Psychotherapy Payment Arrangements
Feminist Therapy Connection therapists charge $160 for each hour session. Appointment scheduling, cancellation policy, questions about fees and reimbursement for therapy by mental health insurance plans, are typically discussed during your initial contact with your therapist.
We are no longer direct providers on insurance panels, nor authorized to accept Medicare and Medi-Cal patients, and so are unable to accept copayment, assignment or reimbursement from these mental health plans. However, we are happy to help you obtain reimbursement by providing diagnosis and procedure code documentation when out-of-network psychotherapy services are authorized, so that you can submit your claim for reimbursement from your insurance provider.
Please see below for information about some common questions our callers have when seeking psychotherapy services, and the range of payment options.
Fee setting, cancellation policies, appointment time and the interval between appointments are determined by each psychotherapist. These important structural aspects of your psychotherapy relationship are discussed and agreed upon during your initial contact. Some therapists offer a sliding scale or will adjust their fees on a case-by-case- basis, while other therapists have established fees for their services.
Client confidentiality and choice are central to the therapeutic relationship. When you choose to work with a psychotherapist under a private pay agreement, you may contact any therapist you wish without pre-authorization for your therapy sessions. The number of sessions is open-ended rather than pre-determined and possibly limited by an insurance plan coverage benefit. Psychiatric diagnoses and clinical notes are maintained in confidence by your therapist and are not submitted to your insurance company to be entered into a data base of pre-existing psychiatric or psychological treatment. Billing and all private information are confidentially maintained by your therapist and are never faxed or shared with anyone without your written authorization.
Insurance and “Medi-Medi” Mental Health Care
Some Questions to Ask Your Mental Health Insurance Provider About Your Coverage
- Do I have mental health benefits under my insurance plan?
- Do I need pre-authorization to start psychotherapy or can I self-refer?
- Must I choose a therapist from my health plan provider list or will my plan cover my sessions with the “out of network” therapist of my choice?
- What is the difference in cost (my co-payment) for me to work with a therapist on my insurance panel, or to work with an “out of network” psychotherapist?
- What and how much is my deductible? Is there an annual or lifetime cap on reimbursement for in network and out of network psychotherapy services ?
- Can I receive reimbursement from my insurance company for the cost of my psychotherapy sessions paid to my therapist? How is this amount determined and what is required to request and receive reimbursement?
- How many sessions per calendar year will my plan cover?
- Does my plan have restrictions regarding my presenting problem or diagnosis?
- Is couple, family therapy or therapy for relationship problems covered by my mental health insurance plan?
- What information about me does my insurance company require my psychotherapist to provide to them in order to authorize treatment, and what is considered to be confidential?
Health Insurance – Client pays monthly premium as an individual or through an employer group, that negotiates terms with the insurance company. These terms include your annual deductible and the percentage of reimbursement you will receive based on customary rates for your diagnosis and type of service provided. In most cases you can choose any therapist you wish without pre-authorization. To receive your reimbursement, psychiatric diagnoses and clinical information are submitted to your insurance company and entered into a data base, which then tracks your record of pre-existing psychiatric treatment. There may be restrictions regarding covered diagnoses and number of sessions allowed per calendar year.
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) – Similar to insurance coverage above. However, your insurance company has negotiated rates with specific providers. You must choose a psychotherapist from their pre-authorized list of providers, and pay a pre-determined co-payment. The therapist will also receive a negotiated portion of the fee from the insurance company. Some PPO’s will allow you to see a therapist “out of network” with a higher deductible and copayment for which you are responsible.
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) – An organization that provides a wide range of comprehensive health care services to patient members who then chose care from a network of providers within the organization. There is no ”out of network” option as all services are provided within the organization.
Medicare/ Medi-cal (“Medi-Medi”) – These plans require that you seek mental health services through the county in which you reside. You must contact county mental health services and will be referred to a local clinic or you will be provided with referrals to psychotherapists in your geographic area authorized to accept this payment plan for psychotherapy services.
Feminist Therapy Connection therapists know that clients seeking psychotherapy for personal and relationship concerns may also be facing economic challenges. As an important service to our community, we offer psychotherapy consultation and referral to assist our callers, respecting each person’s unique needs and economic circumstances. We also reserve, on a limited basis, hours in our psychotherapy practices for new patients needing an adjusted fee. In the event that one of us is unable to help you, we are committed to making every effort to help you with your psychotherapy needs and goals, and to connect you with a feminist therapist from our well-developed network of San Francisco Bay Area community resources whenever possible.
We will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have.
Contact us at 510-841-1261.