Does Manulife Insurance Cover Therapy?

Last updated on: Jul 12, 2024

Manulife insurance plans provides coverage for a variety of mental health treatments, including therapy and counselling services. However, it's important to note that every Manulife policy is different — there is no hard and fast rule for what your employer's specific policy covers.

If you're currently seeking therapy or counselling services but unsure whether or not your Manulife insurance policy has you covered, a little know-how can go a very long way.

Here's what you need to know.

Does Manulife cover therapy?

The most concise possible answer is "it depends."

If your employer's policy includes mental health coverage then, yes, you will receive Manulife therapy coverage. However, the details of your Manulife therapy coverage depends entirely on your employer's specific policy, coverage options, and extended health care coverage.

Consult your company's specific Manulife insurance policy to see if: 

  1. Mental health services are covered by your insurance
  2. The extent of that coverage 
  3. The mental health provider qualifications required to be eligible for reimbursement

While your specific policy may differ, therapy and counselling services covered by Manulife generally include:

  • Individual Therapy
  • Couples Therapy
  • Family & Group Therapy
  • Online Therapy

Note that Manulife will only provide coverage for therapy or counselling delivered by regulated mental health specialists and professionals. Again, requirements for eligible coverage will be detailed in your company’s policy. 

When in doubt, ask your HR department (or, contact Manulife for specific information at 1-800-268-6195)

What types of therapists are eligible for Manulife therapy coverage?

Again, it depends, but common in-person or online therapy and counselling professionals eligible for Manulife insurance coverage:

  • Registered Psychotherapist
  • Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)
  • Psychologist (C.Psych, R.Psych, etc)
  • Psychological Associate
  • Registered Clinical Counsellor
  • Provisional Psychologist
  • Certified Canadian Counsellor
  • Family therapists
  • Registered Social Worker
  • Registered Clinical Social Worker
  • Registered Counselling Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist

Your policy will outline any regulatory or certification requirements for coverage. As a general rule of thumb, coverage is generally designation dependent. Your insurance plan should be quite explicit on which designations are covered. For more information on designations, read our short guide.

What types of therapy services are covered by Manulife?

Manulife therapy coverage generally includes but is not limited to:

  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
  • Emotional Transformation Therapy (ETT)
  • Internal Family Systems (IFS)
  • Psychodynamic Therapy

Again, your specific policy may have specific requirements, so be sure to check it thoroughly before booking.

Note that many therapists will specialize in multiple therapy services and types. Some therapy platforms allow you to filter available therapists by therapy type/modalities, which can help narrow your search options quickly.

How many therapy sessions will Manulife cover?

If your policy covers therapy, reimbursement details and coverage can range widely. 

Some employers will cover 100% of the cost of therapy, with a yearly maximum of up to $10,000. Others might provide a yearly maximum of $2000 — it depends entirely on your employer's policy.

For complete details — you guessed it — check your specific policy or consult your human resources department for full details on your insurance coverage.

Does Manulife cover psychotherapy?

Yes, Manulife covers psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is a common form of therapy that focuses on helping individuals with a wide range of mental health issues. Many psychotherapists will specialize in the types of therapy listed earlier in this article. 

Does Manulife cover counselling?

Yes. In fact, the terms "counsellor" and "therapist" are generally considered interchangeable. Just be sure to gain clarity on the qualifications required by your Manulife policy to be eligible for coverage before booking. 

Does Manulife cover online therapy?

Yes. As long as your online therapy provider meets the professional certification and credentials required by your Manulife policy, online therapy is covered the same as in-person therapy.

Again, there may be specific details in your policy about online therapy that state otherwise, but this would be highly unusual at the time of writing in 2024.

Is Manulife direct billing available? 

Yes! However, in this case, it all depends on your therapist or counsellor. Be sure to check with your preferred provider before booking.

Two ways to make the most of your Manulife therapy coverage

Whether your Manulife insurance covers $2000 or $10,000 of annual costs related to therapy per year, it's important to make the most of your coverage. Doing so will ensure you make the most progress possible with your therapist, resulting in lasting and more impactful changes to your mental health.

1) Focus on finding the right therapist

Because the amount of annual costs covered is limited, you don't want to waste time "trialling" different therapists.

Whether it's for in-person or online therapy, take a bit of extra time to find a therapist that feels like the right fit. The ideal therapist is someone you can envision working with consistently over the coming months (or, ideally, years). Research shows that consistency and fit are two of the most critical components of lasting changes to mental health.

Most therapist marketplaces/platforms will provide some details about a therapist before booking. First Session, in particular, provides extended video interviews to help you gauge for fit before booking your first session.

As mentioned above, make sure the in-person or online therapist you decide to go with meets your policy's requirements for reimbursement. If you have any questions, ask your HR department or representative.

For more advice on finding the right therapist, you can read our short guide.

2) Determine your therapy schedule

Consistency plays a huge role in effective therapy. To establish your therapy cadence, simply divide your yearly coverage by the cost per session, and schedule accordingly.

For example. Let's say your yearly coverage is $5000, and each session with the therapist you prefer costs $200.

5000 divided by 200 equals 25. That equates to just over 2 therapy sessions per month (or, a therapy session every 2 weeks).

Find a consistent day and time to schedule each session, and block off your calendar accordingly. Blocking off that time now ensures you won’t struggle to find a time that fits both you and your therapist’s schedule week after week. 

Remember: Get to know your Manulife policy before you book Taking 30-60 minutes to understand your Manulife policy's mental health coverage and to find the right therapist can bring life-changing impact.

While every policy differs, knowing the details and nuances is pretty straightforward. As mentioned ad nauseam above, consult your specific policy, contact your HR representative, or call Manulife for further details (1-800-268-6195).

When it's time to find a therapist, start your search with First Session's therapist database. You can search by therapy type, certification, location, and coverage. Then, watch intro videos to gauge for fit before you book — so you don't waste a single dollar of coverage on trialling the wrong therapist(s). 

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First Session Editorial Team

The First Session Editorial Team, composed of seasoned researchers, writers, editors, and therapists, focuses on providing content that helps​ Canadians find the right therapist.