Referral Information

Counseling Services offers assistance with referral to off-campus mental health professionals when you need, or prefer, long-term or specialty care.

Obtaining Referrals

Please contact our office at (213) 740-7711 and request an appointment with the referral coordinator who will assess your needs and provide appropriate referrals accordingly. We recommend calling the off-campus provider as soon as possible to ask for the first available appointment. It may take several calls to find a provider that has an opening that matches your schedule.

Referrals sent to you by email from Student Counseling Services can be found by logging into MySHR.

Helpful info about the USC Aetna Student Insurance Plan

Verifying Insurance Referral: Aetna providers require a referral from the Counseling Center. Please let them know the referral has been performed electronically. Providers can call the USC-dedicated line at 877-626-2299 to verify this.

Printing your Aetna insurance card: You may print out a copy Aetna insurance card here.

Understanding your benefits: Your mental health benefits for individual psychotherapy include a 10% co-pay, never to exceed $30 and no deductible. Therapy sessions average about $10/session. You may want to inquire to confirm your co-pay when you make your appointment. If you are asked to pay more than this amount, please inform them of the above or contact Student Counseling Services for help with clarifying this to the provider. A specific provider’s rates can be verified with Aetna directly at 877-626-2299 or you can review details on the USC Aetna Student Insurance Plan here.

Renewing your referral: The insurance renewal is required each August to continue with the provider into the next academic year. To submit this request, please complete this Renewal Form.

Finding the referrals sent by the Student Counseling Services provider or obtaining more referrals: Your counselor will send you your referrals via the secure messaging system and can be found at the portal, My SHR. For additional options in providers, you can contact your counselor at Student Counseling Services or visit the Aetna website:
1. Go to the website for Aetna’s Student Health Plan
2. Click Zip or City and enter information
3. Select mile radius preferred
4. Select “Behavioral Health” for the Provider Category
5. Select “Behavioral Health Providers” for the Provider Type
6. Select “Open Choice PPO” for the Plan or Student Health Plan
7. Click either “Start Search” or “Advanced Search” in order to refine your search by additional criteria (i.e. specialty, gender, language, etc.)

Using Insurance Other Than Aetna

Student Counseling Center counselors will provide referrals based on your insurance coverage, regardless of the plan. If you have additional questions about your mental health benefits on plans other than Aetna, call the number on the back of your insurance card (sometimes this is just a standard “Member Services” line or it will be labeled “Behavioral Health”). You can also visit the company website and use the Provider Finder function. If you feel you need additional assistance navigating insurance issues, do not hesitate to contact Student Counseling Services.

Insurance and Your Privacy

If you prefer, your statements, also known as Explanation of Benefits/EOB, can be mailed to you directly to your USC address rather than your permanent address. Please contact member services on the back of your insurance card to arrange for this.

Attention Community Providers

Until our referral coordinator is determined, please direct all updates about your practice to Elizabeth Reyes, PhD, at