Posted on September 10, 2019
One of the first things to figure out before going to therapy is how you plan on paying for the service. Therapy can be costly and depending on why you’re looking to go to therapy and who your therapist is, it may or may not be covered by health insurance. Even if your therapy is covered, there may actually be reasons to choose to pay out-of-pocket rather than using your health insurance.
If you already have an insurance plan, make sure you understand the details of how therapy is covered. If you’re currently shopping for health insurance, you can use the information provided in this article to decide whether you will be using insurance for therapy or paying out-of-pocket. Make sure to use Advekit to help you find the right match for a therapist.
Usually, a health insurance plan will include some mental health coverage In Network or Out of Network benefits. Even if your plan doesn’t have mental health coverage, check to see if there is a behavioral health section of your plan. Therapy might be listed as a covered service.
Thanks to recent laws and growing awareness around the importance of mental health, therapy does tend to be covered to some extent by most health insurance plans. However, in the eyes of your insurance company, not all therapy is created equal and there may be several therapy insurance coverage options.
This gray area creates some issues with getting therapy covered by insurance. Many insurance plans do cover therapy, but only if it’s used to treat a mental health condition, such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD. In these cases, it might be in your best interest to pay out-of-pocket for therapy, so that you don’t need to be diagnosed for a disorder that you don’t have in order to get the sessions covered. You’ll want to work directly with your therapist to determine how to proceed with leveraging insurance for therapy, and if it is the right choice for you.
Many people aren’t sure how to find a therapist with their insurance. Even if therapy is covered under your plan, you may find that it’s difficult to find a therapist that will work with your insurance company. Most therapists choose not to accept insurance because they have to do a lot of paperwork to work with insurance companies, and they lose money when providing their mental health services because insurance companies have a very low reimbursement rate for therapists. It’s an unfortunate reality that Advekit is trying to solve.
Advekit will enable you to enter your insurance information and in real-time, share what you owe for therapy. In select cities, you can make a payment directly through Advekit and not have to wait for reimbursement--even with Out of Network insurance! By using Advekit to pay for therapy, this will reduce your therapy cost while still allowing you to seek treatment.
It can still be advantageous to find a therapist that is directly covered by your insurance plan in some way whether In-Network or Out of Network. Typically all therapists are considered Out of Network. The reasons for using insurance to pay for therapy are pretty clear. Financially, this is a no-brainer if you have the option. You’re likely already paying for your insurance coverage, so why pay more on top of that for services that are covered, at least partially?
So, is therapy worth the cost? Whether you pay out-of-pocket or you use insurance coverage, therapy should never be given up just because of the cost. The right treatment plan that’s affordable is out there. In fact, in select cities, Advekit lets you enter your insurance in real-time and only pay what you owe. Advekit will bill on your behalf and you don’t need to wait for reimbursement before your next session.
Ultimately, the decision whether or not to use insurance to pay for therapy is personal. Be sure to do what is right for you based on how important the different factors are.
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.