The Benefits Of Seeking Therapy Without Insurance
Written by TIFFANY LEPA, NCC, LPC-ASSOCIATE
If you have been searching for a therapist or thinking about starting therapy, you have probably noticed the difficulty of finding someone in-network with your insurance provider who isn’t already full or who doesn’t have a waitlist. You might have also noticed an increasing number of therapists who don’t accept insurance and who are private-pay only. It can be an incredibly frustrating and exhausting process. So, let’s unpack the benefits of private pay or self-pay therapy.
The Benefits of Private-Pay Therapy
- It allows more agency and autonomy in choosing who you see. When you’re restricted to in-network providers, it limits your ability to find a therapist who may be the best fit for you specifically. Using private pay opens up the pool of therapists you can see and allows you to seek help from clinicians who specialize in your area of concern, for example, finding a therapist who works with eating disorders and is Health at Every Size-informed.
- You don’t have to worry about session limits or denials. Depending on your insurance plan, there may be limits to the amount of AND allotted time in sessions you have as well as restrictions on the type of therapy insurance will agree to cover. For example, some plans do not cover virtual therapy or family + couples therapy. Additionally, some plans may limit you to a certain number of sessions before revoking coverage. This can stand in the way of developing a strong therapeutic alliance between client and therapist, which is one of the key components to successful therapy. By paying out of pocket, your treatment can be tailored more to your needs and you can establish a committed, long-term therapeutic relationship.
- You won’t be tied to a diagnosis, and there are less privacy concerns. In addition, insurance companies require clinicians to provide a diagnosis which becomes part of your permanent medical record. Clinicians must make the case that therapy is “medically necessary,” and not all diagnoses are covered by insurance.
- Some private pay practices offer reduced fees and student rates. At Autonomy Therapy, we are committed to making therapy as affordable and accessible as possible. This means that many of our team members offer reduced fee sessions if finances are a constraint. We also have a range of clinicians – from fully licensed therapists who accept insurance, to clinicians who offer reduced rates, and graduate interns who offer significantly reduced fees. These reduced fee sessions may make pay comparable to using insurance, especially for plans that have a deductible that you must meet before your benefits kick in!
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