State Employee Health Plans (SEHPs)

A state employee health plan (SEHP) is typically the largest non-federal health program in a state. All states offer some form of health benefits for eligible state employees and their dependents. Approximately 3.4 million state employees and retirees are covered by a state employee health plan. SEHPs are administered by a state agency under the authority of the governor, normally the state personnel department.

The majority of states allow selected non-state public employees to be covered under these plans, or under parallel plans. Such employees may include city, town or county workers, public school teachers or employees, and public higher education employees.

SEHP benefits tend to be comprehensive and are generally considered to be superior to health benefits offered by private employers. Most plans offer state employees a choice of three or more different health plans. In fact, 88% of all covered workers can choose from three or more health programs. SEHPs are typically offered through a commercial intermediary, most commonly Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Many state employee plans currently recognize MFTs as eligible providers to some degree. Like the state Medicaid plans, there are many different products and services offered, so it is possible for MFTs to be included in some and not others. Also, similar to Medicaid, provider determinations are made at a statutory, regulatory, and policy level, so different interventions are needed to obtain MFT reimbursement. 

Vendorship Fact Sheet

In a majority of states, MFTs have achieved recognition under state Freedom of Choice (Vendorship) and Any Willing Provider laws. These laws require certain health plans to reimburse MFTs for providing mental health services covered by the plan. The following fact sheet developed by AAMFT provides an overview of MFT recognition under these laws in each state.


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Visit the AAMFT, a public service of the AAMFT. There you will find information about a range of problems facing today's families, and you can search for a qualified family therapist in your area.

State Job Classification

State governments are a major employer of mental health professionals. In general, a state job classification for MFTs must be created before state agencies can hire MFTs to serve as MFTs within state government. The following fact sheet developed by AAMFT provides a brief overview on how state job classifications are created, as well as information on current state job classifications for MFTs.

Understanding the Benefits of Marriage and Family Therapy

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