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Five Great Reasons to Pay Out-of-Pocket for Therapy by Melissa Winters. M.A.

As we’ve heard on the news, many people don’t have health insurance coverage. For those who do not, and even for those who are fortunate enough to have it, Pike Creek Psychological Center offers an alternative to using health insurance to seek therapy. You can choose to pay out-of-pocket for therapy, which we call “fee-for-service.”

Some of you may be thinking:

“But I have insurance… why wouldn’t I use it?”

Great question! There are many reasons a person who has insurance may choose this option, and they all relate to having more freedom, flexibility,and choice.

What are the benefits of choosing to pay out-of-pocket for therapy?

1)      Freedom from hassles of the insurance company. When you make the important decision to see a therapist, you may spend hours getting a referral from your doctor; calling the insurance company to find a provider; getting authorization numbers and letters; figuring out and paying copays; calling the insurance company to check on problems … and the list goes on. Choosing not to use your insurance gives you the freedom to find the therapist you would like to see and begin work, without these added complications.

2)      More choice in the provider you wish to see. As people call around looking for a therapist who takes their insurance, many find the perfect provider (or are referred to a specific therapist by someone they trust), only to find out that the therapist does not take their insurance. Some great therapists may not be on your insurance panel; others do not participate with any insurance panels. Choosing to pay out-of-pocket gives you more freedom to see the provider you think is the best fit

3)      Freedom from insurance-related restrictions. Many insurance companies don’t cover sessions more than once per week, or double sessions, phone sessions, group therapy, workshops, and other types of treatment that might be especially helpful to you. Paying out-of-pocket means that you can seek these other types of treatment when you and your therapist think it is suitable.

4)      Liberty to stay in therapy longer than your benefits allow, and to explore issues that may not be covered by insurance. Many insurance companies allow only a certain number of sessions per year, which may not be enough to address the concerns that brought you to therapy in the first place. Insurance companies reserve the right to manage how often and how long you can use your benefits, and may decide that you cannot use your full number of sessions for certain problems. When paying out-of-pocket for therapy, you and your therapist will work together to figure out how long you can stay in therapy and what issues you want to work on.

5)      More flexibility to fit therapy into your own schedule. When you call our office to schedule a new appointment, you will be asked questions about when you are available to come in. We realize that not everyone has the ability to come to therapy during regular business hours. You may find that many therapists who see only fee-for-service clients are available to see you on nights and even weekends, and may have more flexibility to find a time that works best for you.

But can I really afford it?

Chances are, our office has a fee-for-service therapist who can see you at a rate you can afford. The base rate of each therapist is determined by their highest academic degree and how far along in the licensing process they are. In addition, we offer a sliding scale option, which is a discount based on your income and number of people living in your home.

How does it work?

Our friendly and knowledgeable office staff specializes in helping you find a great therapist who is a good fit for you, and can see you at a time when you are available, at a rate you can afford. Starting the process is simple. All you need to do is visit the website to request an appointment, or call the office to speak with one of these specialists, and she will guide you through the process.

Now that you have five great reasons to consider paying out-of-pocket for therapy, we hope you will consider how it could benefit you and your family. These are just a few, but there are many, many more. Can you think of more reasons why it might be helpful to choose this route?


Take the next step. Call for an appointment.