The Top 10 Advantages Of Self-Pay
Freedom Of Choice
When clients are researching potential counseling services, if you go through your own health insurance you may be limited in your selections. Clients may not find a specialty provider that covers the personalized aspects that they are hopeful for—like their own comfort level with the therapist, or who has seasoned experience dealing with the specific types of issues that the client is wanting to address during their therapy. Sticking to your own network may just prevent you from reaching those factors that will aid you in your objectives and goals. In-network access tends to be extremely restrictive, especially in certain areas of the country where mental health is not as valued as other areas. This essentially means if you find someone, you may have to travel or be restricted to virtual. With self-pay, you will always get to choose.
The idea behind self-pay is not just to focus on what’s wrong, but become more aware of your own health, strengths and positive attributes enriching your life. Many insurance companies require that a ‘mental illness diagnosis’ is what is needed under the circumstances and that’s rarely the case. We are all in need of help and support. Insurance companies will even require this diagnosis to be disclosed in other areas where you may apply, like life insurance, which could lead to prevention of obtaining certain things. Self-pay helps to avoid that.
Insurance policies not only confine restrictions on therapists, but also they set limitations for clients as well. Self-pay allows you the flexibility to decide how often and how long you wish to go for. Insurance companies will track your progress with access to notes that will determine when you stop. Under insurance your therapist may not legally be able to continue if a signed contract is expected in the policy description. Ideally, you do not want to limit yourself when it comes to the duration of the sessions and the longevity of therapy because you may not be able to achieve the full positive impact of the programs available- like group therapy, family-therapy, online therapy, couples counseling and more. Some types of therapy are not always covered by insurance. This is a roadblock to true recovery and healing.
The diagnosis release that the therapist has to attach to insurance claims to secure benefits becomes part of the clients permanent medical record- which may not be ideal. For clients who wish to maintain full privacy, and are uncomfortable with the number of people who have access to their medical record, they may opt to pay. With self-pay are not required to assign or submit any mental health diagnosis or share medical information with anyone at any time.
In oversaturated regions, like the metropolis areas, there are highly anticipated waiting periods before even being able to get scheduled with counseling or therapy when their insurance is accepted. Some also request pre-authorization which can delay and drag out the process for scheduling an appointment.
Self-pay therapy clients are given more options—hence more convenience. They can see someone more quickly, with more flexible time slots (like evenings or weekends, etc.)
Eliminates Financial Surprises
Bills, bills, bills. With self-pay, clients know all the upfront costs associated with what you will be responsible for. No guessing game. Removes co-pays, deductibles and everything that has to do with ‘coverage’.
Once you tell a therapist that you are insured, they are contractually obligated to charge you the rate they agreed to with the insurer and not a personalized plan that can work with your budget.
Reduces the Potential for Insurance Premium Increases
Insurance companies have the ability to raise rates simply based on your diagnosis. You can actually be charged more based on the amount of help you need and that does not sound like a solution. For future problems of increased cost.
Self-pay does not mean ditching insurance and the benefits all together. When it comes to big-ticket, physical medical care, health insurance is necessary. However, if you are a woman seeking our services and beyond, and you want to have more control over your personal care and the quality of that care, self-pay is an alternative option that affords you just that.