Recently an insurance company requested the complete file of 3 of my patients. It was legally allowed and I had to comply. And for this reason I wanted to make you aware that your records are protected from general release to the public, but your insurance company can always get them anyway.
A few reasons why it could be better to pay cash for therapy
- Privacy. Your sessions with me are completely confidential. I do not have to report your information to any third party, except in the rare times required by law (Like when you are going to hurt yourself or someone else). Which means what we discuss does not leave my office without your permission. I do not report to your employer, your medical provider, your spouse or anyone. That means you are free to discuss anything and everything with confidence. But if you use your insurance, they are permitted to do an “audit” and review your file. That means they can see everything.
- You might not be “broken”. Insurance companies require you to have a diagnosis in order to pay for services. That means there has to be something wrong with you that therapy might fix. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to, to help you figure things out or get through a tough time. That’s OK! You don’t have to be sick or broken to go to therapy.
- It can affect your Life Insurance rates. Having a record of mental illness, especially depression, can affect your ability to get life insurance, or cause you to have higher rates due to the increased risk.
- Quality time. Insurance companies decide how long your therapy session should be (usually 50 minutes) and how much they cost. The insurance companies can set a limit on how long you can see your therapist. What if you need a longer session or want to come twice a week? Your insurance can refuse the extra time or extra sessions.
- You are in control. I am your therapist (not your insurance company’s). You can decide who to bring with you to session and how many session you need. If you decide we are not a good match, you can choose another therapist at will. I can even help you.
- Mental Health vs Mental Illness. Most insurance companies do not cover hypnosis, couple’s therapy, sex therapy, or other modalities that promote wellness. Instead, insurance pays to cure a sickness. I believe that mental health is about prevention and doing what’s right for you, your family, and your body. If you have a serious mental illness, I will work with your Doctor and or Psychiatrist to bring you the best care possible.
- Savings. Depending on your plan and co-pay, you might find that you save time and money working with a private pay therapist. Because some sessions are longer than insurance usually covers, we can get more done in less time. Plus, you can save your insurance benefits for later or choose a less expensive plan.
- Flexibility. Can’t leave work or don’t want to fight traffic? You chose how and where we meet. Since you are in control, we can meet in-person, by video, or by phone. If you are on vacation or moving, we can still work together.
- It’s Easy. You don’t have to worry about what is or is not “covered” by your insurance company. You won’t get any surprise charges and you choose how and when to pay. I offer several options to work with your budget. I have never wanted money to stand in the way of your mental health so if finances are a concern, let’s talk about it.
- You are more invested in therapy. When you are paying for something, you want your money’s worth. You will hold yourself more accountable to do the hard work. You will also hold me accountable to provide a valuable service.