Insurance and mental health: Some of what you need to know…

woman holding pen while using calculator
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Note: All of this is general information. Your best bet is always to call your own insurance carrier to verify benefits and get providers they have on file who take your insurance.

One of the things that you may be wondering about AIPC (and counseling in general) is if you can use your health insurance benefits. Oftentimes, YES! There is supposed to be parity in insurance, meaning that mental health coverage should be just as present as physical health benefits. Super cool, yes? Especially because we often pay so much for health insurance; we want to be able to use it!

I totally get it; being able to get therapy covered may be a HUGE benefit and support in getting you in the door. It can lessen the stress that may come about finances when thinking about paying out of pocket for services.

A few things you should know before using your insurance:

  • You may have a co-pay. As a provider, I can’t change or reduce this, given my contract with your insurance company. You can contact your insurance company to find out what it would be.
  • Your insurance may only cover a certain amount of sessions. Again, this is specific to your plan, but you should be aware this could be the case.
  • If you’re using your insurance, I will have to use a diagnosis and release that diagnosis to your insurance company. That said, if what brings you into counseling does not meet criteria, we’ll have that conversation. (I could still see you, you just wouldn’t be able to use your insurance. At that time, we can talk about a sliding scale – a reduced fee if necessary.)
  • I may also have to release treatment information to your insurance company, if required. This may include notes or treatment plans.
  • Diagnoses and treatment information is then included in your medical history beyond my office. This may be a positive or a negative; it could also have later implications in careers, such as if you are seeking clearance, say for a government job.

Therapists are split on taking insurance, for a lot of reasons. I’ve chosen to get paneled with some insurances because it opens private practice options to individuals who may not otherwise seek treatment. Plus, the theories of counseling I most frequently use often align with evidenced based practices required by insurance panels (cognitive behavioral, strength-based, and solution-focused therapies, as well as motivational interviewing).

***

I’m super excited to share that I am (finally) hearing back from insurance providers and (as of October 7, 2018), am currently a provider with: United Healthcare, GEHA, Cigna, Aetna, and Maryland Medicaid. I’m waiting to hear back and finalize the process with a few other insurances. I’ll update the Services and Fees page when that happens.

(Looking to use insurance that I’m not currently able to accept? Contact me to see if yours is on the list. If it’s not? Let’s talk sliding scale. You never know unless you ask, right?)

Other questions about using your insurance? Contact me and let me know!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: