1. Are you considered an in-network or out-of-network provider?
I am considered an out-of-network provider for all insurance plans. So long as you have out-of-network coverage (which most PPO plans do), insurance will still reimburse for a portion of the fee.
Although I am out-of-network, I still "take insurance" in that I offer to manage insurance matters directly on clients' behalf. This includes
- filing all claims
- verifying your exact insurance benefits before we start so we can minimize surprises down the road
- following up with insurance if there are any problems or questions.
2. How does payment work?
Standard practice is that the full fee is due at the time of the session. Payments are accepted in cash, check, or credit, whichever is your preference. I submit claims to insurance on clients' behalf on a monthly basis, and insurance will provide reimbursement directly to you. Most other practices just provide a monthly receipt, and you are responsible for filing all of the paperwork.
After reimbursement from insurance, clients' portion for each session tend to be around $30-70. If it is financially difficult to pay the full fee upfront and wait for reimbursement, I do offer flexibility in the payment schedule depending on the need, so please feel free to ask.
3. Is it better to work with an in-network or out-of-network provider?
Like with most things in life, there are advantages and disadvantages to working with an in-network or out-of-network provider. Every insurance plan is truly different so it is hard to generalize across all plans, but below is a chart that offers some comparisons between seeing an in-network or out-of-network provider.
|Your responsibility is typically $30-50 per visit, after the deductible is met.||Your responsibility is typically $30-80 per visit, after the deductible is met.|
|The provider file claims directly to insurance for payment.||I file claims directly to insurance on your behalf, so there is no additional paperwork for you. Thus, there is no significant difference in convenience than if you were to see an in-network provider.|
|Certain insurance plans require providers to submit extensive, confidential information, including intake information, progress notes, and treatment plans before insurance will approve services or after a specified number of sessions.||Very little information is communicated to insurance - typically only the name, date of birth, date and length of session, and a diagnosis code.|
|Freedom of Choice|
|Many in-network providers in DC are full so you may have fewer choices with whom you’d like to work - and sometimes, only 1 or 2 providers who have openings at all||You have more choices and freedom to select a provider who you feel is a good fit for you based on location, gender, specialty areas, counseling approach, and personality or style. Having a good fit with your therapist is one of the best predictors of positive outcomes in therapy.|
|Some insurance plans place restrictions on the session length or number of sessions for in-network providers.||We have the freedom to decide on the session length that works best, with many clients preferring to meet for longer sessions. We also have the freedom to decide when we want to end counseling. It is all up to us, and only us.|
4. Do you offer reduced fees or a sliding scale?
YES. I feel it is important that counseling be available to as many people as possible, no matter their financial circumstances. I am open to sliding or reducing fees depending upon one's financial situation. Please contact me if you need a reduced fee.
5. Insurance jargon is confusing to me. Can you help me understand what all these terms mean?
Here is a chart with definitions of common terms you are likely to find in your policy: