Many clients assume they will use their insurance to cover some of the costs of therapy. And while mental health coverage is available on most health insurance plans, benefits, deductibles and coverage can vary enormously. It is important to check with your insurance company about specific information, including what is covered, how much is reimbursed and how to receive reimbursement.
I do not participate with managed care plans. One reason for this is my commitment to privacy and confidentiality in the therapy setting. Some managed care plans expect therapists to submit detailed therapy notes or treatment plans for review. An awareness that confidential and private information will be reviewed and kept on file can certainly hamper many clients' comfort sharing personal information in therapy. While I appreciate that some families simply cannot afford to pay more than their co-pay, many still opt for a slightly higher cost to ensure greater comfort and privacy in therapy.
Many clients now have out-of-network coverage, and can easily submit a receipt to their insurance company for reimbursement. While insurance coverage can offset expenses, it is still important to recognize that there may be some drawbacks to using your out-of-network mental health benefits. All insurance companies require a psychiatric diagnosis before providing any reimbursement, and this diagnosis becomes part of your permanent record. Although the information is considered confidential, submitting a claim for reimbursement may create some risk to privacy or future eligibility when seeking new insurance policies.
If you do not submit a claim for reimbursement with your insurance, please note that therapy costs may be deductible as medical expenses on your tax return.
A decision to use insurance benefits is a personal decision that only you can make. Please let me know if you have additional questions about this.