Therapy can be unbelievable. Are you trying to find a therapist to connect with and afford? Not as much. "There is a lot of footwork for the patient-consumer [trying] to find the proper care for themselves, and that can be daunting", C. Vaile Wright Ph.D., Director of Research and Special Projects in Practice Research and Policy at the American Psychological Association (APA) (19459004), reports SELF.
When managing a condition such as Depression or Anxiety psychic work can be particularly overwhelming, says Vaile Wright. Then there is the money question. Working with a limited budget is an additional challenge.
Despite these obstacles, therapy does not have to be as prohibitively expensive and exclusive as it seems, says Vaile Wright. It is becoming increasingly accessible and affordable if you know how to conduct your search. Here are seven tips to find an affordable therapy.
. 1 Start by asking your insurer what he covers.
Mental Health Benefits belong to the 10 Essential Health Services which, under the Affordable Care Act, must cover insurance companies in the retail and small group market, according to the [ US Department of Health and Human Services ] (HHS). All plans of Medicaid and the vast majority of large employers also cover at least part of psychiatric care (APA ). Of course, we acknowledge that you may not have access to insurance. Do not worry – there are still options available that we will soon be able to access.
Thanks to the federal and state parity laws most insurance companies can not charge much higher fee to seek out a therapist than to visit a doctor such as a family doctor or ob / gyn, which explains HHS . In addition, the specifics of insurance coverage may vary from plan to plan.
The insurance coverage details should be included in the plan information you received when you first logged in. However, these documents are hard to understand. For convenience, call the number of your insurance provider's membership numbers (found on the back of your insurance card or on the website) and ask questions such as:
- What is my co-pay for the therapy ? Visits?
- Do I need a transfer or prior authorization from the insurer?
- Is there a hedge for therapists outside the network?
- If so, how much and how will the costs be reimbursed?
- Do you treat some types of mental health professionals and not others?
Here are more questions you might want to consider.
. 2 Have a look at your insurer's online directory or ask him to send you a list of therapists on the network.
If you have health insurance, you can stay on the network to save money.
You can try to look through your internet portal The insurer's online directory as a start. However, if you would like to avoid a difficult-to-navigate website, call your insurance company and ask them to send you a list of In-Network therapists in your area.
"Tell them exactly what you need". Ken Duckworth MD, Medical Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (19459047) (NAMI) and Deputy Clinical Professor at Harvard University Medical School, tells SELF. "They pay them, and [helping you find someone] is part of their commitment."
Unfortunately, your options may be limited. "It can be really hard to find someone on the network," says Vaile Wright. And some of the in-network providers you find may not accept new patients.
If you're lucky enough to have coverage outside the network, you have more flexibility, but it can cost you. You may need to make a deductible before reporting occurs, and even then, some plans provide minimal help. In addition, as Vaile Wright points out, you often have to reimburse the meeting price at a later date to reimburse you, which is not always possible. Then there is the headache when you assert insurance claims. (Be sure a therapist outside the network you want to see is ready to provide the required reimbursement papers.)
3. Ask the therapists if they use sliding scales.
If you feel that your insurance options are depleted or you are not covered by health insurance, it is time to explore other options such as push scales.
A pocket therapy session costs between $ 100 and $ 250 per vendor and location, says Vaile Wright. Fortunately, some vendors work with some or all of their clients on a sliding scale. This means that the amount they charge depends on factors such as the income of a person, even though the discount they offer depends entirely on them. Duckworth.
Treatment locators, as it provides the substance abuse of and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) often include whether a provider accepts sliding fees. Some resources, such as Thero.org allow you to search only for providers with sliding scales.
While many therapists indicate in their online profiles or websites that they work on a sliding scale, others do not. When speaking with a therapist for the first time, it is a good idea to ask, "What is your rate?" And "Do you have a sliding scale?". Dr. Duckworth recommends being ready to tell them how much you can earn and how much you can pay per session. Theresa Nguyen LCSW, Vice President of Policy and Programs at Mental Health America (MHA), suggests being ready to set out a case why you want to see that person special. 19659027] 4. Look at community-funded and federal-funded health centers.
These facilities offer a low-cost, sliding scale or even completely free care for people on lower income brackets. Sometimes, according to Vaile Wright, they would offer both physical and mental health services, which could make the care of patients more seamless overall.
To find this type of center, try Googling in your city or district for mental health or for the Behavioral Health Department, says Nguyen. These websites usually provide information about these types of centers or contact information for individuals who can provide details. You can also search the Health Resources & Services Administration database of health centers .
If you're not sure you want to see a vendor at one of these centers, Nguyen says he wants to call and say something "I'm interested in accessing services. Can you tell me what the criteria are? "
. 5 Ask nearby colleges and universities for a trained clinician.
If you want to see someone with years of experience working with clients, this may not be right for you. Otherwise, you should visit someone who is about to learn his mental health . They usually charge a discounted price, but are closely monitored by a licensed professional, so you will still receive high quality care.
"A training clinician is a really good option if you know you want someone more flexible in their time, because [they] can sometimes spend more than 50 minutes with you," says Nguyen. The trainees could also be motivated to turn to each case with a little more energy because they have a great willingness to learn and something new in the field. "They train to be the best in their job, which they can be," says Vaile Wright.
If you live near a college or university, call and ask if you have a publicly accessible training clinic. The list of Association of Psychology Training Clinics can also be found here .
. 6 Consider the teletherapy.
"Telehealth options are generally cheaper than traditional face-to-face therapy," says Nguyen.
You may wonder if teletherapy is as good as classical therapy . The answer may be yes, as long as you work with a licensed person, says dr. Duckworth. In a 2015 report published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 30 studies involving 2,181 patients were analyzed. This suggests that Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) was about as effective as in-office CBT for the treatment of anxiety. (However, more research is needed to draw conclusions about how telemedicine can be compared to traditional therapy.)
However, the field is relatively new, fast-growing, and generally unregulated, explains Drs. Duckworth. It's the key to making sure you get good care, even if it's virtual. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has some suggestions for finding the most reliable teletherapy service possible, here how to have successful teletherapy appointments.
Rather than Searching For telemedicine apps and services and selecting a therapist, you can first search for a therapist who uses teletherapy. Thero.org has a filtering option to search for providers offering teletherapy. Psychology Today may show practitioners performing video counseling, and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America has a directory of members who offer telehealth services.
. 7 Try to support group therapy and groups.
There is no substitute for individual counseling, and not everyone is a group person. Group-Based Mental Health Care can be enormously helpful and cost effective, if not free.
Large practices, training clinics, and community health centers sometimes offer group therapy by a licensed therapist at a very low cost, says Vaile Wright. These may occur in conjunction with individual therapy or possibly as a standalone therapy.
Then there are peer-led groups that are meant to be supportive, non-judgmental environments where you can share your experiences with people who can relate to you.
In both scenarios you can also hear how other people work with them, what's going on with them, which can be helpful, says Nguyen. And the built-in social support network can be very valuable to people who feel isolated.
National Alliance for Mental Illness Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Mental Health America Psychology Today and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance all have tools to one Find a variety of local (and online) support groups based on your location and what you are looking for.
You deserve a qualified therapist to connect with, regardless of your budget.
Getting a therapist for a good price is just the first step. It is important that you give your therapist enough confidence to open up and work together toward your goals, says Nguyen.
To help you be on the same page as soon as possible, Dr. Duckworth interviewed your new therapist during your first consultation or first meeting.
If you have made some sessions honest but do not feel it, Vaile Wright will ask you to make your reservation with your doctor. Discuss what to do differently or if it's time to try another. Vaile Wright says: "You should never settle down."