There is a mental health condition called bi-polar disorder. The changes range from high to low. They can affect the ability to hold a job.

There are steps you can take to manage the disorder. Management often involves a combination of approaches.

  • Mood stabilizers or antipsychotics are some of the medications.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy is a talk therapy.
  • Therapy is family focused.
  • Brain stimulation techniques can be used.
  • lifestyle changes

A well-rounded treatment plan can be expensive. Mental health care costs range from about $4,500 to more than $21,000 per year, depending on the type of bipolar disorder you have.

About 17% of American adults with mental illness don’t have health insurance. Even with good insurance coverage, the out-of-pocket costs to treat bipolar disorder can add up. The psychiatrist appointments needed to prescribe and manage medication add to the cost of mental health care.

There are a few programs that can help lower health care costs.

Mental health coverage is included in health insurance.

The law requires most employer-sponsored health insurance and Affordable Care Act plans to cover mental health services just as they cover medical care. Your insurer can’t charge you higher copays for psychiatrist or psychologist appointments than it does for medical doctor appointments.

“Check your plan’s benefits to see if it includes mental health coverage. If you still don’t know, you can call your insurance company or check with your company’s human resources department.”

If your therapy visits and medications are covered, you may be responsible for a copay, deductible or both. Your insurance plan might only cover a few sessions.

Some mental health professionals might not be insured. It is important to ask before you go to make the payment if you will be responsible for a portion of the bill.

To find a healthcare professional who accepts your insurance, visit these resources.

Depending on the professional you choose, the cost of mental health care can vary.

You will pay less for an in-network doctor with some insurance plans. Some healthcare professionals will charge you based on your budget. They may also offer other types of assistance.

The SAMHSA search tool lets you search for mental health professionals who offer sliding-scale payments or other financial assistance.

There are other places to find therapy at a reduced cost.

“If you can’t afford to pay for mental health care, you might consider a free community health center.”

Grants from the U.S. Government or volunteers are the main funders of these programs. They provide care regardless of your ability to pay.

You can find a clinic by searching these organizations.

Many colleges and universities have psychology students working in clinics. Saving money and helping to train the next generation of psychiatrists and psychologists are some of the benefits of these programs.

You will receive care from a student, but they will be supervised by mental health professionals.

Therapy sessions can be conducted through video calls, email, online chats, or telephone.

Teletherapy can be a more affordable option if you don’t have health insurance. If you do have insurance, some plans now cover the cost of teletherapy at the same rate as in-person sessions.

In-person therapy usually costs between $65 and $250 per hour. Online therapy companies like Talkspace and BetterHelp charge less ­— about $60 to $90 per session.

“You can attend remote therapy sessions without having to pay for child care or travel to the mental health professional’s office.”

Group therapy is where one therapist works with a small group of people.

Research findings comparing individual therapy to group therapy for bipolar disorder are mixed. Some studies show individual therapy is better, others find group therapy is better, and still others show that the two therapies are equally effective.

In general, group therapy costs less than individual therapy. Insurance should cover the cost.

“If you can’t afford out-of-pocket medical costs or you don’t have health insurance, a few nonprofits can help you pay for treatment for bipolar disorder.”

You can also apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These government programs provide a monthly income to people with severe mental health conditions.

The employee assistance program is offered by some companies. The voluntary program provides free or low cost mental health services to employees.

In your community or company, you may be able to offer EAP services. Contact your human resources department to learn more about what your company has to offer.

Prescription discount cards could save you up to 85% off the cost of brand-name and generic prescriptions. How much you actually save depends on your medication and pharmacy. One caveat is that you have to use these cards instead of your insurance.

You can use a mobile app or website to print a prescription discount card. Some cards have medications delivered to your home.

There are a few examples of prescription discount cards.

Mental illness is the third most common reason for hospitalization in the United States. You might need treatment in a hospital if you’re having hallucinations or delusions or if you’re thinking about hurting yourself.

A hospital stay for bipolar disorder can cost more than $1,200 per day.

Staying on the treatment plan your doctor prescribed can help you avoid a costly hospital stay. Certain bipolar disorder treatments help prevent the complications that lead to hospitalization. A 2021 study showed that taking the mood stabilizer lurasidone reduces the need for hospital stays compared to other bipolar medications.

There are warning signs that you might be in danger. Not sleeping could be a sign of hypomania. If you have a medication adjustment, you might be able to prevent some symptoms from going to the hospital.

“If you don’t have health insurance, you can be spending a lot of money on caring for the disorder.”

You can get help with the therapy and medication you need. Staying on the treatment your doctor prescribes can help you avoid hospital visits.