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  • Megan Stodard

Investing in wellness

How much is my mental health care going to cost?

It depends (annoying answer, I know).

You’ll need to do a little research, and that’s pretty hard if you don’t know what to ask. Here’s a guide to help you gather the information you need. As you explore options, keep in mind that taking care of your mental health is a long term investment in your quality of life.


Provider’s rates:

This is usually straightforward. Many providers list their rates on their websites or will provide this information over the phone. Most providers will be able to give you an estimate of about how many sessions you can expect in order to meet your goals. Some clients have a very specific concern or decision to make that can be resolved in just a few sessions while others need longer term support. Many fall somewhere in between. Don’t be afraid to ask what to expect. Once you find out rates, you can determine how you wish to cover the cost (i.e. out of pocket, health savings account, health insurance benefit plans, etc).


Insurance:

Do you have health insurance coverage for mental health services (some plans call this behavioral health care)? If you aren’t sure, you can call the phone number on the back of your insurance card to get information about your policy. You will want to find out what percentage of the cost is covered by your plan, if you have a co-pay, and if you have a deductible (and how much it is).


Once you determine if you have coverage for mental health services, you'll need to decide if you wish to use your benefits for your sessions. Some clients who have mental health coverage choose not to use it as opting out offers them more privacy and options for care. While details of your work with a mental health provider will not usually be sent to your insurance company, policies require at minimum for the provider to submit information from each visit including diagnosis and procedure codes. Depending on your plan, other information may be required.


If your provider does not accept insurance, and you still wish to use your benefits you will likely be able to self file for reimbursement. If you want to pursue this option, you should find out how to submit a self pay claim to your insurance company. Find out the preferred method of submission and any specific instructions. Your provider should be able to give you a specialized form (called a superbill) with all the information your insurance company should need to file the claim.


So why don’t some providers accept insurance? Many healthcare providers, especially psychiatrists and psychologists, are choosing to practice independently of managed care companies. This allows them to reduce the amount of time spent on administrative tasks required by the contracts with insurance companies and allow more time and energy to be focused on providing personalized care. Insurance companies' regulations are increasingly limiting providers' ability to provide quality care for their clients.

Harbor Wellness is a fee for service practice. Clients pay directly for services at the time of each appointment. Harbor Wellness does not contract with or file claims for any insurance companies. This allows for increased privacy, keeps the client and clinician in control of care, and provides more time and flexibility to focus on wellness goals. Clients often file their own claims for reimbursement.


Click here for rates and more information.

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