Using Insurance

If you want to use an insurance benefit to pay for psychotherapy services, it is helpful to understand what this means.

Insurance companies often require cooperation between the client (you) the provider (the therapist) and a managed health care component of the insurance company. The managed health care component of your insurance company may or may not be associated with your actual insurance company as many large insurers “carve out” their mental health and/or chemical dependency benefit to specialized companies.

In general, however, insurance companies limit coverage for mental health issues to services determined to be “medically necessary” and to conditions that are treatable by shorter-term, problem-focused approaches whenever possible.

This may mean that your insurance company will cover only a limited number of office visits to work on a particular problem as intensely as possible. Each insurance policy is different and nearly all are complex. It is a good idea to check with your insurance company yourself for a better understanding of your particular benefit.

Additionally, when you use your health insurance to pay for psychotherapy, your clinical file may be reviewed by a quality assurance group set up by your insurer or through your mental health organization. You and your therapist must be aware of this, and what it means.

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Insurance Jargon