If you have been looking for a therapist recently you may have found that many are now going to “self pay”, meaning you pay for therapy out-of-pocket. This practice is becoming increasingly common among private practice therapists, including Child’s Play Counseling Services. You may ask yourself, why would I choose to pay out-of-pocket for therapy services when my insurance would cover it?
Child’s Play Counseling Services takes client rights and advocacy very seriously. For this reason that I offer reduced fees for clients rather than accepting insurance.
Continue reading for some of the main reasons many therapists are no longer taking insurance:
- The ability to choose your own therapist:Managed care companies generally have a list of preferred providers that consumers choose from. You may not like the choices you have, or the therapist you want to see may not be included in this list. By paying out-of-pocket you have a much larger selection of therapists to choose from, so you are able to find the best therapist for you.
- You chose the type and length of your therapy, not the insurance company:Research indicates that the longer a person is in therapy the more benefits are received; in addition, research has also found that attending therapy for at least three to six months provides the benefits clients are looking for. When using insurance the managed care companies are the ones who determine the number of sessions and the type of therapy they will pay for. Although you may only have a $40.00 co-pay per session through your insurance, you will likely have a limited number of sessions they will pay for; in general this number ranges from three to six. If you feel this has not efficiently helped you, you will either have to stop therapy, pay the full price for it
- Minimize exposure of your PHI:Protected Health Information. In order for your insurance company to pay for services your therapist has to disclose, with your consent, your personal information in order to verify your eligibility, pre-authorize services, and process claims to obtain payment. So the therapist informs your insurance company of such things as the nature of your issues for counseling, psychiatric diagnosis, your treatment plan, and how long you will possibly have the problem. With a self pay therapist there is no requirement to release this information and it can be kept completely confidential.
- No need to be labeled:Although receiving a diagnosis, when appropriate, can be beneficial to you or your child it does come with its fair share of unfortunate consequences. The few sessions the managed care company allows you to have may not be worth living with this new label for the rest of your life. The advantage of self-pay therapy is that your information is not released to the Medical Information Bureau, so even if you do receive a diagnosis it is kept confidential between you and your therapist within the laws of confidentiality.
The value of private-pay services over managed-care services are that they are more personalized, remove the stigma of the medical model and clinic setting, offer true privacy and are more effective. However, it is always a personal choice whether or not to use your health insurance to pay for therapy. For some, using insurance benefits is the best choice and others will find they like the freedom paying out-of-pocket gives them in their journey towards mental wellness.
Call 334-222-7094 schedule an appointment