For psychological assessment, I regret that I do not bill insurance companies directly. This is because I believe your treatment or assessment should not be dictated by insurance clerks who have never met you and may not have any professional training. I prefer to spend my time treating clients rather than chasing up insurance companies and trying to resolve claims disputes. (All too often, insurance companies approve coverage for psychological treatment or assessment in advance, only to change their minds later and require you, the client, to repay them. I strongly object to this practice, but it is legal).
The good news is that you can usually use “Out of Network” benefits to pay for psychological testing and assessment. In many cases, out-of-network benefits will cover up to half of the fees. You will still be required to pay me the full cost of the assessment (in installments) and I will reimburse whatever is covered by your insurance company, usually around 4 to 6 weeks after your final appointment. Twenty-five percent (25%) of the cost of the assessment is due at the initial testing appointment, a further 25% is due halfway through testing and the final 50% is due at the feedback session when you will also receive a comprehensive written report.
With most insurances, our billing department will do the billing electronically for you as a courtesy.
I strongly recommend you call your insurance and inquire about your “out of network” benefits.
Before you make any decisions, consider the following regarding insurance:
1. Insurance companies require you to have a mental illness (i.e. a mental health diagnosis) in order to reimburse your treatment. Insurance companies do not consider everyday problems such as stress or relationship difficulties sufficient. For insurers, psychological treatment must be considered medically necessary, which means you must be given a medical diagnosis such as Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety, OCD, etc. That diagnosis becomes a permanent part of your health record and may affect you in the future, such as your ability to obtain life or medical insurance. Also, when such a mental health diagnosis is filed on your record, it is considered a pre-existing condition. In the future, this could potentially increase the costs of your insurance or prevent you from getting coverage altogether.
2. Health insurance companies share your health care records. Insurance companies share information with databases that are accessed by other organizations. For example, if a court for any reason orders to see your treatment history, the insurance company will be required to share that information. Or if you apply for a job, your future employer may ask you to sign a waiver authorizing the release of your health information in order to be considered eligible for the position.
3. Health insurance companies have access to your personal information. An average of 14 people views each claim while it is being processed. I am not comfortable having strangers accessing sensitive client information.
4. Your health records may be audited at any time without warning by your insurance company. If an insurance company decides to do an audit on your records in an attempt to prevent fraud, they would have access to details about what happened during each of your therapy or testing appointments and other private details that you would normally prefer to be left confidential.