Pros and Cons of Telehealth
Advantages of using insurance to pay for therapy are obvious: the insurance company will usually pay some or all of your fees. Simple right? Well, not exactly. Insurance companies have fine print which reads: "approval for services is no guarantee of payment". They may report that the client has a deductible that needs to be satisfied before they will pay, or there may be a larger copay for behavioral health than for physical healthcare.
Disadvantages of using insurance do exist. Working with insurance companies, therapists are required to provide a diagnosis and treatment plan following the initial session, when client and therapist are just getting to know one another. This diagnosis becomes part of your medical record which can become a privacy issue for some individuals. With self-pay, therapists can get to know the client first, and develop a diagnosis and treatment plan after getting to know the client better, and do not have to report the diagnosis to anyone.
Insurance companies will not provide coverage for all conditions, so if your therapist does not diagnose you with a “covered condition” your insurance company doesn’t have to pay. Depending on your policy, you may be restricted in the number of sessions you can have in a calendar year. Also, as an insurance client, you are limited to therapists in your insurance network, and you may have to satisfy a deductible and co-insurance before insurance will pay any of your fees.
So, what about self-pay?
Advantages to self-pay include having your privacy is protected, being able to see a therapist of your choosing, and being able to decide together with your therapist what treatment to use and how long and how often to meet. Your therapist does not have to provide any information about your treatment to your insurer, or to anyone else (with a few legal exceptions [feel free to ask me about these]). Also, clients who pay out of pocket tend to be more motivated to see results sooner and often invest themselves (no pun intended!) more fully in their therapy.
Have more questions about self-pay? Call me at (609) 248-0536 or send a message to Lina@CounselingForResilience.com
Intake assessment: $200
Weekly sessions: $150
Sliding scale available upon request.