New online CBT programs are now covered through Pacific Blue Cross EHC benefits

Wednesday, Aug 12, 2020

One in five Canadians per year will experience a mental health problem or illness, resulting in $20 billion of lost productivity and absenteeism. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help individuals better manage the stress and emotions of day-to-day life.

In a recent survey, the Conference Board of Canada found that 84% of respondents across the country reported worsening mental health concerns since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pacific Blue Cross has enhanced our mental health coverage with new online CBT programs, which provide individuals with the tools and support they need to address common mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, substance use issues, and insomnia.

Our new CBT program coverage offers a practical, structured treatment option aimed at problem solving and skills building, which helps plan members change how they think or behave so they can change the way they feel. A qualified mental health professional ensures the program is tailored to their needs, and provides one-on-one support while they’re working through it.

All of this is available online or via an app that’s downloaded on a smartphone or tablet, reducing any stigma or access to care issues that may prevent people from seeking help.

And it’s now covered for plan members and their dependents in most Pacific Blue Cross extended health plans with Psychology or Counselling benefits.

Introducing our iCBT providers

Pacific Blue Cross recognizes that individuals have unique needs and no one program will help everyone achieve their best outcomes. That’s why we’re launching this new benefit with three leading iCBT solutions: ALAViDA, BEACON, and AbilitiCBT by Morneau-Shepell.

Both BEACON and AbilitiCBT offer programs to treat anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Specialty programs include post-traumatic stress, panic disorder, chronic pain management, and anxiety related to a pandemic. Learn more.

ALAViDA supports individuals who are questioning their relationship with alcohol and other substances. You’ll get non-judgmental support and private access to the TRIAL iCBT exercises, a dedicated Care Team, and tools to learn and regain control from anywhere, on any device.  Learn more.


How it works

Each of the online CBT providers has a different cost structure for their programs. Plan members pay the cost up front and submit the claim to Pacific Blue Cross for reimbursement, up to the plan’s annual maximum under existing Psychology or Counselling benefit limits subject to existing co-pay and deductibles on the plan. If the plan offers a Health Spending Account, it can be used to claim the balance, if applicable.

For members using the NEXUS platform, separate claiming instructions are available and being shared with appropriate Plan Sponsors. Please contact your Account Executive if you require a copy of that member communication—or if you have any additional questions about our new iCBT benefit.