay up-front for clinic visits and prescriptions. A common example of a co-pay is the small flat fee you pay each time your visit a doctor.
In-Network: A group of providers that partner with your insurance carrier. Your insurance plan charges you less for treatment when you use one of these providers.
Out-of-network: When patients receive treatment from out-of-network providers, it means the professionals have not negotiated to offer services at a plan's rate. As a result, patients pay more for the treatments they receive.
Referral: A referral occurs when a doctor writes an order for a patient to receive services from another provider. For example, a primary care physician may refer a patient to a specialist for treatment of a specific issue.
Out-of-Pocket: Paying out-of-pocket meant that rather than using your insurance plan, you cover the full cost of your care. You pay the provider directly and then your insurance company reimburses you all or part of the cost.
A Claim: A claim is a form you submit to your insurance company to get reimbursement after paying out-of-pocket.
Sliding-scale: A pricing option for medical services that allow individuals to have reduced or free services based on their income.
When searching for the right therapist, it's important to think about what you're looking for. As with any healthcare provider, mental health providers specialize and focus their practice in different areas such as anxiety, relationships or finding purpose in life. Ask yourself why you want to see a therapist.
How do I know if it's a good fit?
Probably the best method of choosing a therapist is to gauge your reaction to them. Like with all relationships, you should feel comfortable being open, honest and vulnerable. The right fit is a personal thing, one that you may not be able to determine until you meet in person and spend time talking. Asking your therapist a few questions in the beginning can help you get a sense of who they are and whether or not you think they could be a good fit.
Check in with yourself after your first meeting- it may take time to warm up to your therapist, and it's okay to decide to look around for someone else. The main goal is for you to benefit from the therapeutic relationship.
How to actually find a therapist
- Call your insurance provider for a list of therapists, talk to the staff at SPS for referrals or go to the "Therapy Finder" on Psychology Today's website.
- Once you find a few therapists that meet your needs (gender, location, insurance, specialty, etc.), do a little additional research. If the therapist has a website, check out their bio and credentials. Read articles they've published and search for them online to see if you can learn more about them.
- Take advantage of the complimentary phone consultation many therapists offer. You can create a shortlist of therapists you are interested in and set up a time to chat. Prepare any questions in advance (see list below). Pay attention to their demeanor and see how they make you feel.
- If the phone call goes well, meet in person.* This is the best way to know if it's going to be a good fit in the long term.
* Some therapists today offer phone and teletherapy. You can still ask for a phone/video consultation to assess if this style of therapy will work for you and if you feel good with the therapist.
Questions to ask your potential therapist
- What is your expertise or specialty? How long have you worked in this field?
- My problem is_______. How do you go about treating that?
- How does the type of treatment you offer work?
- How will we assess my progress?
- Do you have flexibility in hours? Do you have a cancellation policy?
- What are your strengths as a therapist?
- What is the cost per session and/or Do you accept my insurance?
- Can you prescribe medication and make referrals for medication?