Private-pay therapy can be a great option, especially for people who have insurance that doesn't cover mental health services, have a high-deductible plan, or don’t have insurance at all. It’s a way to get help without having to go through the hoops and headaches that always seem to follow along with any kind of insurance matter.
What Is Private-Pay Therapy?
Private-pay refers to any kind of therapy that doesn't take place within a health insurance plan.
Some people choose to take this route because they want to keep their mental health information strictly between themselves and their therapist and not share it with an insurance company. Or they may not want to wait for reimbursement. Other people might not be able to get coverage at all because they’re self-employed, or their plan is severely lacking in mental health coverage, which is unfortunately pretty common in the American healthcare system.
The accessibility of mental health services in the U.S. is suboptimal, and we understand this and dislike it as much as everyone else. If private-pay therapy is an option for you, it does come with some significant positives.
Here are Five Benefits to Private Pay Therapy from a St. Louis, MO Therapy Practice:
1. Faster Access:
Private-pay therapy is ideal if you want to treat your mental health without having to wait on insurance approval or pre-authorization, or if you want to get started on treatment before your coverage kicks in.
Instead of waiting around and dealing with red tape you can start your mental health journey as soon as you find a therapist you like who has availability.
2. Choice Of Therapist:
You can find the best therapist for your needs without being restricted to the people in your network. Different mental health challenges require different treatments, and different therapists have different approaches.
If you are doing private-pay therapy, you can pick a therapist based on what style they use, and you won’t have to justify the style to your insurance company. You can also pick a therapist who’s in a convenient location even if your network doesn’t offer many options in that area.
Paying for therapy out of your pocket is also helpful if you’re looking for a therapist who uses a newer or more experimental style. Insurance companies aren’t always so keen on paying for things that haven’t been around for decades, even if those new things work well.
With private-pay therapy, you have more control over your treatment plan and goals.
Often insurance companies mandate specific treatment plans based on someone’s diagnosis, or they will force you to set easily measurable goals so they can tell when you have ‘won’ therapy.
If you are dealing with issues that are difficult to measure on paper you could have a hard time convincing your insurance company that they should pay. By doing private-pay, you can work on the goals you actually find the most important, and you can work on them in the ways that connect best with you.
4. Duration of Therapy:
Many insurance companies have a strict cut-off for how many sessions they will cover.
Insurance will also generally only cover one session a week. If you’re going through something big and need multiple sessions, private-pay gives you that freedom.
And if you want to be in therapy for general mental health maintenance, or you are healing from trauma that may take a long time to treat, avoiding the restrictions of insurance can give you access to the type and duration of care you need.
5. Open Exploration:
When insurance is covering therapy, the therapist is required to label the client with a diagnosis.
Sometimes this is what people want, but sometimes they are coming to therapy to discuss a short-term issue that doesn’t warrant a diagnosis that goes on a medical record.
Some diagnoses can also impact insurance premiums, so clients won’t want them on record. For example, ADHD can often significantly raise the cost of life insurance.
By going private-pay, your therapist will still talk about what your issues are and what goals you have, but they won’t have to put you in a diagnosis box. Some therapists resist diagnosis because they don’t believe in labeling someone 'just because'. If this is a style you like, you’ll pretty much only find it in private-pay.
If you are uninsured, or if your insurance does not cover mental health services, private-pay therapy may be a good option for you. You will also want to consider private-pay therapy if your insurance does not have a network of providers or does not have enough approved providers in your area.
It’s absolutely understandable that people need to use insurance to pay for therapy; times are hard and being able to do private-pay is a privilege. But it might not be as out of reach as you think, especially if you can find a practice with a range of fees.
And the freedom you get by keeping your mental health between you and your therapist can make an enormous difference in your healing process.
At Marble Wellness, we do not take insurance, for many of the reasons listed in this article. We want to be a resource for you with the flexibility to meet your needs. We are, however, considered an "out-of-network" provider. That means insurance companies recognize we provide services, but we aren’t contracted with them. Many people have out-of-network benefits which means the insurance company might partially cover therapy with us.
We encourage you to inquire about out-of-network benefits with your insurance company. Be sure to ask them what out-of-network services are covered by your plan, and whether there are any diagnoses they won't cover. Also ask whether individual counseling is covered and for how many sessions each year. Make sure they tell you your out-of-network deductible. And if you do go this route, you'll need a superbill from us, which we can absolutely provide.
If you would like to experience the freedom and flexibility we offer in our therapy sessions, please reach out to the team at Marble Wellness, and we will match you with a therapist who fits your needs.
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Additional Counseling Services at Marble Wellness in St. Louis, MO and Chicago, IL
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Our St. Louis team of therapists have a variety of training backgrounds and areas of expertise. We specialize in anxiety, depression, grief, chronic illness, therapy for men, couples, and maternal overwhelm. We can also help new moms with various postpartum concerns, moms in the thick of parenting, and moms with teens. We can also chat from wherever you are in the state with online therapy in Missouri and online therapy in Illinois. No matter where you are in your journey, we would love to support you.
Our Chicago team of therapists offer a wide range of mental health services to help our clients through the different challenges and hurdles in their life. In addition to anxiety, depression, grief, therapy for men, and maternal overwhelm, we are specialized in professional burnout, therapy for breakups, and love partnering with working moms.