From the archives!
When I practiced as a psychotherapist, like most in private practice, I was on insurance panels. Over time I decided to drop off insurance panels because of the low rates and the time I spent working on claims without consideration. I would supply my clients with the information needed to submit to their insurance for “out of network” benefits.
But guess what? When the insurance companies started calling and harassing me for more information and required me to fill out 1 more, 2 more, 3 more forms- I threw my hands up and said “No more.” My mantra became, “If you require a diagnosis I’m not your girl.”
Of course, this was just on the heels of me becoming a coach and breaking out of the intuitive closet. Nonetheless, I offer the language I used back in the day: Feel free to use it verbatim or amend it. Take what you want and leave the rest.
Why I Don’t Accept Insurance As Payment For My Services:
I too have a health insurance plan that I use for some of my medical needs. However, I don’t accept insurance in my practice for several reasons. I want you to understand why so that you can make an informed choice about whether or not it is best for you to use your insurance to pay for your therapy.
Using your insurance means:
- I would have to give you a Mental Disorder Diagnosis (like Major Depressive Disorder or Generalized Anxiety Disorder for example).
- Every few weeks, I would have to write a report that shows what progress, if any, you are making with that mental disorder.
- Then, someone at the insurance company who does not know us will decide if they will continue to pay for us to work together. It is as if they are listening in on your therapy session.
- The exact number is unclear, but I have been told that up to 14 different people look at that report with your Mental Disorder Diagnosis before making a payment on the account.
- This compromises your privacy. In my practice, your files are locked away and no one is able to see them except me unless, at some point, you request that I share them with someone else (e.g. your physician etc.).
- And that mental disorder diagnosis? It remains on your health record and can impact you in various ways for years to come.
Make an Informed Decision:
- Above are some of the reasons I do not accept insurance as payment for services. If you want to keep your issues private and the paper trail to a minimum, using your insurance will not afford you the level of privacy you desire.
- Knowing what is required of you and your therapist when using your insurance plan to pay for sessions is the only way to make an informed decision.
- Call your insurance company if you have further questions.
- You may be concerned about therapy becoming very expensive if you pay on your own. However, generally people experience significant improvement fairly quickly—within 8-‐20 sessions.
- If using your insurance is the right decision for you, they can provide you with a list of providers in your area that accept your plan. Simply call the number for mental health services on the back of the card for this list of providers.
- If you feel that you are going through a difficult time that is situational (grief, divorce, loss of job) please consider paying out of pocket. You will avoid receiving a mental disorder diagnosis that could remain on your health record for years to come. Remember, in order for insurance to pay for your therapy sessions, a diagnosis is required.
Check, Cash, Money Order as well as Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express is accepted. Whether in-office or online, payment is expected prior to the beginning of each session. For your convenience, payment may be made in-person or online.
A certain percentage of my psychotherapy practice is dedicated to pro bono work. I offer services at no charge to clients in-office and online. All pro bono services are delivered to people in my local community as a way of giving back. I rely on local agencies and organizations to refer appropriately qualified clients.
I do not offer sliding scale fees. While certain agencies are set up to provide sliding scale, this is usually based on income verification. I am not comfortable asking you for proof of income and for that reason, I will refer out if you require sliding scale. I can provide you with agencies in the area who provide such services.
If you do not show up for your scheduled appointment, and you have not notified me at least 24 hours in advance, you will be required to pay the full cost of the treatment as booked.
(I keep this information on my website in response to this blog post by colleague Tamara Suttle).
If you are look for information about my current Private Sessions and corresponding rates, click here.