FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Coaching, Therapy & Psychiatry

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About Ginger

What is Ginger?

Ginger offers confidential mental healthcare through coaching via text-based chats, self-guided activities, and video-based therapy and psychiatry*. Support is available anytime (we’re serious about 24/7/365), anywhere (we go where your phone goes), for a variety of mental health challenges you may be struggling with—all from the privacy of your smartphone.

*video-based therapy and psychiatry services are available for U.S. members only.

Is Ginger available in a language other than English?

Currently Ginger is only available in English. We’d love to provide Ginger in other languages in the future. Stay tuned.

What if I have more questions? Who can I reach out to?

Our Member Support team is available to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to reach out to them through the app and someone will get back to you in two minutes or less. If you need, you can email help@ginger.io and a representative of the Member Support team will respond within 12 hours. Ginger’s operation hours are Monday through Friday from 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM (PT).

About Coaching

What is coaching?

Coaching is a collaborative relationship where you and your coach work together to help you reach your goals. You’ll work with your coach to identify small steps that you can take towards your goal, and your coach will help you make adjustments as needed to keep you on track. Different from therapy, coaching focuses on the present and what you want to accomplish in the future. Coaching happens through private in-app text-based chats with your coach.

What can coaches help me with?

In short, coaches can help with any emotional issue you’re struggling with. Typically, our members work with coaches on stress, anxiety, depression, issues with work, relationships, sleep, and more. While our coaches can’t sing you a bedtime lullaby or , they can work with you on techniques to help improve your sleep, share strategies for managing stress, or create a plan and hold you accountable to any goal you’re working towards.

How are Ginger’s coaching services delivered?

Coaching occurs through text-based chat in the Ginger Emotional Support app. Phone and video chats with coaches are not available. However, if you prefer speaking over typing, you are able to use the voice-to-text functionality on your Android or iPhone. Our in-app texting function is private and secure.

How do I schedule an appointment with a coach?

You can schedule an appointment in the app. You can also chat with a coach anytime even without an appointment. Our coaches are available 24/7/365.

How much do Ginger’s coaching services cost?

Is there a cost for behavioral health coaching if I have access to Ginger through my employer or organization?
There’s no cost to you to use our coaching services. Likewise, the clinically validated exercises and content in the app are available to you at no cost. To learn about why we ask for your credit card information and other payment questions, see the Payment and Cancellation Policy section below.

Is there a cost for behavioral health coaching if I have access to Ginger through my Cigna health plan?
Yes. Access to Ginger includes 30 days of unlimited behavioral health coaching, and Ginger’s self-care library, including learning activities, for a co-pay or co-insurance similar to a doctor's office visit. Out-of-pocket costs are determined by your Cigna benefit plan.

What if I want to continue with coaching after 30 days?
You will have the opportunity to renew your access to Ginger at the end of 30 days right within the app. If you do not want to renew, no action is required.

Do I get the same coach every time?

You can chat with your primary coach anytime your coach is online in the app. If your primary coach is not available, you have the option of chatting with a different coach, who will become part of your care team. Our coaches work collaboratively and communicate with each other, so they’ll know what you’ve been working on with another coach and where you left off.

Can I specify the gender/ethnicity/specialty of my coach?

You can request a coach with a specific background or identity and our Member Support team and coach management will try to find the best possible fit for you. However, they’re not always able to accommodate specific requests. Our coaches are trained to work with people from a variety of backgrounds, including the LGBTQIA community, economically disadvantaged individuals, and racial and ethnic groups traditionally underserved in the mental health field. Your coaches will provide you care that is tailored and relevant to you. If you would like to switch coaches, you can request a change in the app or through the Member Support team.

Are Ginger behavioral health coaches robots?

Nope! They’re not robots or droids. Our coaches, therapists, and psychiatrists are real-live human beings with thoughts, feelings, and life experiences. And just like us, they need occasional breaks too — which is why you might have a delayed response occasionally. Every care provider is carefully vetted before they join the Ginger team to ensure we’re providing high-quality care for our members. 

