As a mental health provider, potential clients often ask if I accept their specific mental health insurance benefits. This is a great question, and there are two answers: yes and no. I do not “take” mental health insurance benefits, but this just means I’m not contracted with insurance carriers. You can use your insurance coverage if you choose to become my client, though.
Using In-Network Mental Health Insurance Benefits
First, let’s start with definitions. If I were contracted with your insurance company, then I would be an “in-network provider.” Since I’m not contracted with your insurance company, I’m an “out-of-network provider.” Here’s the catch most people do not understand about insurance.
By actually paying the same – or just a little more – you can utilize your out-of-network benefits, hassle-free. Using in-network providers doesn’t give you as many options to connect with the right therapist for you. Adding to the problem is that there may be a limited number of in-network providers in your area. This makes it difficult to find one who is accepting new clients. Then finding the right day and time that fits with your schedule and their availability can be equally challenging.
What Out-of-Network Insurance Benefits Mean and How to Use Them
I’m a firm believer that if you have mental health insurance benefits, you should use them to their fullest potential. I work with a service called Reimbursify to help new and established clients use their out-of-network insurance coverage for therapy sessions with me. This service helps clients file for out-of-network health insurance reimbursement. It’s very simple and easy to use. You can submit out-of-network claims to any insurance company with your smartphone in under a minute just by downloading the app.
I like to think of this as a part of my concierge service to you. The great thing is that once the claim has been submitted, the app has automated reminders. These help you stay up-to-date on the status of your reimbursement claims with helpful notifications and reminders.
Looking for a new therapist can be difficult. And streamlining your own private practice can be, too. Whether you find an in-network or out-of-network therapist or other ways to streamline your own private practice, I hope you find the right fit for you.
Note: A previous version of this article was originally published at Practice of the Practice in Fall 2020.