Health insurer Cigna added behavioral health provider ReKlame Health to its network in an effort to expand access for underserved communities, the companies announced Thursday.
New York City-based Advertise Health is a virtual provider for behavioral health and addiction management with a focus on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) communities. Conditions the company treats include depression, anxiety, addiction, ADHD, trauma and mood disorders.
“Our clinical programs are built specifically to meet the needs of the underrepresented and underprivileged populations,” said Evans Rochaste, NP, founder and CEO of ReKlame, in an email. “We have personalized treatment plans for each patient. Our care team helps patients navigate legal and social resource systems. For example, we help some patients receive housing assistance resources and we help them navigate that bureaucratic system.”
By joining Cigna’s network, ReKlame’s services are now available to members in New York, New Jersey and Florida.
The news comes at a time when the country is facing unprecedented mental health challenges, and people of color face additional struggles, including cultural stigma, discrimination, wealth gaps and a lack of Black, LatinX and Indigenous mental health providers. To make these barriers more difficult, just 59% of psychiatrists accept insurance, versus 80% of primary care providers.
“There are many barriers to behavioral health access for the Black and brown communities in the US. … For those who have health insurance, psychiatry practitioners are also the least likely providers to accept any health insurance — and the out-of-pocket cost of receiving psychiatric care tends to be exorbitant where fees hover around $500/appointment,” Rochaste said.
ReKlame Health is now in-network with all major health insurance providers. This includes Optum, UnitedHealthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Oxford and Oscar. For those who are uninsured, the company charges $199.97 for new visits and $99.97 for follow-up visits, and also offers a sliding-scale option.
“We do not believe that your financial situation should hinder your ability to receive life-changing help,” Rochaste stated.
The company ultimately hopes to reduce disparities when it comes to psychiatric care, and working with Cigna is part of achieving that goal, Rochaste said. ReKlame is planning to expand its addiction care services and start accepting Medicaid in New York by the end of this year. Due to administrative hurdles, it’s rare for mental health organizations to accept Medicaid, despite the need.
Picture: Benjavisa, Getty Images