Ginger is a licensed medical provider group with our own nationwide network of psychiatrists, therapists, and behavioral health coaches. Each one either has a graduate degree in psychology or a related field and/or a coaching certification.

How does my Ginger coach know that I need a higher level of care?

Ginger coaches are trained to recognize when a member requires therapy or psychiatry support. In addition to training coaches, we use technology to help us assess your clinical needs to ensure you get the right level of care when you need it.

What happens if my coach refers me for a higher level of care?

If your coach believes you may benefit from therapy or psychiatry sessions, our Member Support team can help you understand your options. If available through your employer’s plan, our Member Support team can connect you with a Ginger therapist or psychiatrist, who will become part of your care team. Your coach will continue to support you while you receive clinical care from a psychiatrist or therapist and after. If working with a therapist or psychiatrist is not available through your employer’s Ginger plan, our Member Support team can help you access care through your insurance benefits.

Can I work with a coach if I'm also seeing a Ginger therapist or psychiatrist?

Absolutely. Coaching is an excellent complement to therapy and psychiatry sessions. Together your coach and therapist or psychiatrist make up your care team. Coaches can serve as an on-demand, anytime check-in between appointments with your therapist or psychiatrist. They can help you with challenges that may arise in between your therapy or psychiatry sessions. They can also help you recall insights and lessons from previous sessions and provide you with the opportunity to practice new skills regularly. And, they can help you work on exercises that your therapist or psychiatrist may assign.

What if I’m working with a non-Ginger therapist or psychiatrist?

You can still work with a Ginger coach in addition to your non-Ginger therapist or psychiatrist. Most Ginger members who have a therapist or psychiatrist outside of Ginger find it useful to share with their coach the type of support they’re receiving from their therapist or psychiatrist. It also helps your coach ensure cohesiveness of your overall care.

What are Activity Cards?

An activity card contains information about mental health techniques that you can access on your own. There are different types of activity cards. Some contain audio guides, others are self-guided mental health exercises, while others contain articles, research and tips. Your coach will make suggestions on activity cards that are right for you. Feel free to explore!

About Therapy & Psychiatry

How is coaching different from therapy?

Coaching focuses on where you are in the present and your goals for the future. Coaching is a collaborative relationship. You and your coach work together to identify small steps you can take to achieve your goals, making adjustments along the way to keep you on track.

Therapy consists of sessions with a licensed clinician to help you address ongoing psychological symptoms, or patterns of thought, behavior or emotion that no longer serve you. Therapy allows you to dive deeper into past or present issues to make positive change in your life. Coaching sessions happen through text-based chat, while therapy sessions happen via live video chats. 

Can Ginger psychiatrists prescribe medication?

Ginger psychiatrists are able to prescribe psychotropic drugs, which are medications that target the reduction of mental health symptoms. Examples include certain antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety medication. Ginger psychiatrists are not permitted to prescribe controlled substances, including stimulants, benzodiazepines, or opiates, as they require in-person visits for a prescription. Ginger psychiatrists are able to treat most issues without the use of controlled substances.

How will my psychiatrist manage my medication?

If you are undergoing psychiatric treatment, your psychiatrist will meet with you every 4-8 weeks to evaluate how your prescribed medication(s) are affecting you. Depending on their evaluation, they might increase or decrease the dosage, or prescribe a different medication.

Can Ginger therapists or psychiatrists give me a letter of recommendation for a service or emotional support animal?

Our therapists and psychiatrists cannot honor requests for letters of recommendation for service or emotional support animals.

How do therapy and psychiatry differ?

Therapists take a broader approach to help you gain an understanding of why patterns develop and identify ways to create change. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who can prescribe medication to manage more severe or enduring symptoms.

How are therapy and psychiatry services delivered?

Therapy and psychiatry sessions happen via video chat right from the Ginger app—which means you can have your session anywhere you'd like. You can also access your appointment over a platform called Zoom on your computer. We recommend finding a quiet, private place where you feel comfortable. Sessions can range in number and frequency, depending on your needs.

What are the qualifications of Ginger therapists and psychiatrists?

