I do not accept insurance or bill your health insurance company for services on your behalf for many reasons. Many clients ask about using health insurance to pay for their therapy and wonder why I am not on any insurance panels:
- I would be required to give you a diagnosis, which your health insurance will then keep on file permanently. Health insurance companies need me to have a legitimate diagnosis in order to provide you with treatment they will reimburse. However, not everyone that comes into my office has a mental illness, but rather are struggling with life stressors and need to get back on track. Some common reasons for coming to therapy, like couples counseling and grief counseling, are typically not covered by insurance.
- The diagnosis given to you stays on your permanent health record, and can affect your future. For example, if you would want a job that requires a security clearance, if you would like to adopt a child, or if you would like to purchase a gun here in the great state of Texas, mental health diagnoses are taken into account.
- Insurance companies want a lot of information about you, and would require me to update them on your progress frequently. I would have to speak to a complete stranger on the phone, who may or may not be trained in mental health treatment, who is putting information in their company database about you, and who determines whether or not the therapy is helping you.
- Insurance companies will usually authorize a specific amount of sessions that they will provide payment for. In my experience, there is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to therapy. People have varying levels of severity with their symptoms, and obstacles that are unique to their life alone. Having an insurance company say we need to get all of your issues resolved in x amount of sessions puts unnecessary pressure on the both of us! I also don’t want to leave you without our work completed because the insurance company thinks you don’t need any more treatment.
- Your treatment remains confidential when you do not use insurance. Since I am not billing insurance companies, the information about your treatment remains confidential between you and me, unless you wish to release that information to another party.
I hope this helps you understand why I am not a member of any insurance panels. If you are still interested in using your health insurance, many plans (usually PPO) have out-of-network benefits, and I am happy to give you a specialized receipt to submit for reimbursement. Keep in mind that I will still have to give you a mental disorder diagnosis, which will still be part of your permanent health record. You will pay me directly and will then be reimbursed by your insurance carrier according to the terms of your plan.
Please talk to me with any questions or concerns you have about any of this. I am happy to spend as much time as we need to find a solution that works for all parties.