I currently accept BCBS PPO insurance. You may use insurance other than BCBS but you may wish to contact your insurance company and verify your outpatient mental health benefits before your first appointment. You will want to know:
- what percentage of the session fees will be covered.
- what your deductible is and how much of it has been met. Your mental health deductible is not separate from your medical deductible and each family member will likely have a separate deductible.
- how many sessions are allowed per calendar year. Although this has changed because of new legislation, there has historically been a limit to the number of times you can come to therapy. It makes sense to confirm that your company doesn’t have a session limit per year. If you know ahead of time how much of the year will be covered, you can still attend therapy on a weekly basis and plan to pay out-of-pocket for the remainder of the year. Another option is to attend therapy every other week. This is not always recommended but in some cases is sufficient for the work to be effective.
- Keep in mind that your insurance company will want to know certain information about you in order to cover treatment. At the minimum this includes a diagnosis, but sometimes they will want me to provide more detailed information in writing or by phone. Though I am personally able to maintain your confidentiality, once this information is out of my hands, I no longer have control of how it is used or handled. This is something to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to use insurance for therapy.
If you are using BCBS, you are only responsible for paying your co-pay at the time of each visit. I will submit claims on behalf of my Blue Cross clients on a monthly basis. If you are using an alternate insurance company, payment of the full fee is expected at each meeting. I will send a monthly statement for you to submit to your insurance company. They will reimburse you directly. If the upfront cost of the therapy is too high to manage, I am happy to arrange a payment plan until you begin receiving your reimbursements. Under certain circumstances, I may be able to offer a reduced fee if needed. If you are unable to attend a session that has been set aside for you, I require notice 24 hours before the session time. This allows me time to readjust the various factors in my schedule including offering the appointment to someone else who may be able to use the time. Without that notice, you will be responsible for the fee for that session. It is important to keep in mind that charges for missed sessions will not be reimbursed by insurance companies. I do not typically charge for time spent on the phone with or on the behalf of my clients, or for letter writing should that become necessary.