North Andover Counseling participates in the Blue Cross Blue Shield and Optum insurance networks which includes: United Healthcare and Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare. In addition, Out-of-network reimbursement forms will be promptly completed upon request. In addition, many insurance plans offer Flexible Healthcare Spending Accounts that can be used to cover therapy.
If your insurance includes mental health coverage, you may wonder why you would even consider paying for it privately. It is important to understand that some types of therapy and coaching are not covered by insurance.
Insurance companies reserve the rights to review patient records and notes to ensure that these documents are kept in accord with their standards and procedures. For these reasons, many patients prefer to pay privately for therapy and preserve a higher level of privacy and control over the course of their treatment. We will work with you to make private payment arrangements for your therapy.
Our private pay rate is $150 per session. Occasionally, we adjust rates lower based on circumstances.
The drawbacks to using insurance to help pay for your psychotherapy may include:
Limits to your Privacy
Today insurance companies require that your therapist provide and share with them a diagnosis for your condition in order to authorize the session. Once this information has been provided to them, the therapist and patient have very limited power over how the insurance company will use this information.
Some diagnosis such as Major Depressive Disorder and others have been known to make purchasing life insurance difficult or impossible and, also, in some cases impact security screenings and some forms of employment.
Limits to Depth of your Therapy
With a limited number of sessions available and with specific diagnostic focus required by the insurance company, the scope of the therapy must also be limited. Today insurance companies require that your therapist provide and share with them a diagnosis for your condition in order to authorize the session. Once this information has been provided to them, the therapist and patient have very limited power over how the insurance company will use this information.
The benefits of paying privately for your psychotherapy may include:
Deeper and More Lasting Change
More than any other factor, it is the quality of the rapport, relationship and level of trust between the patient and therapist that is the single biggest factor in how successful the therapy will be. More than level of education, type of therapy pursued or presence or absence of medication. Coming to deeply trust someone after five or ten combined hours of knowing them is not always likely. The value of putting in the time in the early phases of therapy to develop trust and take the time to let issues emerge in their own time may mean that more impactful change and growth can take root in later phases of the therapy.
Issues that bring people to therapy are complex and layered. Brief, symptom or solution focused treatments do not usually address the underlying issues. As a result, problematic patterns of thinking, relationships, and mood states can be more likely to return because underlying issues have been not allowed to be more fully realized, understood and addressed. When you pay privately for therapy, the course of therapy is dictated by you and your therapist alone. You are free to explore and work through issues in depth making related symptoms less likely to return when the therapy ends.
Like many things in life, we may give more emotional and psychological value to therapy when we pay for it. Budgeting and paying for therapy out of your own pocket gives the relationship more weight and personal investment. When we are personally invested in something, we tend to give our full selves to the hard work and make better outcomes more likely. Working through the practicalities and psychological issues of paying for therapy can be very healthy for the process as it often raises the issues of self-worth, priorities, perception of others etc. and can increase the depth and effectiveness of therapy.