You’re here because you want to know EVERYTHING you can possibly know before you click that schedule appointment button. You’re feeling nervous and aren’t even sure what questions you are supposed to have. Here are some common ones I get, and my answers for you. If you have more, ask them in your free 15 minute consult with me - if I’m not the right person for you no worries, what is important is finding the right help for you.
So I can just schedule, no referral needed?
YEP! I want this to be easy for you. If you are working with an attorney I will ask to also speak with them so we can make sure we are on the right track with what is needed.
What will it look like when we talk for this free consult?
I’ll ask you what you are looking for help with and let you know right away if that is something I might be able to help with or not. If I can help I’ll tell you a little bit about how I work. If we are a good fit I’ll get some basic contact information from you and get you scheduled. If I’m not the right fit, I’ll do my best to refer you to someone who can.
How much will this cost?
My rate for evaluations is $200/hour and my rate for counseling is $150/hour.
Can I use my insurance?
This depends - if you have a HMO plan it requires you to find someone on their particular list so unfortunately no. But, if you have a PPO plan I can give you a special receipt called a superbill every month that you can submit to your insurance company; you would pay me, then they reimburse you if the services are covered as an out of network benefit. If you want to use your out of network benefits I strongly encourage you to contact your insurance company to verify coverage. If you plan to see me via telehealth (video sessions) make sure to specifically ask about this too. Other questions you should ask include: what rate is covered (e.g. up to X dollars), do I need to be referred to use out of network benefits, is there a limit to the number, length, or frequency of sessions or billing codes?
You can also use money from your Health Savings or Flexible Spending account if you have one.
Why aren’t you in network with my insurance?
This was a hard decision for me because I know many people can’t afford services without insurance. Unfortunately, there is a lot of extra work that goes into billing insurance and they don’t always end up paying; when they do pay, the rate is usually really low. That makes it hard for small business owners to pay bills, expenses, and student loans. I give back by offering some low-cost evaluations for immigration cases, so I simply can’t afford to take insurance, do low-cost work, and keep the doors open.
Okay I get it but, what are the advantages for ME not using insurance?
A mental health diagnosis that impacts your daily functioning is typically required by insurance agencies in order for them to cover your services. Sometimes we are struggling but do not have a diagnosis; it is unethical for a mental health professional to give a diagnosis just for billing purposes. For example, this can become a problem if you are coming in for parenting support but neither you nor your child meet criteria for a diagnosis. Insurance companies can also request additional information to determine if they will pay, such as treatment plans or progress notes which can put your confidentiality at risk and potentially impact current and future job prospects. Also, the number and length of sessions is dictated by insurance. Once documented to an insurance agency, a diagnosis also becomes a pre-existing condition.
So, how do I know if I really need your help?
Chances are if you’ve made it to my website and read this far, you need some support. You are worried about reaching out for help and how that might change things for you. But, you are ready to admit that yes, you do need help. Even if I am not the person that you need, I can help direct you towards the right person or service that you need. You can take your second step towards getting better (making it here was your first!) All you need to do is click here to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with me. You’ve got this!
All photography taken and provided by Merissa Strawsine