Why choose to
self-pay vs use insurance?
Why choose to self-pay vs use insurance?
Many people begin the search for a therapist by asking “Will my insurance cover this?” A better question is “Which therapist can I trust to give me the best care for my money?”
There are several advantages to self-pay vs using insurance:
- More Privacy/ confidentiality: I am required to provide information about your diagnosis, treatment plan, and progress. Once this information gets communicated to the insurance company it is quite literally out of my hands. We will never know exactly who has access to this information or how it is protected. This undermines the basic premise of therapy.
- More freedom and control: Using insurance means that we are allowing a 3rd party to intrude and to be the deciders of, for example, frequency and duration of visits. The insurance company imposes very strict, rigid parameters on how often we can meet and for how long. It is nice when we can create a treatment that makes sense for your unique needs—not your insurance plan.
- No Diagnosis Necessary: Insurance will only cover your sessions if I diagnose you with a “medically necessary” condition. It is an advantage to seek help from a provider who is not mandated to provide you with a stigmatizing and somewhat arbitrary label and to instead focus on what you truly need to heal and make positive changes in your life.
3rd Party Payment?
Can't make it?
Re: revised cancellation policy
To: All current/ future clients:
Since starting my practice, I have had a cancellation policy that I enforce very rarely, if at all. At some gut level it doesn’t feel right to collect money if we don't meet… But I have come to realize that in reality it doesn’t help you if we don’t meet, it certainly doesn’t help me, and it doesn’t help the person who could have potentially used your time slot. Unfortunately insurance companies will not reimburse for missed sessions.
So… My revised cancellation policy is this: Clients can cancel or reschedule an appointment anytime, if they provide 24 hours’ notice. If you cancel an appointment with less than 24 hours’ notice, or fail to show up, you will automatically be charged a $75 fee for the appointment. It will be a firm 24 hours.
Of course, there may be times when you miss the appointment and it is beyond your control. It happens, that’s life. Scheduling a therapy appointment is like buying tickets to an event, in that if you miss the event it doesn’t matter why you missed it, you generally can’t turn your tickets in for a refund.
The practice management program I use does send a reminder to clients about upcoming visits, but please note this is a courtesy. Not receiving the reminder isn’t a valid excuse for missing the visit.
It is important you can commit to therapy appointments scheduled for you. I am more than happy to answer any question or respond to any concerns.
Lee Stillerman, PhD
Licensed Psychologist (PSY 21971)