Why should I choose to pay for therapy myself?
There are advantages and drawback both of out-of-pocket private payment and to using insurance and medicaid. Obviously, the biggest drawback of out-of-pocket private pay is that it is an immediate out-of-pocket expense. However, there are several advantages of private pay that may make the expense worthwhile.
Confidentiality and Privacy
Clients who pay out of pocket are guaranteed that the only people who know any of the details of therapy are themselves and their therapist. Aside from normal limits to confidentiality, therapy is completely confidential, without any third party being privy to information exchanged in session.
Service without Hindrances, Pressure or Stigma
Most insurance providers require a mental health diagnosis in order for therapy to be covered. This means that many issues (such as grief and loss, life stress, or personal growth) are not covered by insurance. When clients pay out-of-pocket, there is no requirement of a mental health diagnosis for treatment, which means that anyone can seek treatment.
Freedom in Treatment
Private pay clients have complete control of the duration and style of their treatment. Private pay clients are able to choose the focus of their therapy, the duration of therapy, and the frequency of therapy, and even the length of individual sessions.
Research shows that clients who have to pay something for their treatment have more positive outcomes that those who receive free treatment. Not only do you get what you pay for, but the fact that you are paying out of pocket provides extra motivation and incentive to make the most of therapy.
Potentially Reduced Service Costs
For some clients, their insurance providers require a co-pay and a large deductible to be met when seeking treatment, with the additional feature that standard rates for service apply. By not taking insurance, I am free to set my own rates and offer a sliding scale to my clients. This means that privately paying clients can actually pay less than those who pay with insurance, depending on where they fit in the sliding scale, how long treatment lasts, and the details of an individual's insurance plan.
Finding the Right Therapist
Having a choice is an important factor when it comes to finding someone you trust with your personal concerns. You may for instance prefer seeing someone who was personally recommended to you. When you use your insurance plan, your options are usually limited to therapists within your insurance provider’s network.