There is no denying that mental health is a critical part of the overall well-being of an individual. Therapy provides a fantastic platform that gifts you with unique skills to manage your mental health throughout your life. However, it may require a substantial financial commitment.
According to a survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, participants pointed to affordability as the main reason they avoid seeking mental health services. You may find services in the range of $80-200 per therapy session, with some cities recording an average of over $300 per session.
A lack of insurance coverage for therapy costs compounds the problem for many. Most insurers do not have adequate medical coverage under their plans for a therapy appointment resulting in many covering the cost entirely out of pocket. However, it is not necessary to dole out hundreds of dollars per session. Here are five tips to find affordable therapy.
1. Inquire From Your Insurance Provider On What Coverage They Provide
Mental health services are part of the ten essential benefits under the Affordable Care Act that insurance plans should cover. Review your policy to determine if there is a clause in your insurance for therapy. You can also opt to contact your agent directly to ask about any coverage provided.
Questions to ask your agent:
- How much co-pay will you have to contribute?
- Which type of mental health professionals do they cover?
- What is the process of reimbursement?
- Do you require a preapproval?
- Do they provide coverage for an out-of-network counselor?
2. Find an In-Network Therapist
The easiest way to cut costs on mental health services is to find an in-network counselor. Most insurers provide coverage for therapy through professionals registered under their network. It is advisable to request a list of in-network therapists within your coverage area. Be specific about the services and the professional health care that you are seeking.
However, options may be limited so it may make more sense to utilize a therapist finder website.
3. Therapy Finder Websites
Therapy finder websites are online directories with a collective of skilled counselors ranging in specialties within various locations. These directories easily link you to highly-trained licensed therapists that accept insurance coverage. Counselors who accept insurance for therapy sessions can help keep the cost of accessing mental health services at a more reasonable rate.
Telehealth options are typically less expensive than the traditional face-to-face model as these sessions allow you to access your therapist from the comfort of your home through your computer or preferred mobile device. These sessions have been proven to be just as effective as in-office appointments as reviewed in a paper published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2015.
5. Counseling Centers Within Colleges and Universities
Lastly, pay a visit to your local universities and colleges. Some of these educational facilities have mental health centers from which they serve their students and the local community. Here you have access to a clinician in training who may provide more time than the regular 45-minute session. In addition to therapy sessions, you may also be given the option to participate in the latest cutting-edge treatment options at a lower cost. Some of these educational centers will utilize a sliding scale model and others may accept insurance for therapy. Contact them prior to your visit to have a better understanding of their pricing.
Seeking help for your mental health may involve financial commitment. When available, your best source is to seek an in-network counselor that can accept insurance for therapy services. Next, utilizing the tips above may provide access to affordable treatment from licensed counselors to aid you in your mental health. If you need assistance finding a licensed therapist, contact Collective Counseling Solutions today.