Paying for Therapy
If you are seeking the highest degree of privacy and choice, paying out-of-pocket is the preferred choice.
Not only will you enjoy the most confidentiality of any payment option, you will not be labeled with a mental health diagnosis (see below), which all insurance companies require.
Additionally, our work together will not be affected by any changes in your health plan coverage or network. And depending on your particular tax situation, you may be able to write off therapy expenses.
The next best thing to out-of-pocket, using funds from a flexible spending account (FSA), a health saving account (HSA), or a health reimbursement account (HRA), allows you to use pre-tax dollars to pay for therapy.
Because my practice is coded as a health expenditure, your FSA or HSA card will be automatically accepted. HRA accounts are sometimes accessed through the insurance billing process, so a card is unnecessary in this case. Of course, you can always opt to submit your own receipts instead.
Regarding privacy, only the organization or bank that administers the FSA/HSA account will know about your therapy charges.
Note: Your HSA/FSA administrator may require an itemized receipt, possibly including a mental health diagnosis (see below), if you opt to turn in your own receipts or if they decide to audit charges made to your account. These will be supplied upon request.
This is a good option for people who value choice, but would also like to utilize their health insurance benefits.
Using out-of-network benefits is very similar to using in-network benefits in that insurance will pay for a portion of each session, although sometimes the percentage they pay is a less than they pay for in-network (70% vs 80%, for example).
I will electronically submit out-of-network charges to your insurance company automatically. Or I can supply you with an itemized receipt, called a super bill, if you'd like to do it yourself.
There are a few downsides to this option to be aware of. The first is that you will be assigned a mental health diagnosis (see below). Insurance companies require this in order to reimburse for any service.
The second downside is that you may have a deductible which must be satisfied before any reimbursement can occur. For some people, this deductible can be sizable. However, many in-network plans also have a deductible, so there may not be a significant difference in out-of-pocket expenses depending on your particular plan.
The best way to find out about your out-of-network deductible and the percentage of reimbursement you can expect is to ask your insurance company directly.
Prior to beginning therapy, I will contact your insurance company and provide you with a written estimate of your financial responsibility. This estimate is not a guarantee of benefits because we cannot know exact coverage amounts until we submit actual charges. However, it should give you a good approximation of what you will owe for each session.
Or if you'd like, you can call your insurance carrier directly. Here's what to ask when you call.
I offer several flexible payment options to fit your needs so that you may attend therapy as often as you'd like without straining your budget. These plans typically allow for smaller weekly or monthly automatic payments toward your balance and do not accrue any kind of fees or interest.
Payment plans may be utilized for out-of-pocket, FSA/HSA, or out-of-network insurance scenarios.
I do not offer reduced fee sessions. However, I am able to provide at least three referrals to low-cost or in-network options in the area. If this is something you need, please contact me.
In-Network Insurance (*Not Accepted)
For people who know they want to use their health insurance benefits, this option can by the most affordable (although not always), but it comes with the greatest restrictions and the least amount of choice.
In-network means that the therapist has agreed to be a network provider for your particular insurance company. Specifically, this means that in order for the the provider to be paid for each session, they are contractually obligated to regularly communicate information about your treatment goals and progress to your insurance company.
The insurance company often uses this information to determine how many sessions they will allow. This also means that you will be required to have a mental health diagnosis (see below).
* Because of the high value I place on your confidentiality and choice when it comes to therapy, I have not signed contracts with any insurance companies. Therefore, you will be unable to use in-network benefits while seeing me.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH DIAGNOSES
I believe you should be adequately informed of all possible implications so you may make a conscientious decision about having a mental health diagnosis permanently added to your health record.
A mental health diagnosis is a code assigned to the issue or issues that bring you to therapy. It tells the insurance company what you're being treated for, how long it may last, and how likely it is to return.
We do not yet fully realize the present and future implications of having a mental health diagnosis, particularly with the new laws requiring the interconnectedness of medical records.
A mental health diagnosis could potentially affect your ability to purchase affordable life insurance, as well as affect adoption applications, high level job/security clearance, or other future legal, employment, or financial implications we have yet to imagine.
Credit Card (Visa, MC, Amex, Discover)
Health Saving Account (HSA) Card
Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Card
Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)
Insurance Plans without Mental Health Networks (e.g. some union plans)
Private Insurance plans (out-of-network only)
Select Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
NOTE: Most MNSure and MA (Medical Assistance) plans cover in-network charges only. Contact me for in-network referrals if you have one of these plans and would like to use insurance to pay for therapy.