One of the most widespread forms of revenue in mental health practices is self-pay. When a person pays for therapy through self-pay instead of insurance, confidentiality and treatment stay between you and your therapist. Treatment determinations, length of therapy sessions, privacy, and many other critical decisions always remain between you and your therapist. However, when using health insurance to pay for therapy, you may relinquish confidentiality, treatment determinations, length of therapy, and other relevant decisions to your insurance company.
Our expert on anxiety therapy, Dr. Phillips, explains the following advantages of paying out of pocket:
Patients who desire to remain in network may not find a provider with whom they are comfortable or with a background dealing with the issues the client wants to address in treatment. In some regions of the country, in-network access to treatment is significantly restricted, requiring patients to travel as far as two hours to see somebody. When you use self-pay, you get to choose!
Self-pay encourages focusing on your health and stability instead of just what's wrong. Insurance companies require us to give you a mental illness diagnosis. This diagnosis can be disclosed on any subsequent insurance policies you might apply for, including life insurance. It can stop you from being able to get them. We want to help you prevent that.
Just like insurance places restrictions on therapists, it has, up to now, placed restrictions on clients as well. When you pay for your therapy out of pocket, you determine how often and how long you need to attend and when you're done. When you utilize your insurance, an official may read your progress memos and determine when to stop. If you choose to continue and pay for treatment yourself, your therapist might not be able to resume legally, having signed an agreement with your insurer to see you exclusively through their policy. Some therapists convey that this has not been a concern in actual practice, while others report circumstances where it concluded therapy prematurely. While many of these limitations – limits on the number of sessions, for instance – are influenced by a rule on mental health parity, insurance companies can restrict reimbursements on specific types of treatment, like online, group, or couples therapy. Self-pay patients can also opt for longer sessions if the need emerges, where clients covered by insurance must remain within the arranged time slots.
When patients use insurance, therapists must link a diagnosis to release insurance benefits. This diagnosis then becomes part of the patient's permanent medical record. However, clients who desire to preserve their privacy and are uneasy with the number of people who have entry to their medical records may opt to pay. Paying out of pocket means therapists are not mandated to assign a mental health diagnosis or transfer medical information to anyone.
Especially in overstretched grids, clients may have to wait long periods to schedule therapy with a provider who takes their insurance. In addition, some insurance companies need pre-authorizations which can further hinder the scheduling of your visit.
These are just a few self-pay benefits you can enjoy by paying for therapy on your own. Contact us today if you need anxiety therapy. Dr. Phillips has you covered.
Heather Oller is the owner and founder of Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching, and Counseling. She is a licensed counselor and a family mediator who has over 23 years of dedicated work as a professional in the mental health field. Through her company's mission, she continues to pave the way for future therapists, and their clients, who want a higher quality of life....and who want to thrive, rather than just survive. You can contact Orlando Thrive Therapy at 407-592-8997 for more information.