Ginger therapists are state-licensed healthcare professionals trained in a variety of evidence-based therapeutic approaches and have either a master's or doctoral degree. Ginger psychiatrists are medical doctors with four additional years of psychiatric training. They're state-licensed to prescribe medication and monitor its effects on your health.

How much time do therapy and psychiatry appointments take?

Sessions with a therapist are 45-50 minutes, based on your need. With a psychiatrist, the first appointment is 45 minutes and follow-ups are 20 minutes.

How can I start working with a Ginger therapist or psychiatrist?

Your coach can help determine whether you should start working with a therapist or psychiatrist. If you do not have a Ginger coach, reach out to a member of our Member Support team through the app to find out if your employer’s plan or health plan covers therapy and psychiatry. Someone from the Member Support team can answer any questions and help you schedule your first appointment.

Can I work with a Ginger therapist or psychiatrist without going through coaching?

Coaching is the ideal place to start for most members, since coaches are trained to work with a wide range of situations and can assess the level of care needed. However, we understand that some members are looking for treatment for an active diagnosis or a higher level of care than coaching. If this is you, you can reach out to Member Support to schedule an appointment with a Ginger therapist or psychiatrist by clicking on “Chat with Support” on the Video tab after completing the onboarding process. 

(For members accessing the app through an employer, you must complete the onboarding process, including scheduling a chat with a coach, in order to access Member Support. However, it is not necessary to chat with a coach prior to meeting with a therapist or psychiatrist, if you choose not to.) 

Once you have completed onboarding, Member Support will be able to answer questions and schedule your appointment.

After you meet with a therapist or psychiatrist, we recommend chatting with your coach, who can help you make progress between therapy or psychiatry appointments. Your coach will also be able to support you when you step down from clinical services.

Why don’t international Ginger members have access to Ginger therapists or psychiatrists?

To provide medical care (such as therapy and psychiatry) outside the United States, medical providers, such as Ginger, are required to meet country and regional legal, licensure, and medical practice requirements. Some countries require that medical providers also must have a local office in the region. Currently, Ginger delivers all services from the United States and does not maintain international medical licenses or offices. For these reasons, Ginger can only deliver coaching services, and not therapy or psychiatry, to its international members in approved countries.

Scheduling with a Therapist or Psychiatrist

How do I schedule an appointment with a therapist or psychiatrist?

In the video tab in the app, reach out to a representative of the Member Support team to find a time that works for both you and your therapist or psychiatrist. You will be asked to fill out an intake form and provide payment information. Once a Member Support specialist schedules your session, you’ll be able to see and access your appointment in the video tab in the app or through the confirmation email sent.

How do I change my therapy or video appointment appointment?

To change your appointment, contact the Member Support team in the app at least 24 hours before your scheduled session.

Privacy and Security

Will my Ginger activity and information be private?

Yes and yes. Ginger does not and will not share anything about your individual activity, sign-up information, or private data, with your employer. We only provide summarized reports that are aggregated and anonymized to preserve the privacy of our members. Ginger is a healthcare provider and protects your confidential health and personal information in accordance with state, federal, and international law as described in our Privacy Statement and Terms of Service.

U.S. Members: U.S. Privacy Statement and Medical Terms of Service.

International Members: International Privacy Statement and Coaching Terms of Service
Additional questions about our privacy or security practices can be directed to: privacy@ginger.io.

How do I know that all my information and data shared with Ginger are in safe digital hands?

As a fundamental pillar to ensuring trust and providing the best possible support and care, Ginger’s information privacy and security governance is aligned with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 27001 and 27002 security standards, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publications 800 Series, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679, and other relevant state and international breach notification and security regulations. Ginger has implemented administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your information.

Can I request for my information and data to be deleted?

Ginger stores your Account Data and Personal Information for as long as Ginger needs it to provide services, to serve the purpose(s) for which your personal information was processed, or as necessary to comply with Ginger's contractual and legal obligations, resolve disputes, or enforce our agreements to the extent permitted by law.

