Many people want to know whether they should use their insurance for therapy. Below are some commons pros and cons of doing so:
- Some (or all) of your cost will be covered. This is the obvious one, of course. Keep in mind that there will usually be a copay associated. See the Cons list for more information on this. Also, sometimes you will have to submit the receipts to your insurance company in order to be reimbursed; other times your therapist will have to do the paperwork.
- Credentialed professionals in your area. Insurance panels will provide a list of credentialed professionals in your area, so it can help expedite your search.
- There is usually a copay. Almost always, there will be a copay for each session. Sometimes these copays can be as high as $60. Check with your insurance company to see what your copay would be. If you have a high copay, many therapists will work with you to find a price that is close.
- Sometimes there’s a waiting list. Therapists on an insurance panel are typically inundated with clients. As a result, they may not have an opening right away, and in some cases they may be so busy that they won’t return your call.
- You will receive a diagnosis. Insurance companies understandably want to know what they are paying for. Unfortunately, this means your therapist must diagnose you with a disorder, e.g., bipolar disorder, adjustment disorder, major depressive disorder, et cetera. Since these labels will stay on your medical record, some people prefer to avoid them.
The other option—instead of insurance—is called “private pay.” This basically just means that you find a therapist and pay him/her out of pocket. To learn more about this, read the next article, “How To Find A Therapist.”