• 7 Reasons to see an Out-of-Network Therapist

    If you are starting to look for a therapist, here are 7 reasons you may want to consider seeing an out-of-network therapist.

    1. You are looking for a therapist with a unique skill set

    While many therapists are qualified to treat common challenges- such as anxiety or depression – if you are interested in working with a specialist to address a specific challenge, you should consider looking out-of-network.

    Private pay therapists often have more specialized practices. So, if you come across a therapist whose skills directly speak to your needs, it’s worth reaching out.

    2. You have a high deductible plan

    A deductible is the amount you have to pay upfront before your insurance coverage kicks in. If you have a $6,000 deductible and you haven’t had any other medical expenses yet in the year, you are responsible for paying up to $6,000 in therapy session fees out -of -pocket before your standard copay applies. This is a case where seeing an in-network therapist and out-of-network therapist can accrue effectively the same cost.

    3. You have good Out-of-Network benefits

    If you have good out-of-network benefits, your insurance company may reimburse you as much as 80% of each session fee, depending on your plan and the therapist’s rate.

    This means that in some situations, using your out-of-network benefits can actually be more affordable or comparable to your standard copay to see an in-network therapist.

    4. You want highly personalized services

    If a therapist isn’t constrained by only providing services they can bill to an insurance company, they are often able to spend more time and creativity crafting the perfect treatment plan for you. Out-of-network therapy opens doors for out-of-the-box treatment, this extra attention may benefit your progress.

    Private pay services offer great convenience and highly individualized care.

    5. Privacy from your health insurance company

    In order for your insurance to pay for therapy sessions, therapists are required to provide the insurance company information regarding your sessions, including a diagnostic code.

    If you don’t want your insurance company to have access to any information about your mental health, consider out of network option.

    6. You don’t want to wait to start therapy

    In many cities such as Boston, San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, many therapists choose not to accept insurance because they fill their caseloads easily and quickly.

    Especially for less-known insurance plans, it can be very difficult to find a therapist who is in network and accepting new clients. If you limit your search by insurance, you may have to spend months on a waitlist before seeing a therapist.

    7. You found a great match!

    At the end of the day, your relationship with your therapist is one of the most important aspects of the healing process.

    If you only consider in-network therapists, you may eliminate therapists who would be a really good fit for you and maybe help you feel better faster.

    Choosing an in-network therapist who doesn’t make you feel comfortable or specialize in the areas you are struggling with solely because they are in network is a waste of money (and not to mention time!). Prioritize the personality fit and you will find a great match – your mental health is worth it.

    If you are working with a therapist, you really like and your insurance company changes (you graduate school, you get off your parent’s insurance, you switch jobs) don’t panic! Depending on your insurance plan, it may still be affordable to see your therapist using Out-of- Network benefits.