The Case for Insurance Reimbursement of Couple Therapy


marital therapy, marital distress, physical and mental health


A case is made for why it may now be in the best interest of insurance companies to reimburse for marital therapy to treat marital distress. Relevant literature is reviewed with a considerable focus on the reasons that insurance companies would benefit from reimbursing marital therapy – the high costs of marital distress, the growing link between marital distress and a host of related physical and mental health problems, as well as the availability of empirically supported treatments for marital distress. This is followed by a focus on the major reasons insurance companies cite for not reimbursing marital therapy, along with a discussion of advances in several growing bodies of research to address these concerns. Main arguments include the direct medical offset costs of couple and family therapy (including for high utilizers of health insurance), and the fact that insurance companies already find it cost effective to reimburse for prevention of other health and psychological problems. This is followed by implications for practitioners and researchers.

Original Publication Citation

*Clauson, R. E., *Davis, S. Y., Miller, R. B., & *Webster, T. (2018). The case for insurance reimbursement of couple therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 44, 512-526.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL



Journal of Marital and Family Therapy




Family, Home, and Social Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor