I am currently on one insurance panel and I do not plan to join any others. I will likely stop accepting clients from the insurance panel I am on soon...
Are you wondering why? Well let me tell you...
Folks usually think what happens in therapy stays in therapy. Not when insurance is involved! When you use insurance, therapists are required to provide your diagnosis and treatment notes to your insurance company in order to get paid.
Must Meet Diagnostic Criteria
In order to utilize your insurance for therapy your therapist is required to diagnosis you to get paid. What if you don’t have a mental illness? Some folks seek therapy for personal growth and exploration, not because they are depressed or anxious or have a serious mental illness. Well in the eyes of your insurance company, that’s not a valid reason for them to cover the cost of your therapy. Not to mention this diagnosis will follow your medical history and may impact your premiums, “pre-existing condition” or even your job opportunities if you have a diagnosis, fields such as first responders and government may inquire.
Insurance-Driven Treatment Plan
When therapists take insurance, they are required to use treatment methods that are covered by your plan. Meaning the therapist has less say in how to treat you based on your specific and individual needs. Ironically, the people who work in your insurance company and decide which methods of therapy can be used, are usually not even therapists! And they certainly haven’t met and assessed you personally like your therapist has.
While there are some fantastic therapists who take insurance. And some highly skilled therapists accept insurance clients as a way to “give back” to society and offer high-quality services to those that wouldn’t be able to afford it any other way.
The going rate for a great therapist in most major cities is between $150-$350 per session. Most insurance companies pay therapists between $40-$90 per session. This is a fraction of what therapists receive from private pay clients and it requires a lot more paperwork and time to get paid by insurance companies. Submitting insurance claims is time-consuming and confusing as is getting approved to be on insurance panels in the first place.
As a Black therapist I will not have my therapeutic approach censored or infringed on in any way. I service people of color who are deserving of authenticity and culturally relevant therapeutic support. My clients do not receive cookie cutter or workbook therapy. In addition, insurance paid for therapy must be medically necessary and the diagnosis you receive becomes apart of your medical record.