Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge CenterBehavioral Health Providers

Behavioral Health Providers

Frequently asked questions about behavioral health providers.

What types of health professionals are included in Cigna's behavioral health network?

Ph.D./MS Level: These are therapists who use talk therapy. They help you assess the issues you're facing and find solutions. They include psychologists (LP), family therapists (LMFT, LMC), social workers (LCSW, LSW), nurse practitioners (ARNP, APRN), and clinicians (LMHC). All therapists contracted by Cigna are licensed and offer treatment through independent practices. Many therapists are even starting to use video to provide more convenient access to care. Therapists' specialties are identified by Cigna as part of the credentialing process.

MD/DO/NP Level: MD's and DO's are doctors who specialize in Psychiatry or Addiction Medicine. They can diagnose problems and treat them through talk therapy. They can also prescribe medication if necessary. Many psychiatrists also have subspecialties. These include Children and Adolescents, Geriatric, Addiction Medicine, etc. All MD's and DO's contracted by Cigna are licensed and offer treatment through their independent practices.

Behavioral health providers' abbreviations can be confusing. Here's a breakdown of their types of degrees and licensure.

Types of Degrees

Types of Licensure 

Many states have different names for licensures; these are usually master's level counselors. Some of the abbreviations include: CCSW, LPCC, CADC, CCSW, LCPC, CCPC, CICSW, CPC, MFCC, LMHC, CMFT, and CMHC.

To find a list of in-network providers, please call the toll-free number on your Cigna ID card or search our Provider Directory.

What kind of behavioral treatment happens in a hospital setting? 

A hospital can specialize in behavioral health treatment. A behavioral program typically takes place at a hospital or clinic. These services often include:

  • Detoxification, inpatient, and residential treatment
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Intensive outpatient programs
  • Emergency assessments
  • Other specialized, higher level of care treatments

If you're having a crisis, please go to the nearest emergency room right away. Your plan benefits will apply to services needed to evaluate or stabilize you. 

Important: Most plans require pre-authorization for hospital care or behavioral programs. Please call the number on your Cigna ID card for more information.

What is a clinic?

A clinic is a practice where multiple professionals work together. Sometimes they provide complementary services. These are services that work together toward the same goal. Some behavioral health clinics only have therapists on staff. Others provide a team of therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists.

Some clinics require patients to receive care only from their professionals. And note that not all providers in a clinic may be contracted with Cigna. When choosing a clinic, ask to be referred to provider in your Cigna plan’s network.

How do you define confidentiality and who has access to my personal information?

Information on mental health or substance use disorder treatment served by Cigna is confidential. It won't be disclosed to anyone, with the following exceptions:

  • Cigna will communicate with your treating therapist/psychiatrist about your diagnosis, symptoms, treatment goals, and treatment plan in the process of administering behavioral health benefits or EAP services.
  • When an appropriately written release of information document is completed with your signature that instructs Cigna to disclose your specific information to the person named.
  • With your written approval, Cigna will give the name of your treating therapist/psychiatrist to your primary care provider. And Cigna will give the name of your primary care provider to your treating therapist/psychiatrist. This is done as a courtesy to encourage coordination of care. You can expect your primary care provider and/or your treating therapist/psychiatrist to ask you to sign a written consent to release information. This consent allows disclosure of specific details about your behavioral health and/or medical care.
  • Mandatory reporting is required when someone is in immediate danger of hurting themselves or others.
  • As otherwise allowed or required by law.
  • To your health plan or plan sponsor for purposes of plan administration.

Note: If you're a Cigna customer, you don't have access to information about the care received by another person on your plan who is not your legal responsibility. A parent or legal guardian can access information about the benefit utilization and services provided to his/her child without being on the plan, unless court documentation is provided to Cigna saying that the parent has no legal rights to such information about his/her child.

What does "medical necessity" mean?

Medical necessity is a term used by providers. It refers to how Cigna will work with your provider to find the right level of care and length of treatment to decrease your symptoms. You and your provider will build a plan with specific behaviors and goals. When you achieve these, treatment is no longer necessary.

What if things aren't working out with my behavioral health professional?

If your behavioral health provider is no longer available or you're not making progress, you may need to switch. You can call the toll-free number on your Cigna ID card. Tell us what isn't working with your behavioral health professional. We will be happy to help you find another one.

Can I call and talk to a person if I have questions?

You can talk one-on-one with a nurse, 24/7/365, for guidance and information on anything from urgent clinical needs to work/life issues. Also, if you have a Cigna employee assistance program (EAP), call us first at . This way you'll get full access to your benefits and the help of our Personal Advocates.

What do I do if I have questions about my claim?

If you have a behavioral health claim question, you can call the number on your Cigna ID card. However, some accounts through employers have a dedicated Customer Service/Claim line. You can dial that number for answers to your questions if your benefit plan is set up this way.

How soon should I expect an appointment?

Care should be available to you in a timely way. These timeframes for getting an appointment have been shared with our network providers. If you can't get an appointment within these timeframes, call Cigna at the number on your Cigna ID card for assistance.

If you need emergency services, please go to the nearest emergency room or behavioral health facility right away. Your plan benefits will apply to services needed to evaluate or stabilize treatment for a condition that is reasonably considered to be an emergency behavioral health condition.


Therapy Support Groups


Levels of Mental Health Care Understanding Depression

Back to Knowledge Center

This material is provided by Cigna for informational/educational purposes only. It is not medical/clinical advice. Only a health care provider can make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment plan. For more information about your behavioral health benefits, you can call the member services or behavioral health telephone number listed on your health care ID card.

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna


Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

The Cigna Group Information

About Cigna Healthcare Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers The Cigna Group Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap Cookie Settings


Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details