If you would like your Account Data or other Personal Information permanently removed from Ginger's database, please contact Ginger at privacy@ginger.io. Ginger will then terminate your account, you will no longer be able to use Ginger services, and you will no longer receive emails from Ginger. Subject to applicable law and necessary record retention requirements, your identifying Personal Information shall be deleted from Ginger records. Please note that Ginger may need to retain certain information for recordkeeping purposes, to complete any transactions that you began prior to your request, or for other purposes as required or authorized by law.

What legal jurisdiction is it stored in?

All data is stored and processed in the United States.

Will my dependents or family members know when I’m using Ginger, or will I be notified of my dependent’s usage?

No, Ginger will never share usage information with family members, dependents, or primary benefit recipients.

Information for Employees

What happens when I leave my employer?

You don’t have to part ways with Ginger even if you part ways with your employer. When you leave your employer, you will have the option of signing up for a Ginger membership to pay for out-of-pocket. You can contact our Member Support team through the app to set up your paid membership.

Will my employer or people I work with know that I'm using Ginger?

Definitely not. Ginger does not share any individual-level service usage or other private data with your employer. Ginger only provides summarized reports that are aggregated and anonymized to preserve the privacy of our members. In other words, we won’t tell your employers anything about your interaction with your coach or even that you use Ginger. We only share “big picture” information, such as the total number of employees using Ginger. Ginger protects your confidential health and personal information in accordance with state, federal, and international law as described in our Privacy Statement and Terms of Service.

Before Your First Appointment

Video access

How do I access my video appointment?

You can access your appointment from your phone or your computer.

To use your phone for your appointment, join the session in the “Video” tab in the Ginger app at the time of your appointment.

To use your computer, download Zoom here: https://zoom.us/download. When it’s time for your appointment, go to the confirmation email and click “start session.”

You will be placed in a virtual waiting room (just like an in-person clinic). Your clinician will admit you into your session as soon as your clinician is ready and has verified your identity.

Payment and Cancellation Policy

Why do I need to provide payment information if my employer or health plan is providing Ginger as a benefit?

We ask for your credit card information to keep on file as having this information at the start makes it easier for you to pay later. You’ll only be charged a) if there's an amount your health insurance plan doesn't cover, like copays or deductibles, or if your employer doesn’t cover clinical visits, and/or b) in the event that you cancel an appointment with less than 24 hours notice, based on your employer or insurance plan. We'll always let you know before we charge you.

What forms of payment does Ginger accept?

We accept all major debit and credit cards. We do not accept any other form of payment at this time.

How can I change or update my credit card information?

In the Ginger app, go to the payment tab, select "Payment Method" and enter your updated credit card information.

How does Ginger protect my credit card information that it keeps on file?

Your security is a top priority for us. Ginger doesn’t store the credit card information. Instead, Ginger uses a payment processor, Stripe, which secures all credit card information. Visit https://stripe.com/privacy to learn more. 

What’s your cancellation and no-show policy?

If you need to cancel an appointment with a therapist or psychiatrist, we ask that you do so at least 24 hours in advance. This policy helps us ensure all of our patients can receive timely care, as we are not able to frequently fill slots canceled within 24 hours. For appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours notice of your scheduled appointment, you will incur a fee of $125, based on your employer or plan benefits. Please let our Member Support team know as soon as possible if you need to reschedule your session.

What is the refund policy?

If you don’t show up or if you cancel within 24 hours of your appointment, we unfortunately can’t refund the cancellation fee. This is because our clinicians are unable to schedule a new appointment with less than 24 hours notice. However, if unique circumstances (disability, court orders, death, etc.) require you to miss your session, please let us know, and we will review on a case-by-case basis to make refund decisions.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you are using your computer to access your appointment, download Zoom using this link: https://zoom.us/download

If you are having issues accessing your chat or appointment, close the Ginger app completely and reopen it. If that doesn’t work, turn your phone off completely and turn it back on. 

If you have access to a computer, try connecting to the session by using the link sent in your appointment confirmation email.

Reach out to a Member Support specialist for troubleshooting help, or to have them notify your therapist or psychiatrist that you are having trouble accessing your appointment.