Excellent question and so important to know! Insurance is extremely helpful at making services accessible for people. Before using your insurance, both in network or out of network, concern the information below to make sure it is the right choice for you.
The major benefit of using health insurance for therapy is a reduced cost for sessions. The insurance company pays for a portion of the service fee and the client pays only the copay for each session, instead of the full cost. Providers get back the allowed amount agreed upon in the contracted rate from the insurance company.
In order to use insurance for mental health services, a mental health diagnosis is required. No service can be billed without a diagnosis, which means there is documentation of a mental health “problem”. While there are times that a mental health diagnosis is absolutely appropriate, there are also times when providing a diagnosis is unnecessary. Insurance companies operate from a “problem-based” model, meaning in order to receive therapy, there must be something wrong with the mental health of the individual seeking services. However, we know this is not always the case. Therapy can be helpful for everyone. You do not need to have a mental health diagnosis in order to benefit from the therapeutic process.
By using insurance, your privacy decreases. Due to the requirement of needing a diagnosis for insurance to pay for services, you will now have a diagnosis on record. This can unfortunately create difficulties if pursuing jobs in law enforcement, military, increase your premium depending on the diagnosis, and limit ability to apply for life insurance.
Some insurance policies have a limitation on how many sessions they will approve. This means they dictate how long you are in therapy, rather than empowering you to make a personal choice on the length of treatment.
Making the choice to start therapy is a very personal and big decision to make. It is important to enter with all the information so you can make an empowered decision in your course of treatment. If you have any other questions around this topic I would be happy to discuss them in a free over the phone consultation.