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Insurance FAQs

Pros & Cons to Using Insurance


Understandably, it feels cost-effective to use one's health insurance to pay for services. By using insurance to cover a portion or potentially all of an individual's session, the out-of-pocket expense will become smaller.


Insurance requires a mental health diagnosis:

Oftentimes individuals seek counseling for the sole purpose of bettering their well-being and receiving professional support. Most of life's challenges and the reasons people seek counseling are not mental health disorders, nor are they diagnosable. Yet, insurance companies require a counselor to provide a mental health diagnosis that will go into one's permanent medical record. Additionally, it is important to consider and understand that a mental health diagnosis can, unfortunately, cause unexpected consequences in certain career fields, as well as influence applying for life insurance. 

Loss of control in therapeutic choices & plans:

Insurance companies only pay for what is considered a "medical necessity." Since insurance companies only cover services they deem necessary, some companies and plans limit the number of counseling sessions an individual can have and may require that sessions are focused on certain types of treatment. Due to this, decisions that should be left up to an individual and the counselor may be imposed by the requirements of insurance plans or companies. 

Loss of confidentiality:

In order to use insurance, it is required to surrender some level of confidentiality to the insurance company.  In addition to a mental health diagnosis, some insurance companies may gather information about a person's treatment such as session notes, treatment plans, and goals for therapy which may include symptoms deemed clinically significant and interfering with overall functioning 

Counselor Fit & Waitlist:

Research has shown the importance of the counselor-client relationship in terms of a successful counseling experience. Insurance can become difficult with limiting finding a counselor that specializes in an individual's presenting challenges and encompasses the approach and personality that fits best with them. A second obstacle can be the waitlist that a person may encounter when only seeking mental health professionals who take their insurance. Insurance companies only panel a certain number of mental health professionals, therefore, it can be challenging to begin meeting with a counselor as soon as an individual would like.

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