Do you accept insurance?
This is a common question and we understand that this can be an important decision when seeking a healthcare provider. At our office, we do not do direct billing for insurance companies. The reason for this practice philosophy is that we truly value your privacy and confidentiality. Most people don’t know that when mental health providers bill insurance companies, they are required to list a diagnosis as a reason for your visit. We believe that divulging this kind of personal information to insurance companies to receive reimbursement is not in the best interest of our clients. We value privacy and want our clients to have the ability to choose whether or not they want to share this type of information with their insurance companies. Lastly, many insurance companies dictate the length and type of treatment that fits into your health benefit package, which is not always what is best for our clients. As a fee-for-service practice, we prefer to dedicate our time and attention to our clients rather than spending time and resources negotiating with insurance companies.
If you are interested in seeking reimbursement from your insurance company, our office will guide you in the initial session to ensure your familiarity with how to navigate your personal insurance company if you so desire. Pinellas Psychology is considered an “out-of-network” provider.
Alternately, you may call your insurance provider prior to scheduling. Refer to the back of your insurance card for the phone number to connect with your insurance carrier and ask the following questions to a representative:
- What are my mental health benefits if the psychologist I am seeing is out-of-network? How many therapy sessions a year does my plan cover?
- Do I have a deductible to reach prior to my out-of-network benefits taking effect? If so, how much is the out-of-network deductible? Do other out of network services from other providers count toward my total deductible?
- Do I need approval from my primary care provider prior to setting an appointment with the psychologist of my choosing in order to get reimbursed for services?
- Once my deductible is met from out of network services, what percentage of the psychologist’s session fee is covered by my plan? (Please note: your insurance company’s standard reimbursement rate for my services may differ from our office’s hourly rate)
- Can you please send me, or direct me to the link online, where I can obtain the form necessary to submit for reimbursement for my out-of-network services?
How much will counseling cost?
For counseling to be effective it does require a commitment of both time and finances. We can help to make this possible in a couple of ways. We are able to take credit/debit cards as well as Health Savings Account cards.
We can also advise you on how to get insurance reimbursement for out-of-network mental health services. Our fees range based on which clinician you choose to work with, relative to their experience level on our team. In general, session fees range from $140-$200 based on therapist education, training and years of experience.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. Our goal is to tailor the therapeutic approach to your specific needs.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place. Research does support that weekly sessions are the most effective at the onset of treatment in order to get the most therapeutic benefit and build up momentum towards your goals.
Do you have a cancellation policy?
We understand everyone has unexpected changes to their schedules and will be accommodating within reason. With advance notice of at least 24 hours, we will attempt to reschedule your session within that week if possible. If notice is not provided in a timely manner, clients will be charged for missed/cancelled sessions.
Is therapy confidential?
Generally, the therapeutic relationship between the client and psychologist is confidential. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule (as required by law), including:
Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. Psychologists are mandated reporters and required to report this to appropriate authorities.
If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. Psychologists are mandated reporters and required to report this to the appropriate authorities.
If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The psychologist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not work collaboratively with the psychologist, it is possible additional measures may need to be taken including calling a loved one or 911 to ensure safety of the individual.
What’s the difference between talking to a professional or my best friend or family?
The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, if you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.