It’s not easy finding a therapist. You’ve got to search for someone who is licensed, has experience treating your particular issue, and someone who you feel comfortable opening up to. Many know the frustration of finding someone who ticks all of these boxes, only to realize that they don’t take insurance. The truth is, roughly one third of therapists in this country do not accept insurance.
So what gives?
Why Many Therapists Don’t Accept Insurance
There are actually quite a few reasons why some therapists choose not accept insurance from patients:
Low Reimbursement Rates
The average cost of a therapy session around the country is typically between $100 to $200. With insurance, you may have a copay of $20 – $50. You may assume your therapist will bill the insurance company and be reimbursed for the rest of the money. But often insurance companies will reimburse for half the amount or less. It can be quite difficult for a therapist to make an actual living wage with such low reimbursement rates.
Another deterrent for therapists is the hassle of interacting with insurance companies. As you can imagine, there are far more pleasant things to do with one’s time. Insurance companies often require therapists to continually provide documentation to justify treatment of their patients. And, because mental health outcomes can be far more difficult to measure than physical ones, it can be harder to prove to insurance companies that care is essential.
Supply and Demand
Far more people are seeking mental health therapy. We have actually seen a dramatic increase in new patients since the Covid pandemic. And what happens is, with so many patients willing to pay out of pocket, there is simply less of a need for therapists to deal with the hassles and headaches of insurance.
Finding Affordable Mental Health Care
If you are on a budget, all is not lost. There are ways to work with a great therapist and not break the bank.
You can find a therapist who offers sliding scale payments. This simply means different people with different incomes are charged different amounts based on what they can realistically afford.
Another option is to look for a therapist who provides online sessions. With no office rent or staff to hire, these therapists are often able to charge clients far less because they have far lower overheads to run their business.
If you’d like to explore treatment options, please give me a call. I offer online sessions and can often work with people of all different budgets.