Insurance Rant

My Insurance Rant

Confidentiality is important.  Nothing good happens without it.  Clients have already experienced trust issues.  The mental health system doesn’t need to add to it.  Enter the two edged sword of insurance.

Insurance for counseling sounds great.  Who wouldn’t want help paying for counseling?    The danger is what accompanies insurance.  To receive payment via insurance, your therapist has to label you.  That’s right.  To be reimbursed, you have to be assigned an official mental health diagnosis.  Not good.

Well, maybe it would be Okay if the diagnosis didn’t leave the counselors office.  Far from it, it’s electronically submitted to the insurance company.  It’s then subject to all the pitfalls of digital data, including the entire system being hacked.  Do you really want your mental health issues floating around in cyberspace?  I think not.

And I’ve just touched upon the tip of the iceberg.  I used to work at a prestigious mental health center.  I became aware that, despite their best efforts,, the clients data was never 100% secure.  Countless employees and outside entities had legal access to it.  And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  The secure, confidential data turned out to be all too accessible, even barring a system hack.

Is there a secure, cost effective alternative to the ticking time bomb of insurance?  Sure.  Find a good counselor who doesn’t accept insurance.  A good counselor won’t keep you coming forever.  You’ll quickly evolve beyond your issues with your personal privacy intact.  You won’t even end up paying more.

Accepting insurance usually means a therapist has to charge more due to the time and expense of filing for reimbursement.  Then add in the cost of your co-pay and perhaps meeting your deductible for the insurance to kick in.  You could very well end up actually paying more via accessing your insurance benefits.  My bias is that with an efficient and capable counselor, you would end up paying less.

I don’t accept insurance.  It adds to the cost of treatment, detracts from the therapeutic process and embodies inherent confidentiality risks.  Don’t subject yourself or a loved one to this..  Even if a system is never hacked, however unlikely that may be, don’t saddle your child or a loved one with a label that will follow them around forever.  They deserve better.  You deserve better.

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