Many mental health care providers accept multiple insurance plans but for various reasons a growing number of providers are not taking insurance and only offer fee for service. While providers offer different services, there is no direct correlation between the quality or type of service offered and whether they accept or do not accept insurance. The decision to use your insurance plan to go in-network or to go out-of-network with a fee for service provider is a personal one depending on your circumstances, but two considerations should be born in mind.
To get the full benefits of therapy, an individual will need to commit to regular, usually weekly, sessions over time. There is no rule of thumb for how long it will take because much depends on the type of therapy, the complexity of the issues, and the individual’s personal challenges. Even medication management will require regular visits with the provider. It may be tempting to take short cuts, be inconsistent with compliance, or to terminate treatment early, but doing so will mean the benefits will be short lived. Therefore, when choosing a provider, you should take into consideration your resources to meet these financial commitments without becoming financially over stretched.
On the other hand, it is important that the right services are secured to meet your therapeutic needs. Not choosing the right provider can compromise the benefits received from the treatment, irrespective of the time you commit to your treatment. You should feel comfortable with the therapeutic relationship as that plays a significant role in the quality of the treatment, the skills and scope of practice of the provider to deliver what you are looking for, and any other traits you consider important to build trust and confidence in the provider’s ability to provide the help you need. Otherwise, the experience of therapy, and even medication management, will be unsatisfying, unhelpful, and there is a higher likelihood that you may terminate your treatment early.
Ideally, you would want to satisfy both these conditions in one place but when a choice has to be made, or when one consideration overrides the other, then the following information may help you to make the best decision under the circumstances.