This tends to come up fairly frequently when someone has insurance coverage that has been cut off. How do therapists accept insurance? Do they have it through their own private practice or are they on your network? If they are on your network, are they part of a large group plan? If you’re paying out of pocket, how much can you afford to pay for therapy?
Healthcare in the United States is something like a free market where providers compete against each other for business. Each state has various Mental Health Insurance Portability Act provisions regarding how therapists can and cannot accept insurance from private insurance companies. Most states have a “Choose Your State” option in their individual health insurance marketplace where a consumer can select the type of coverage they want, at least for mental health care. Unfortunately, not all therapists who serve the public understand all of these laws and some unethical and inexperienced providers go around offering inferior or even fraudulent mental health coverage.
In order to find out if a therapist in Ohio will accept insurance, you can always visit the office of the Ohio Department of Insurance. You can also contact the American Association of Therapists, which is the largest professional organization for therapists. You can call them online as well: their website offers a free listing platform, and you can even get a list of state board members’ contact information. Call them and ask them how a therapist in Ohio can accept insurance.
However, not all therapists accept insurance right away. There are a few that do not, even though they may be licensed to provide mental health services in certain situations. For instance, licensed social workers, licensed recreation professionals, and licensed psychologists may work with individuals who are uninsured. But those licensed health professionals can only provide services to those who are covered by insurance. So if you call a therapist in Ohio, ask if their services are covered by insurance, and if so, what is the payment schedule. If they cannot answer your question on the phone, or after you have followed the above steps and you still do not know, you should consider calling the Department of Health’s consumer protection division.
Most professionals work with people who cannot pay all or part of their mental health care insurance bills. They are required by law to accept any payment arrangement made by an individual patient. For instance, if someone in your family is unable to pay the bill, you can talk to your therapist about setting up a payment plan. The only way a therapist will not accept this arrangement is if he or she thinks it would put his or her business in jeopardy.
In some states, therapists are required to accept medical payments. This is something to discuss with your therapist before hiring him or her. Some states require that a therapist accept insurance, but not all of them do. So you should always check with your state’s regulations.
There are also several differences between how mental-health professionals in different states communicate with each other. In one state, for instance, it may be up to the state’s regulatory body to establish which professional organizations can be accepted by a therapist. You should always shop around and find the most accommodating therapist for your needs. In some cases, therapists are allowed to set their own fees. If your therapist refuses to work with you because you cannot afford to pay more, you should shop around and find someone who can offer you the same or better service.
If you have ever met a mentally-healthy individual who could not pay his or her share of the bill, you know how important it is to set up a payment plan. Some health care providers will set up an account for you. But you should always ask whether your therapist will do this or not. Some therapists will refuse, and if you do not have a checkbook, it might be better to just pay your bill by credit card. As long as you get your work done, and make sure that your therapist is attentive, you should not have any problems paying your mental health care bills on time.