I do not bill insurance, nor am I on any insurance panel. I would be considered an “out of network” provider. I am not an “in-network provider” so that I am able to maintain a greater level of confidentiality with medical records. Because in-network providers are required to share more information with insurance companies. I am free to keep notes completely private. You may be able to receive reimbursement for a portion of the cost of therapy through out-of-network benefits. This means I will provide you with a receipt to send to your insurance company for out-of-network benefits. If you have out-of-network benefits, you will receive money back directly from your carrier. The amount of compensation depends on your individual plan.
REASONS I DO NOT ACCEPT INSURANCE:
● Reduced Ability to Choose: Most health care plans today (insurance, PPO, HMO, etc.) offer little coverage and/or reimbursement for mental health services. Most HMOs and PPOs require “preauthorization” before you can receive services. This means you must call the company and justify why you are seeking therapeutic services in order for you to receive reimbursement. The insurance representative, who may or may not be a mental health professional, will decide whether services will be allowed. If authorization is given, you are often restricted to seeing the providers on the insurance company’s list. Reimbursement is reduced if you choose someone who is not on the contracted list; consequently, your choice of providers is often significantly restricted.
● Pre-Authorization and Reduced Confidentiality: Insurance typically authorizes several therapy sessions at a time. When these sessions are finished, your therapist must justify the need for continued services. Sometimes additional sessions are not authorized, leading to an end of the therapeutic relationship even if therapeutic goals are not completely met. Your insurance company may require additional clinical information that is confidential in order to approve or justify a continuation of services. Confidentiality cannot be assured or guaranteed when an insurance company requires information to approve continued services. Even if the therapist justifies the need for ongoing services, your insurance company may decline services. Your insurance company dictates if treatment will or will not be covered. Note: Personal information might be added to national medical information data banks regarding treatment.
● Negative Impacts of a Psychiatric Diagnosis: Insurance companies require clinicians to give a mental health diagnosis (i.e., “major depression” or “obsessive-compulsive disorder”) for reimbursement. Psychiatric diagnoses may negatively impact you in the following ways:
1. Denial of insurance when applying for disability or life insurance;
2. Company (mis)control of information when claims are processed;
3. Loss of confidentiality due to the increased number of persons handling claims;
4. Loss of employment and/or repercussions of a diagnosis in situations where you may be required to reveal a mental health disorder diagnosis on your record. This includes but is not limited to: applying for a job, financial aid, and/or concealed weapons permits.
5. A psychiatric diagnosis can be brought into a court case (ie: divorce court, family law, criminal, etc.).
It is also important to note that some psychiatric diagnoses are not eligible for reimbursement. This is often true for marriage/couples therapy.
Why Clinicians Do Not Take Insurance: These involve enhanced quality of care and other advantages:
1. You are in control of your care, including choosing your therapist, length of treatment, etc.
2. Increased privacy and confidentiality (except for limits of confidentiality).
3. Not having a mental health disorder diagnosis on your medical record.
4. Consulting with me on non-psychiatric issues that are important to you that aren’t billable by insurance, such as learning how to cope with life changes, gaining more effective communication techniques for your relationships, increasing personal insight, and developing healthy new skills.
After reading my position on why I don’t accept health insurance, you still may decide to use your health insurance. If you provide me with a list of therapists on your insurance provider list, I will do my best to recommend a therapist for you.