Using Health Insurance for Therapy
I often help clients understand and gain confidence in their relationship with money and break generational traumas around money to begin building personal and generational wealth . For better or for worse, our financial empowerment and the confidence we feel with our own money is an important part of living a happier life. As part of that, I want to help you feel comfortable around your rights and costs for your own healthcare. I've included information about using insurance for therapy here, along with information about the U.S. No Surprises Act.
There are many ways to pay for mental health treatment. If you don't use in-network health insurance, you can also save money each session by using a FSA/HSA, also known as a Health Savings Account, by talking with your therapist about bulk session rates or sliding scale, or by filing for an out-of-network session.
If you are thinking about using health insurance for counseling, I'm happy to help. Therapy is an investment in yourself and health insurance can be an incredible asset if you would like to make regular mental health care more attainable.
There are many great things about using insurance for therapy, and a couple of drawbacks worth mentioning: your insurance company will require you to have a diagnosis for a mental health condition, and they will have the right to know your diagnosis and ask about your treatment and treatment notes. Your insurance may refuse to cover sessions if they decide that is what they want to do. It's good to know these things so you can make a decision that works best for you.
I encourage you to explore all of your options so you can make an informed decision before you use your healthcare benefits. I'm happy to help.
A Note on Telehealth and Online Counseling
You may see that I am in network with your insurance provider, which is great! Before we get started, I will call your insurance provider to be sure that my services will also be covered for telehealth/online counseling. I encourage you to call your provider, too!
Every plan is different and some major insurance providers want to redirect clients to their automated online therapy platforms when they can. This saves the insurance companies money, but it limits your choices in who you choose as a therapist.
It is always a very good idea to call your insurance provider before your first session and at the beginning of each new year when your plan renews. This helps cut down on any unwanted surprises and helps insure smooth coverage for services.
The U.S. "No Surprises Act"
FYI: If you live in the U.S., it is a good idea to know about the new "No Surprises Act". The No Surprises Act went into effect on January 1, 2022 and requires any and all medical providers in the United States to notify the public of their federally protected rights to receive information about the costs of medical services.
This act is important to anyone who is a patient in any medical facility— and especially important if you use any form of health insurance. That applies to you if you elect to use health insurance, if your care is provided by an out-of-network provider, if you are uninsured, or even if you elect not to use insurance, or if insurance refuses to cover services.
The No Surprises Act mandates that all healthcare providers be forthcoming and honest about their prices, upfront, before services are rendered.
If you have ever had to go into a hospital and receive a service, like an x-ray, and then later received bills from multiple businesses and providers, or even worse, received a bill that your insurance refused to cover, then you can really feel how helpful it is to know your costs upfront.
If you are legally-minded, here is an official government link to this information:
I’ve written about it here because therapy/counseling (unlike life coaching) is a medical service.
The good news is that I only offer one type of therapy/counseling service, at one flat rate. I’m a one-woman-show, so you will never be surprised by therapy with a stranger or a surprise provider. My entire goal is to empower my clients, so we will always be able to work in a collaboration, focused on your goals… and your budget. Before you begin therapy, we will talk about costs and make sure that you feel comfortable and have time to make an empowered decision about when and if you would like to schedule a session.
You may have read above, I always encourage everyone who uses insurance to give their insurance provider a call and ask more about costs. If you decide to work with me and I am in your insurance network, I will also call your insurance provider on your behalf to check on co-pays, deductibles, and costs.
You will know exactly what you should pay before you ever start therapy. You will also know your costs in case insurance decides they don’t want to pay for your therapy (this has never happened yet, but things do happen), and knowledge is empowerment!
Know Your Coverage and Know Your Rights
The very best plan is to contact your insurance company before any treatment and make sure you are approved, and ask any questions that you might think of.
Remember, you always have choices. You can decide to start or stop using insurance coverage at any point in your treatment, as long as you communicate your wishes ahead of time. You may be able to apply for sliding-scale treatment costs, pre-paid visits at a discount, use pre-tax dollars, or work out a plan that better fits your budget.