Although I file for all insurance carriers, I am a preferred provider for many companies including:
- BlueCross BlueShield
- Value Options
Please call your insurance company to ensure mental health coverage. There is usually a telephone number for the convenience of members on your insurance card.
In order for us to set realistic treatment goals and priorities, it is important to evaluate what resources are available to pay for your treatment. If you have a health insurance policy, it will usually provide some coverage for mental health treatment. Generally, by your second visit, your insurance company will have been contacted and I will be able to give you information regarding your benefits. The insurance company always provides a disclaimer stating, in essence, that the information I receive from them (and pass on to you) is not a guarantee of payment. You, and not your insurance company, are responsible for payment of fees.
It is very important that you know exactly what mental health services your insurance policy covers. This information can be found in your insurance coverage booklet in the section that describes mental health services. If you have questions, you should call your plan administrator or the member service number on your insurance card.
The escalation of the cost of health care has resulted in an increasing level of complexity about insurance benefits that sometimes makes it difficult to determine exactly how much mental health coverage is available. Managed health care plans such as HMOs and PPOs often require advance authorization before they will provide reimbursement for mental health services. These plans are often oriented towards a short-term treatment approach designed to resolve specific problems that are interfering with one’s usual level of experience. While much can be accomplished in short-term therapy, many clients feel that more services are necessary and choose to participate in non-covered services such as a group or couples counseling or to continue their individual therapy after their insurance benefits expire. Cost and payment arrangements for these non-covered/no-longer-covered services will be discussed at the time these services are requested.
You should also be aware that most insurance agreements require you to authorize me to provide a clinical diagnosis, and sometimes additional clinical information such as a treatment plan or summary, or in rare cases, a copy of the entire record. This information may become part of the insurance company files, and, in all probability, some of it will be computerized. All insurance companies claim to keep such information confidential, but once it is in their hands, I have no control over what they do with it. In some cases they may share the information with a national medical information data bank. If you request it, I will provide you with a copy of any report I submit.
Once we have all of the information about your insurance coverage, we will discuss what we can expect to accomplish with the benefits that are available and what will happen if the insurance benefits run out before you feel ready to end our sessions. It is important to remember that you always have the right to pay for my services yourself and avoid the complexities that are described above.
“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you desire for the present."
– Jim Rohn