The cost of therapy and counseling should never interfere with your ability to receive effective care. That’s why I accept many different forms of health insurance, to help pay for the out of pocket expenses associated with mental health treatment.
With or without insurance, I try to provide the best possible care to my clients. But I do try to inform all of my patients on Long Island about the value of paying for their psychotherapy out of pocket, using a fee for service (FFS) model. That is because, in today’s uncertain insurance climate, there may be benefits to receiving care away from the limitations of insurance.
Why Consider Paying Out of Pocket?
These days, there are ample reasons to consider covering the costs of your mental health care out of pocket, rather relying on insurance companies. Some of these benefits include:
- “Pre-Existing Conditions” – At the moment, insurance companies are currently unable to discriminate based on pre-existing conditions. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, there is a risk that insurance companies can avoid paying for patients that have pre-existing conditions, including anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. The FFS model keeps any diagnoses off of insurance forms.
- Anonymous Treatment – Similarly, the FFS model allows for anonymity. For those that want to maintain their privacy, the FFS model allows you to engage in appropriate treatment without involving your employer. This is especially useful for those in high stress jobs, like police officers and firemen, where, unfortunately, the stigma of mental illness may linger and negatively impact one’s career.
- No Diagnosis is Necessary – Insurance companies require a diagnosis before they will pay for treatment. That means that if you want insurance to pay for your anxiety, depression, or other mental health challenge, you have to receive an official and logged diagnosis. With the fee for service model, you can receive treatment without the need for a diagnosis.
- No Treatment Limitations – Depending on your coverage plan, the insurance company may only pay for a limited number of sessions. With the fee for service model, you and your provider determine the appropriate number of sessions without the limitations placed by insurance.
Those with high deductibles may already be required to pay for their mental health care out of pocket, so the fee for service model simply makes the process easier.
Fee for service helps address many of the problems associated with insurance for mental health. It doesn’t require a diagnosis, doesn’t limit your treatments, limits the number of people that have access to your personal information, and allows you to simply focus on healing.
If you’re concerned about the costs of out of pocket care, we can always discuss your financial situation in our first session, and talk about whether or not fee for service is right for you.
Billing Insurance is Possible
For those that would still prefer to bill insurance, I will gladly provide you with a receipt for our services that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. I know that it is a tough financial time, and that any relief you receive is worthwhile.
But if you have the means, there are benefits to utilizing fee for service. I also have some of the more affordable costs for a psychologist on Long Island, with my fee similar to the out of pocket costs of many insurance agencies, so if you do choose to pay out of pocket there are that may be advantageous.