With all the talk these days about insurance companies and mental health, one may ask the question, “Why pay privately for counseling services?” While there are a number of reasons to consider paying privately for counseling services, I will lay out just a few reasons that may be helpful when deciding what is best for you and your family:
5 Reasons to Pay Privately for Counseling Services
- You, your spouse, or your child will not be labeled with a mental health diagnosis.
In order for insurance to cover counseling services, a mental health diagnosis must be given to an insured client and counseling must be considered “medically necessary.” This means that reimbursement for services will only occur if you meet criteria for a mental health diagnosis. Not all people who seek services have a mental health diagnosis and not every person who is interested in therapy will qualify for a diagnosis. Furthermore, insurance typically does not cover services for marriage or couples counseling.
- Your information is completely confidential and will not be shared without your consent
When you bill insurance, the companies are free to audit your personal information when they please. Counselors must share your mental health diagnosis with insurers and the content of therapy may be divulged to ensure future services are covered. When you pay privately for counseling services, the only people involved are you, the therapist and any others that you consent to release information to.
- You manage your care, not an insurance company
Insurance companies limit who you can work with, what will be covered, the length of therapy, and the type of therapy that you are permitted to engage in. When paying privately for counseling, this will be decided between you and your therapist, rather than a third party.
- Your counseling records will not cause future issues regarding healthcare, life insurance, or future employment.
When billing insurance, the mental health diagnosis that your counselor gives you will stay in your health records, which are kept in the Medical Information Bureau’s national database. These records can impact future health or life insurance coverage and can even hinder employment opportunities. This is an importance aspect to consider when looking to bill your insurance.
- You know exactly what you are paying for and there are no unexpected costs.
High insurance deductibles and lack of reimbursement for services often emerge within the field of health care. This leaves people with a large bill to pay at unexpected times. When paying privately for counseling services, you know exactly what the cost is and what to budget out for health.
For more information, you can visit the Contact page to ask specific questions and to schedule your first appointment.
Jack Mulligan says
I like your point that you can manage your care instead of the insurance company. When I went into therapy last year I had to fight with my insurance to get them to work with me. I now pay for all of my therapy on my own so I can make my own choices and go for as long as is required. Great tips!