Posted on May 12, 2020
Wondering what the average cost is for online therapy? Read on to explore the various factors that could go into your decision.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Like seeing your internist is critical to staying well, therapy is an important part of your overall healthcare. Many people choose to prioritize incorporating therapy into their healthcare because they know that through counseling, you can learn to cope with work issues, communicate more effectively, and improve self-esteem. It doesn’t have to be prescriptive in nature. In some ways, it’s a sort of preventative medicine. If you get ahead of issues in one part of your life, it can lead to a happier and more peaceful relationship, your home life may become more enjoyable.
However, one of the biggest barriers to entry of starting therapy treatment is the cost of a therapy session. Well, that and making it to in-office sessions. But if you’re looking to skip the in-office visits, you might be wondering does online therapy work or how much does online therapy cost?
Unfortunately, there’s not a straight answer to that question, as every licensed therapist charges different rates and is compensated differently. That said, we can help you navigate the typical online therapy cost so you have a better idea of what makes the most sense for you.
Paying for talk therapy or mental health services can be a major challenge for many people. You may be used to the concept that traditional face-to-face is the only option. But there are many different types of therapy and countless practitioners who provide individual therapy. And now with online counseling becoming more popular, the cost for some treatment has become more affordable.
Naturally, you're worried about paying for a therapy service. In fact, your decision to even start online video therapy at all might hinge on this factor. You want to see a professional counselor, but can you afford teletherapy?
You need to consider if the mental health professional you choose exclusively performs online sessions, or has an in-office practice where they also accommodate online video therapy. Cost will vary depending on if the therapist has a private practice or part of a group. While some therapists will charge as much as $250 per hour, the average 45 to 60-minute individual therapy session costs between $60 and $120. Many health insurance providers offer coverage where therapy costs $20 to $50 per live session, or that equal to your current co-pay.
The best thing to do is to take the time to look into each candidate individually to see real-time rates. Be sure to choose a therapy matching service that can help you in the process. While this involves some time and effort, you will eventually get the mental health care you need at a price you can afford.
Aside from taking the time to do your research, it’s important to consider some cost factors. Deciding to deal with a mental health issue before it snowballs into a more severe issue can potentially avoid a greater cost of hospitalization and downtime at work. Investing in treatment now can feel like a financial burden, but could ultimately save you in bills later.
Another factor to consider is the number of sessions you are going to use throughout the year. Not only does the type of counseling service you need affect the cost, but the amount of sessions is something to consider as well. Some therapists offer a sliding scale. While there is no set industry standard for sliding scale rates, practitioners can decide to offer sessions for as little or as much as the client can afford.
If you’re on the fence, chances are you can squeeze enough money from your budget to take this important step. Sit down and go over your budget for anything you can cut to make room for it. Consider that if you are having a short-term or situational problem, this would only be a temporary cost that will be outweighed by the benefits of online therapy.
Whether or not a mental health professional takes insurance is their decision. Typically, when a therapist charges a fee, it's determined based on numerous factors, and in many private practice settings, therapists can decide the rate for their counseling service. It's common for insurance to avoid covering or refunding costs for talk therapy. Remember that therapists don't get paid unless you or the insurance company is compensating them for their services. You're either paying them upfront and out of your pocket, or the insurance company is compensating them.
That’s all to say, getting therapy insurance for online counseling is possible, but sometimes there are limitations. Insurance billing can be complex when dealing with copayments or deductibles. There may be a limit to how many sessions your insurance will cover. Mental health care in the United States varies from state to state and can depend on the kind of insurance you have.
An online therapy service like Advekit can navigate the ins and outs of your insurance policy, and match you with a licensed therapist, so you understand the cost for your online therapy upfront. Reach out to us today to find the perfect online therapist for you.
Alison LaSov, LMFT
Alison LaSov is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with experience treating clients struggling with anxiety and depression. She predominantly focuses on mental health intervention for children and adolescents, particularly those who are in crisis. She has worked within the Los Angeles education system treating students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), as well as supervised a non-profit Teen Crisis Hotline out of Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Alison earned her B.A. from UCLA and M.A. from Pepperdine University. She is a native to Los Angeles and co-founder at Advekit.