Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. Please consult your insurance company directly for more specific information.
Sidenote: We do support insurance-based counseling at Abundant Life Partners. We highly value accessibility to mental health services and as such are credentialed with most major insurance plans and EAPs in addition to offering cash-based, sliding scale services. All that said...
Insurance Reality #1 | It’s Not Exactly Confidential
To process insurance claims, we use an Electronic Medical Record System. Last year alone, the Department of Health and Human Services recorded approximately 24,000 HIPAA violations. The more information that is disclosed to a 3rd party insurance or technology company, the greater the risk to your information being out there. Additionally diagnoses provided to insurance companies for reimbursement can be disclosed if you or your child eventually needs a federal background check, wants to be a pilot, etc.
Insurance Reality #2 | You (or Your Child) Have to Be Diagnosed
In order to have insurance cover counseling, we have to provide a diagnosis. For better or worse, insurance companies cover counseling based on “medical necessity.” We believe that counseling can be beneficial for many people for whom a mental health diagnosis is not appropriate. For example, if a couple comes in for counseling, in most cases one person has to receive a mental health diagnosis and be the "identified patient" for insurance to cover services. Many children and teens can benefit from counseling. We love the opportunity to support kids and teens through "normal" developmental challenges without labeling them with a diagnosis that may not be clinically appropriate.
Insurance Reality #3 | They Decide Your Treatment
Insurance companies dictate many of the specifics around treatment delivery. We believe that part of the goal of therapy should be to provide services creatively, effectively, and efficiently to maximize therapeutic benefit. Insurance companies determine the number of sessions and the frequency. They also can stipulate the location that services can take place. These types of decisions would optimally be a choice between you and your therapist based upon clinical effectiveness as well as logistical realties. Sometimes you need shorter sessions or longer ones. Maybe you need them 2x per week or once per month. When an insurance company is involved, they decide payment. Clients who pay directly for services enjoy the freedom to choose how services are delivered. We want you to get the best quality of counseling treatment!