Paying privately may be a better choice even if you do have health insurance.
Most clients seek psychotherapy to improve relationships or transition through “rough patches,” but to an insurance company review board, these are not acceptable reasons. To be approved for psychotherapy sessions, the counselor must make a case that it is “medically necessary” which can include a mental illness diagnosis. This can become a part of your permanent health record.
Your mental health records won’t be used against you.
Did you know that your health records may limit your ability to qualify for health or life insurance or require that you pay substantially higher premiums in the future? Details of your sessions are often entered into a database called the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) by your insurance company. The medical information on over 16 million people is currently housed in this database. Other providers, insurance companies, and even non-medical services like personnel departments may have access to this information for the purposes of evaluating you.
Your confidentiality will not be compromised.
Our commitment to care for our clients includes a desire to maintain their confidentiality and privacy. To be reimbursed by an insurance company, our practice would have to label you with a diagnosis and submit frequent updates on symptoms and what is happening in psychotherapy.
You (not a managed care panel) are making decisions about your treatment.
Many insurance companies provide payment only for certain approaches to psychotherapy (short-term and problem-focused) and many others won’t pay for family sessions, even when the client is a child and the parents are vital to the therapeutic process.
You may save money in the long run.
Your insurance plan most likely includes a co-pay and then covers only a percentage of the fee which means you would be paying cash for a portion of the session anyway. You might be surprised to find that the difference between private pay and insurance co-pays are not that much more. Psychotherapy will ultimately save you money in the long run: less money spent on stress-related illness, fewer problems at home or with your child’s behavior – all of which may result in less time off from work.
You can set your priorities for what is most important.
Psychotherapy has the potential to create lasting change and to avert more serious problems later on. Consider making the choice to adjust your budget to include this important service for yourself or your child. If you choose to work with our practice, you will find that our rates are very reasonable, affordable, and cost-effective if you do not have to drive a long distance, and not much more than a typical copayment.
In summary, good reasons to pay privately for your sessions are:
- You choose the counselor best suited to your needs rather than the insurance company telling you who to see.
- You have flexibility in the type of session, who to include in the session and the length of services.
- You will have complete confidentiality. Your records will not be shared with anyone without your permission. In fact, no one else will know you are even in psychotherapy unless you tell them!
- You won’t have to worry that your health records will be included in the MIB and possibly create problems for you or your family in the future.
- You will be able to stay with your counselor even if your insurance plan coverage changes.